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Page last updated at 11:55 GMT, Friday, 9 July 2010 12:55 UK
'First commando' raid on occupied Guernsey
Le Jaonnet and La Bette Bay's from Icart
Hubert landed at Le Jannoet bay following a two mile paddle by canoe

On 8 July 1940, barely a week after the start of the Occupation, Hubert Nicolle landed at Le Jaonnet Bay near Icart on a fact-finding mission.

Guernseyman Hubert was a member of the Royal Hampshire Regiment and was tasked with learning more about the island under German control.

He was picked up from the same place by the Royal Navy after three days.

He returned, less successfully, in September 1940 and was a prisoner of war for the rest of WWII.

Hubert was 20 in July 1940 and before its dissolution had served in the Royal Guernsey Light Infantry before joining the Royal Hampshire Regiment.

As a Guernseyman he was selected to head back to the island by submarine, under cover of darkness where he selected the hard to read south coast bay as a prime landing point for him and his newly acquired canoe.

He clambered up the cliffs and over three days gathered information from friends about the state of the island before returning to England, again via submarine at night.

This mission led to him being dubbed 'the first commando' for the comparison between his activities and those of the officially named commandos in later months and years.

His second trip though was less successful and after the arranged rendezvous with the naval submarine did not occur Hubert was trapped in Guernsey where he was forced to surrender fearing the death sentence for being a spy.

Stone unveiling
A large crowd gathered for the unveiling of the commemorative stone

However, this sentence never came to be thanks to the work of Ambrose Sherwill, the president of the States Controlling Committee, and the German authorities.

Hubert spent the rest of the Second World War in a PoW camp in Europe after a stay in the Parisian Cherche Midi Prison where he celebrated his 21st birthday in solitary confinement.

Whilst in Spangenberg PoW camp Hubert managed to escape by tunnelling only to be recaptured and was held until he was liberated by American forces in 1945.

Hubert was awarded the Military Cross for having "displayed the highest qualities of fortitude and bravery throughout" his escapades.

After the war he left the army and returned to Guernsey where he worked as a life assurance salesman and was heavily involved with his old school, Elizabeth College.

He died in 1998 but on the 70th anniversary of his first mission to Guernsey a stone was unveiled on the cliff above La Jaonnet commemorating his military service.





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