Day Five – Jersey – 16th July 2011 – Jersey War Tunnels – Part One

We woke on the Saturday of our holiday to a very heavy downpour of rain. We had already seen the forecast and had planned one of the places we had definitely wanted to visit for a day that was either very wet or very hot! Upon arrival at the tunnels and paying the entrance fee we were presented with copies of two Jersey identity cards. – read on to part four to discover why!

The signs outside, with engraved captions of the time are very powerful. Especially the one that reads “British Subjects will be evacuated and transferred to Germany”. 

The tunnels were built between 1941 and 1945 by forced and slave labour. The tunnels are complex and were initially built as bomb and gas proof storage and repair facility and then later converted to a hospital with capacity for 500 beds, which was never used.

There is a rather foreboding atmosphere, almost an historical sense of doom. As you enter through into the first exhibition it tells the story of Jersey, seen initially as the spot that you could visit safely whilst Europe was at War. The Islanders, I do not believed for one minute thought that they would be invaded. After all, the fortifications that had kept the island safe from the French for hundreds and hundreds of years would keep them safe….No! Then there is the sound, yes, just the sounds of planes above and the obviously sounds of war. The effects are very good and it heightens the reflections that this is the noise that the islands would have heard.

Having arrived on the island, there were a whole series of things that had to be complied with. Radios were to be handed it, those of Jewish descent were to make themselves known. There was rationing, with the islanders living on very little food.

Jar of Sugar Beet made during the German Occupation. Dated 1942.

About Julie Goucher

Genealogist, Author, Presenter, native Guildfordian, Pharos Tutor, lover of Books & History, Surnames, European Ancestors, Butcher & Orlando One-Name Studies, avid note taker and journal writer.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Day Five – Jersey – 16th July 2011 – Jersey War Tunnels – Part One

  1. Anglers Rest says:

    Indeed it does Libby.


  2. It DOES have that sense of foreboding…clicking on part 4 to see why you needed Jersey ID cards. This is fun(!)


  3. Anglers Rest says:

    Betsy, Glad you enjoyed the posts.


  4. Betsy Cross says:

    You made me want to visit and to learn more of this story/place in history!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.