Jersey and its German Prisoners of War

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by liverpool annie, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Jersey and its German Prisoners of War

    In December 1914 the War Office ordered the building of a permanent prisoner-of-war camp in Jersey capable of housing 1,000 inmates in rows of huts. The site chosen was Blanches Banques on land already owned by the British Government. The camp thus created was about 300 yards square and surrounded by a ten foot high barbed wire fence with buildings for the guards outside the perimeter.
    The first prisoners from the Western Front arrived in March 1915 and by July it was guarding 1,500 inmates. The camp remained in being until October 1919 and during the time it was open there were a number of escape attempts including at least two tunnels which were defeated by the soft sand on which the camp was built. Several inmates died during their incarceration and were buried in a corner of St Brelade’s church cemetery


    The German Occupation of Jersey and the other Channel Islands during the Second World War is well-publicised and documented, and the traces of almost five years of German defensive construction abounds in the shape of the many bunkers, control towers and the Jersey Underground Hospital just to cite a few examples. For many of the older residents, memories of the presence of more than 10,000 jackbooted soldiers remain fresh along with their experiences of near-starvation rations and other privations. In Jersey, however, the German presence had also existed some 25 years earlier in the form of the many hundreds of German Prisoners of War brought over from England "for the duration", in a somewhat different manner to Hitler's conquering armies of 1940.

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