28 June is the anniversary of the bombing of the Channel Islands by the Germans. I thought I would take a slightly different approach to the usual articles on the subject and look at it from the point of view of the reporting in the Newspapers across the UK.
Whilst some aspects of these reports are the same the regional newspapers record the views of those that were there but left the island before the occupation forces arrived or escaped shortly after. As they turned up in different parts of the UK you get some different views based on this.
As a brief overview Frank Falla wrote of the event:
Six enemy aircraft came, it seemed, from nowhere… three swooped down over the harbour dropping incendiaries and high explosive bombs, and machine-gunning ruthlessly along the line of waiting lorries…
The air-raid warning sirens were not set going until at least ten minutes after the first bomb had been dropped, and even then it was not the ARP officials who set them in motion but three cool-headed telephone operators… as a result of this raid on defenceless Guernsey, thirty-four people died on the spot or in hospital soon afterwards, and another thirty-three were injured.Frank Falla – Silent War
Don’t worry if you aren’t familiar with events as you can find links at the bottom of this page which take you to the usual sources that explain the raid. If you want to skip to these first before reading the rest of the blog click here.
My blog post about a doctor who lived in Guernsey during the occupation has a section about the attack including photographs. The English Doctor’s Occupation Story. Dr Richard Sutcliffe.
The newspaper articles focus on the attack on the area around St Peter Port Harbour but there were other areas of Guernsey that were attacked. This is an example of a bomb which was dropped on the Capelles area.
One of the larger bombs dropped and is in the German Occupation Museum in Guernsey. © Nick Le Huray
Before I move on to the UK newspapers here is the front page of of the Guernsey Newspapers from the next day.
The Aberdeen Press and Journal of 8 July 1940 tells the story from the perspective of a bandmaster who was there and had subsequently arrived in Aberdeen.
The Evening Sentinel of 29 June 1940 reported on the Murderous German Raids including the death of a Guernsey Lifeboatman. You can read more about this here Death of a Guernsey Lifeboat Man.
In Warwickshire the Evening dispatch reported on 29 June 1940 about Channel Islanders abandoning their homes.
Strangely the number of casualties had become vastly inflated above the actual number when this article appeared in the Nottingham Evening Post – Thursday 12 December 1940.
All newspaper extracts are Image © Reach PLC. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.
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© Nick Le Huray