The Islands

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The Islands

Post by Guest on Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:38 pm

Well Nems hopefully we may continue our discussion about the Channel Islands here. And of course other posters may like to conribute to what I consider to be a fascinating subject. Madeline Bunting's book raised all sorts of issues about what was the only occupied British territory in WW2. It must have been very frustrating for those Islanders who did not escape prior to the war to be subject to German rule only a boat ride away from the British mainland. Did your dad ever express any opinions on this? Was he ever aware of the situation on Alderney where the camp was set up for imported slave labourers to build the defences, and who were treated so viciously? It would seem from the book that many Islanders, obviously apart from those living on Alderney, were never made aware of the slave labour till after the end of the war.

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Re: The Islands

Post by Guest on Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:45 pm

Hi Dreamtime, I have just opened the book and have a lot on this week, but as soon as I get time to finish it I look forward to a good discussion. I became interested after the conversation with Nems, its nice to have someone who actually comes from there and knows more about it.

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Re: The Islands

Post by Guest on Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:53 pm

Hi Sassy, it will be very good to have you in on the discussion. I find it very interesting because I have studied a lot about WW2 and the Nazis in particular but until Nems raised the subject the occupation of the Islands had escaped my notice.

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Re: The Islands

Post by Guest on Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:00 pm

dreamtime wrote:Hi Sassy, it will be very good to have you in on the discussion. I find it very interesting because I have studied a lot about WW2 and the Nazis in particular but until Nems raised the subject the occupation of the Islands had escaped my notice.

I talk to my Dad about the war quite a lot as he flew Lancasters. It took a long time before he talked about it, even though he got the DFC and Bar, Bomber Command were quite reticent about what they did because of the backlash, for example people make a huge fuss of Fighter Command, and so they should, who lost about 600 men in the war. Bomber Commander had 55,000 men killed and so many more injured. I think a lot more should be taught about it in schools so that children know what there grandparents and great grandparents went through for them. Since then he has the OBE for services to Britain and has had a very distinguished career and retirement, but what happened to him in the war is becoming more important to him the older he gets. He's 90 in a couple of weeks and still going strong.

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Re: The Islands

Post by Guest on Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:04 pm

dreamtime wrote:Well Nems hopefully we may continue our discussion about the Channel Islands here. And of course other posters may like to conribute to what I consider to be a fascinating subject. Madeline Bunting's book raised all sorts of issues about what was the only occupied British territory in WW2. It must have been very frustrating for those Islanders who did not escape prior to the war to be subject to German rule only a boat ride away from the British mainland. Did your dad ever express any opinions on this? Was he ever aware of the situation on Alderney where the camp was set up for imported slave labourers to build the defences, and who were treated so viciously? It would seem from the book that many Islanders, obviously apart from those living on Alderney, were never made aware of the slave labour till after the end of the war.

From what my Dad told me as you say the Islanders were not aware until after Liberation of the camp on Alderney. As the islands knew the Germans were coming there was an opportunity to escape. My dad and a few of his cohorts were signed up for HMS Southampton, but were unable to get away before they landed. There were many escape attempts some, like Dennis Vibert who was able to give vital information to the allies and Peter Crill who went on to be Bailiff, were successful. Sadly many died in the attempt. There were also slave workers in Jersey, my dad was the first civilian into the Underground hospital on liberation and what he saw stayed with him. He said the Polish, Russian, French , Spanish etc prisoners were in a bad way. They didnt know it was Liberation and they couldn't get them to stop digging.



http://www.jersey.co.uk/attractions/ughospital/


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Re: The Islands

Post by Guest on Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:05 pm

sassy1261 wrote:

I talk to my Dad about the war quite a lot as he flew Lancasters. It took a long time before he talked about it, even though he got the DFC and Bar, Bomber Command were quite reticent about what they did because of the backlash, for example people make a huge fuss of Fighter Command, and so they should, who lost about 600 men in the war. Bomber Commander had 55,000 men killed and so many more injured. I think a lot more should be taught about it in schools so that children know what there grandparents and great grandparents went through for them. Since then he has the OBE for services to Britain and has had a very distinguished career and retirement, but what happened to him in the war is becoming more important to him the older he gets. He's 90 in a couple of weeks and still going strong.

He has the OBE! You must be so proud! God love him we owe him and his peers so much.

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Re: The Islands

Post by Guest on Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:18 pm

Nems Again wrote:

From what my Dad told me as you say the Islanders were not aware until after Liberation of the camp on Alderney. As the islands knew the Germans were coming there was an opportunity to escape. My dad and a few of his cohorts were signed up for HMS Southampton, but were unable to get away before they landed. There were many escape attempts some, like Dennis Vibert who was able to give vital information to the allies and Peter Crill who went on to be Bailiff, were successful. Sadly many died in the attempt. There were also slave workers in Jersey, my dad was the first civilian into the Underground hospital on liberation and what he saw stayed with him. He said the Polish, Russian, French , Spanish etc prisoners were in a bad way. They didnt know it was Liberation and they couldn't get them to stop digging.



http://www.jersey.co.uk/attractions/ughospital/


That is so sad, so many bad things happened, sometimes we don't know how lucky we are.

Thank you for your remarks about my Dad love, he's an amazing person. We used to argue like mad when I was younger, but the older we both got the more we grew to understand each other and his extreme right wing views have been completely changed by things that happened to Jackie. I love him to bits and he has always been my rock and i don't like to think about what he went through during the war. I know two of his crew had nervous breakdowns afterwards, and until they died a short time ago he kept in touch with them. He is President of his RAF Association and always lays the wreath at the Poppy Day Parade in Kings Lynn and was Mayor of Kings Lynn and West Norfolk some years ago. I am very very proud of him.

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Re: The Islands

Post by Guest on Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:27 pm

You should be, he sounds like a great man and a wonderful dad and granddad xx

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Re: The Islands

Post by Guest on Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:31 pm

Nems Again wrote:You should be, he sounds like a great man and a wonderful dad and granddad xx

The best! See you later love, going to have a break xx

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Re: The Islands

Post by Guest on Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:33 pm

sassy1261 wrote:

The best! See you later love, going to have a break xx
xx

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Re: The Islands

Post by Guest on Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:04 pm

Sassy you really are a naughty keeper of secrets! If I had a dad like yours I would be shouting it from the rooftops every chance I got. It is an unfortunate fact that ever since WW2 the fighter pilots have got all the recognition and kudos, and of course they were very brave young men. But the powers that be have virtually ignored Bomber Command when, as you pointed out, their losses were enormous. And the conditions inside their aircraft were very cramped and dangerous for hours on end. What sort of courage does it take to fly over enemy territory knowing that if your plane is damaged and you manage to bale out, which many times was not possible, you will end up hundreds of miles from safety in very hostile territory. For your dad to get a bar to a medal like the DFC shows at least two examples of outstanding bravery. I salute him.

The info you have given, Nems, is informative as the book tends to dwell on the situation in Alderney. What would British people think to know there was a concentration camp, run by the SS, just over the water? I was certainly not aware prior to reading the book just how bad conditions there were.

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Re: The Islands

Post by Guest on Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:49 pm

Thanks Dreamtime. I am hoping that when the Memorial to Bomber Command is finished I will be able to take him, I think he will find it very moving.

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Re: The Islands

Post by Guest on Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:14 am

One of the best memorials I have seen to the bravery of bomber crews is at the side of the canal near Tiverton.

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