Concentration camp survivor returns to Guernsey 80 years after being deported

An 88-year-old woman who was born in Guernsey but sent to a concentration camp during the Second World War has returned to the island for the first time.

Jill Oliver was born on the Channel Island but was deported by occupying forces in 1942 when she was only eight years old.

Along with her mother, father and younger brother, Jill spent her next three birthdays in camps in Dorsten and the Biberach.

The Channel Islands were the only part of the British Isles to be invaded by the Nazis during the Second World War, before being liberated by the Allies in 1945.

Jill now lives in the USA but returned to the island 80 years on to revisit her childhood home built by her father in 1939.

The 88-year-old looked back on her time in the camp. She said:

"I remember the very last thing. My dad and I were watching these tanks coming into the camp and this one tank was being shot at by two guys in a shed.

"I remember this vividly and I was watching this turret just go 'boom' and the shed went up in flames."

Jill's father was the only dentist on the island at the time of the occupation. Credit: ITV Channel Television

After this horrific moment, Jill and her father were freed from the camp and flew by plane back to England.

Whilst she was in the concentration camp, she collected an array of items including cards with a hidden 'V' drawn onto them.

Jill explains: "To the people in Guernsey often V for victory, but they were punished for putting V's on things so they hid them and that's very special."

People hid 'Vs' for victory on the cards to avoid punishment. Credit: ITV Channel Television

She is now living in the US and travelled over with David Treadway, a friend who has written a book about her story.

David says: "It's really special to see these things that I've researched for the book but I haven't seen them first hand so it's really special."

Despite not returning for 80 years, Jill says Guernsey still feels like home for her.

She added revisiting "certainly makes you enjoy your life now, and appreciate it."

Jill has kept items given to her by other people in the concentration camps. Credit: ITV Channel Television