Islanders in Jersey asked for Occupation memories as part of new book

A new book called Occupation Memories is being created in Jersey. Credit: Liberation75

Islanders who lived through the Occupation in Jersey are being invited to share their memories as part of a new book.

The project is being run by Maillards Funeral Directors to mark the 76th anniversary of Liberation.

The title will be Occupation Memories, and it is hoped it will include personal stories, poems, anecdotes and memories from the early 1940s, broken down into the following categories:

  • Life before the war: How old were you when the Occupation started? Did you go to school? What occupations did your parents have?

  • Evacuation stories: What do you recall of the evacuation from the island?

  • Life as an evacuee: Where were you sent? Was it a positive experience for you?

  • Life under German rule: Did you stay on the island? What changed the most for you?

  • Business during the war: Did your family run a business during the Occupation? How did life change for them?

  • Landscapes and fortresses: Can you remember the construction of bunkers and gun turrets? Or anything about POW camps?

  • Wartime food and drink: Making much out of little; what do you remember eating in particular and why? Can you remember any recipes?

  • Liberation Day memories: How did you celebrate?

  • Life after the Occupation: What permanent affect did the Occupation have on your life?

We hear every day second hand accounts of how islanders have lived extraordinary lives and had extraordinary experiences which, so often, live only in the memories of close friends and family. This book is an attempt to distil and preserve some of those important experiences in way which will work to educate and inform future generations.

Julian De La Cour, Managing Funeral Director at Maillards Funeral Directors

Once it has been put together by local author Penny Byrne, 1,500 copies will be produced. While some will be sold, 1,000 will be donated to the local community including care homes. Any funds raised from sales will go to Maillards' Celebrating Life initiative, which will fund wishes for the over 60s.

Anyone wanting to make an entry for the book should call Aaron on 07797 836845 or email aaron@aaronlabey.com before 15 February 2021. Alternatively, they can post their submission to Occupation Memories, Saint Lo, Union Road, Grouville, JE3 9ER with their name, address and contact telephone number.