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Guernsey Occupation Events Diary

“Sarnia; dear Homeland, Gem of the sea.
Island of beauty, my heart longs for thee.
Thy voice calls me ever, in waking, or sleep,
Till my soul cries with anguish, my eyes ache to weep.
In fancy I see thee, again as of yore,
Thy verdure clad hills and thy wave beaten shore.
Thy rock sheltered bays, ah; of all thou art best,
I’m returning to greet thee, dear island of rest.”

The words above were originally written by George Deighton in 1911 and were recorded on Liberation Day in 1945 when British troops landed in Guernsey to confirm Germany had surrendered after 5 years of occupation. Read more about how World War II affected the islanders on our Guernsey Occupation pages

Celebrations this year

Today Guernsey’s landscape is defined by its war fortifications and islanders celebrate both their heritage and Liberation in various ways. Here we’ve compiled a short Guernsey Occupation events diary if you’d like to come and join in:

12 April – 18th May

Heritage Guernsey Festival. A full programme of events encompassing the history of Guernsey during which time many of the fortifications will be open and themed war time activities will be taking place at the various museums and attractions. 

2 May

Batterie Scharnhorst, Guernsey, is open from 2pm for a guided tour.

4 May

Hafenschloss at Castle Cornet. Find out about life in Guernsey under the Occupation and watch a re-enactment of the original Liberation Day. Visitors are welcome to dress in a 1940’s style!

9 May

Liberation Day in Guernsey 

A public holiday, Liberation Day celebrations centre around the main harbour and sea front in St Peter Port. A full programme of events including parades and a service giving thanks for freedom and remembering those who did not return takes place in the morning. Followed later by party style street entertainment with music, dancing and plenty of food, many with a 1940’s style theme. The evening fireworks display takes place at 9.30pm above St Peter Port.

10 May

Liberation Day in Sark.

6 – 13 June

Alderney’s D-Day 70th Anniversary Heritage Week

Take a look at the World War II Defences on Alderney with the team from Living Islands.

Further details about all events mentioned above can be found on the Visit Guernsey or Visit Alderney websites.

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About the author

Posted by Christina

Christina's early memories include boarding a plane to visit Kuwait at the age of two and taking big family holidays in Scotland, Cornwall and France. After enjoying time teaching in London and Holland and marrying into a family spread from Ireland to the Channel Islands and America, it is no surprise that along with husband Julian they trekked around the world when three of their five children were small. Christina now runs the family company and writes and helps with the Travelsmith web and social media sites. Email: christinaclark@travelsmith.co.uk