- Grouville, Jersey
More than 150 Islanders attempted to escape to England and France during the occupation. Nine Islanders are known to have drowned and one, Douglas Le Marchand, was shot by a German sentry. The Fauvic area was closest to the French coast and therefore an ideal location to set out from.
The area around Fauvic proved to be an excellent escape route for Islanders. The area was the nearest to the French coast and a cart track led from the main road to the coast. Around 50 of whom it is estimated used this route between the late summer of 1944 and February 1945. These escapes would have been impossible without the back-up received from those living nearby.
John Floyd recounts: ‘I left in November 1944, with two friends, Peter Crill and Roy Mourant. The people in the area helped us greatly, and in particular, Wilfred Bill Bertram and his cousin Thomas. Escapers were allowed to shelter in his barn – and some of them even got hot drinks. Others in the area helped with their knowledge of the rocks, tides and also knowledge of where the mines were…The idea of course was to get to France and then England to join the Forces.’
The Channel Islands were left undefended by British forces throughout WWII and lived under German Occupation for five long years. On 9 May 1945, liberating Allied forces negotiated the surrender of the Islands. Landing in both Guernsey and Jersey, they were greeted by crowds of cheering Islanders, joyously celebrating their freedom.