Learn about life in occupied Jersey

Here we have gathered stories from people who experienced life under German occupation, told first hand or passed down the generations in local families. They tell tales of everyday life, surprising events and often unexpectedly funny situations - but always the human story, of people surviving and living their life under extraordinary circumstances.

Drinking on an empty stomach

Drinking on an empty stomach

Alongside food rationing, the sale of alcohol was also banned by the Germans during the Occupation. Find out what happened to a group of friends who managed to obtain a cask of farm cider and indulge in a rare treat.

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Out with the Boys!

Out with the Boys!

On 28th June 1940, just a couple of days before the German forces invaded the Channel Islands, plans were made for both Jersey & Guernsey's lifeboats to head to the Isle of Wight, where they would be safely laid up for the duration of World War II.

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Unsung Heroes

Unsung Heroes

In May 1940, the evacuation of Dunkirk rescued over 300,000 troops in an operation that has become legendary. Less well known is Operation 'Ariel', which took place just a couple of weeks later.

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The Gift

The Gift

For Islanders, the Occupation was a time of both extreme fear and astonishing compassion. Read an extraordinarily moving tale about how one farmer's widow helped a man in need at the risk of being caught.

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Beautiful Jersey

Beautiful Jersey

The Island’s adopted anthem is sung in public at the Liberation celebrations on 9th May each year and has formed part of the tradition. Can you recall the words to one of the island's most beloved songs?

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Telling Porkies!

Telling Porkies!

Pigs were much in demand during the Occupation, but also difficult to conceal from the authorities. Islanders tried all sorts of tricks to hide pigs in order to eat or trade the meat.

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Spreading the news

Spreading the news

For those who listened to their hidden wireless sets in secret, repeating any thing they had heard was dangerous. Everyone was hungry for news - but you had to know who you could trust. 

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A treasured gift

A treasured gift

Thanks to the International Red Cross, the Swedish ship SS Vega made six trips to the Channel Islands between December 1944 and the end of the War, bringing vital supplies.

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Leaving Home

Leaving Home

In 1940, news of the fall of France to German forces created a sudden crisis for Islanders. Should they stay? Or should they go, leaving behind their happy lives?

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