- Lighthouse Memorial, Albert Pier, Saint Helier, Jersey
Standing immediately outside the Maritime Museum, on the New North Quay of St. Helier Harbour, is the Lighthouse Memorial. The lighthouse stood at St. Catherine’s Pier for over 100 years, before it was decommissioned in 1996. It was then installed there as a memorial to the Jersey 21.
The Jersey 21 are the men and women who died in Nazi prisons and camps, having been tried and deported for breaking German Occupation regulations. Their names can be read on the plinth around its base, where wreaths are laid each year on 27 January to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.
The ‘crimes’ of the Jersey 21 were acts of disobedience and defiance including radio offences – wirelesses were banned in June 1942, but some chose to retain their sets and distribute the BBC news. Others took a confrontational attitude with the occupiers, helped themselves to military supplies or were apprehended whilst attempting to escape from the Island.
Islanders who received prison sentences of more than three months were deported to France to serve their time. This presented the risk of being transferred to brutal prisons and concentration camps. Louisa Gould, for instance, who was arrested for sheltering a Russian slave worker, perished in the gas chambers of Ravensbrück. Her story was adapted for the film ‘Another Mother’s Son’, which was released in 2017.
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.