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Remembering the beginning of the Occupation
German Forces in St Peter Port
German forces were based at the Royal Hotel as the Occupation began

Following the fall of Paris at the start of June 1940 German forces swept across France and by the end of the month landed in Guernsey.

Following reconnaissance flypasts trucks were bombed at the White Rock on 28 June.

Two days later three Junker 52 aircraft landed at Guernsey Airport and orders were issued to the locals saying the island was now under German control.

This is how Guernsey would remain for five years until Berlin fell in 1945.

Nell Falla and Herbert Winterflood

Nell Falla's husband was at the White Rock when the Luftwaffe bombed the tomato trucks that lined the pier believing them to be ammunition carriers.

She said: "He managed to get away - he ran like fury up the Truchot and got away with it."

After the bombing Herbert Winterflood said: "By Sunday evening we were expecting them anytime and as people were leaving church three Junker 32 transports roared over aiming for the airport."

Herbert headed to the top of The Grange shortly after and saw the police car carrying the German officials to the Royal Hotel. He said there was a German soldier stood on the running board of the car and that was the first German soldier he saw.

Charles Langlois

Charles was a young man when the Occupation began and he said when they arrived: "They [the German soldiers] commandeered anything they fancied... they took whatever they wanted."

Charles and his family moved out of town for a time following the harbour bombings for fear of a repeat of this, but he said after a while they realised that the Germans were not likely to bomb again and so returned home.

He said that soon after the Germans arrived the local currency changed from pounds to the German Reichmarks that were used across occupied Europe.

Michael Gillmore, Irene Grosset and Mona Molyneaux

Michael Gillmore was five years old when the harbour was bombed and his father, who was working on one of the tomato lorries, was killed.

This left him and his sister to be raised by their grandmother, aunt and uncle.

Despite the effect it had on his family he said the German soldiers stationed in Guernsey: "Weren't that bad, they had plenty of food and used to give us sweets and that sort of thing... as the war went on they were suffering too."

Irene Gosset said the days before the Germans landed were filled with fear as they had heard "terrible things" about the way the German soldiers were behaving in occupied Europe, especially towards women.

When they arrived she said she remembered "standing at the top of the garden watching the planes coming in".

Sir de Vic Carey

Sir de Vic Carey's grandfather, Sir Victor Gosselin Carey, was Bailiff of Guernsey throughout the Occupation.

Sir de Vic said his grandfather described it as "a nightmare" going through the war as Bailiff as "he felt he had a great sense of duty as the island had been entrusted to his care".

In the days before the invasion the German forces were expected following their occupation of France and Sir de Vic said, "that must have been a terrible few days", for his grandfather sitting in the Bailiff's Office and waiting for the unknown.


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