1st July 1940
The German Occupation of Jersey begins
Exactly when the Channel Islands were occupied caused some confusion, at least initially. References were made in the House of Commons to a report in the Daily Telegraph stating that German troops had arrived over the course of two days – the 25th and 26th June.
This was inaccurate, as stated at the time, with the first bombardment of the islands not taking place until 28 June, the occupation of Guernsey being carried out on 29 June, and troops arriving on Jersey on 1 July.
Although the British authorities had organised an evacuation of any locals who wanted to leave the islands (and all troops and military supplies), many had opted to stay. Labour MP Charles Ammon told the House of Commons that official advice from the Home Office for those who remained had been “that if we cleared out and acted very nicely the Germans would act in a very proper fashion towards the people.”
While administered locally, the Channel Islands were incorporated into France’s Manche department. This would mark the first time that they had been a French territory since William the Conqueror’s invasion of England in 1066, and the islands’ decision to remain loyal to the English crown in 1204.
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