On the 9th May 1945 members of my family living in Jersey, Channel Islands, experienced something I have been fortunate enough never to have lived through. They were finally liberated from a five year occupation by the German Forces during World War 2. The mixture of feelings must have been incredible: happiness at being free, sadness for those who didn’t make it, anger that they had to endure such conditions in the first place. These are just to name a few…
During 6th form I was lucky enough to be part of a project at Hautlieu school where we made recordings of our Grandparents experiences through that time. Unfortunately, I have not been able to get hold of a copy. Now that my grandfather has passed away I feel that it would be a great thing to have in my possesion and to be able to share his memories. (I will let you know if I manage to obtain the recording).
Something I was lucky enough to get hold of was a poster from a show held in Jersey in 1995. In the photo is a family member.
On the left side of the poster is a young boy hanging off a moving vehicle. He is Henry Rabet my grandmother’s younger brother. I would love to know who’s caring hand is holding onto Henry just to make sure he doesn’t fall off the vehicle and get trampled in the crowds. Henry is 17 years old and has been living under German occupation from the age of 12. It is likely that he would have had to learn some German in school, the cinema had German movies and money in the new form of the Reichmark had been introduced.
Relief must have been a huge emotion on this day, especially for those older generations like my Great grandfather George Davey. George had already been through World War 1 as a teenager and was lucky enough to get through World War 2.
If the Germans had been the victors of World War 2, I would be writing my blogs in German, the stories my grandparents would have passed down to me would have been quite different and the photo above would not have been taken. I would never want to experience war, but I admit I would love to have been their on Liberation day!