Book Launch: Guernsey Under German Rule, 5 April 2018

You are cordially invited to a book launch for “Guernsey Under German Rule” by Ralph Durand.

As former librarian of the Priaulx Library, it seems particularly appropriate to hold it in the Priaulx Library during the Heritage Festival.

Come along and learn more about the man behind the first official book about the occupation.

Thursday 5 April, 6pm at the Priaulx Library – all welcome!

You can find out more about the book on our Guernsey Under German Rule page.

GUGR Flyer v21

Society republishes “Guernsey Under German Rule”

Guernsey Under German RuleThe Guernsey Society is pleased to announce that we are republishing “Guernsey Under German Rule” by Ralph Durand, to mark our 75th Anniversary in 2018.

Guernsey Under German Rule, originally published in 1946, was the first account of the German Occupation of this Channel Island during World War 2, written at the request of the Bailiff, Sir Victor Carey.

Its author, Ralph Durand, had lived in Guernsey throughout the occupation where he was the librarian of the Priaulx Library. He describes the main events of the five years of Nazi occupation based on first-hand experience, as well as privileged access to the minutes of the Controlling Committee. The result is an authoritative and compelling account of World War 2 in the Bailiwick of Guernsey, told by someone who had lived through it.

This second edition, with a Foreword by Sir Richard Collas, Bailiff of Guernsey, and a new biographical introduction by Stephen Foote, Vice Chairman of the Guernsey Society, is being published to mark the 75th anniversary of the Guernsey Society.

The Priaulx Library will be hosting a launch event on Thursday 5 April at 6pm – all welcome.

If you would like to order a copy – please visit our Guernsey Under German Rule page.

Next London Meeting, 10 March 2018 – Paul Radford on migration to the Channel Islands

Our first London meeting of 2018 will take place on 10 March. We will be welcoming family historian, Paul Radford, with his talk, The Channel Islands – a 19th century escape from the West Country: A typical family’s migration story.

Venue: Fountains Abbey, 109 Praed Steet London W2 1RL (nearest tube Paddington)

Time: 12.15pm.

London Meeting, 22 November – “On British Soil: Nazi Persecution in the Channel Islands”

On Wednesday 22 November, we have arranged a special viewing for members of the Guernsey and Jersey Societies of the exhibition “On British Soil: Nazi Persecution in the Channel Islands” at the Wiener Library.

For more details of this exhibition, please see the Wiener Library website.

Venue: Wiener Library, 29 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DP.

Time: 6pm.

Cost £5 including wine/nibbles. Please let Keith Le Page know if you would like to come through Contact form.



London Meeting, 11 November 2017 – Zoffany’s Daughter

9780992879143At our London meeting on 11 November, we will be welcoming Australian historian, Stephen Foster, to talk about his new book, Zoffany’s Daughter: Love and treachery on a small island  – the story of Cecilia Horne, daughter of the famous painter, Johann Zoffany, who was imprisoned in Guernsey in 1825 for child abduction.

Venue: Fountains Abbey, 109 Praed Steet London W2 1RL (nearest tube Paddington)

Time: 12.15pm.

Next London Meeting, 14 October – Alderney’s Bayeux Tapestry

8452948035_0b88c04a95_oAt our next London meeting on Saturday 14th October, we are delighted to welcome Kate Russell to tell us all about Alderney’s Bayeux Tapestry Finale. Kate will tell us about the island’s efforts to recreate the missing final section of the famous tapestry, including the coronation of William the Conqueror on Christmas Day 1066.

All welcome.

Venue: Fountains Abbey, 109 Praed Steet London W2 1RL (nearest tube Paddington)

Time: 12.15pm for lunch


Next weekend: Boules Muratti, 10 June 2017

Saturday 10 June sees the return of our annual Boules Muratti match against the Jersey Society.

Come and join us for this seventh match against The Jersey Society in London and help us maintain our recent great record. No advance notice (or boules experience) necessary.

Meet for lunch from 12.00 at The Prince of Wales pub, in the corner of Cleaver Square, Kennington, London SE11 4EA (nearest tube: Kennington).

For full details, click here (PDF file) - Boules notice 2017.

Boules Muratti 2016

Next London meeting: 20 May 2017 – AGM and Guernsey Quiz

Our next London meeting will be our Annual General Meeting on 20 May.

As usual, we will keep the official business short – and will then have our traditional Guernsey Quiz.

Venue: ‘Fountains Abbey’, 109 Praed Street, London W2 1RL.

Time: lunch from 12:00. AGM will start at about 1:30pm, shortly followed by the quiz.

Non-members who want to find out what the Society is about are welcome – no booking necessary, just turn up.

Spring 2017 edition of The Review is out now

rgs2017aOur Spring edition is showing off our brand new design layout – and we hope you like it.

As well as the new design, we publish results of the Survey we conducted earlier this year, and the actions being taken as a result. The most significant change, based on your feedback, is that we are now planning a series of articles on current affairs in the island, as well as the usual summary of main news stories from the last four months which appear in our Island News section.

In the first of our current affairs articles, we talk to Jonathan Le Tocq, Minister for External Affairs, about the potential impact of Brexit on the Bailiwick, and how the States will be involved in the forthcoming negotiations. He shares his interesting perspectives on the challenges and opportunities this will bring to the islands.

We also talk to John Silvester of the Little Chapel Foundation about the efforts being made to save the island’s most popular tourist attraction. This will also be the focus of our April social meeting – for more details, see our Meetings page.

Those interested in our usual range of articles on local history will not be disappointed. John McCormack takes another look at some of the peculiar features of the Castel Church, including a door to nowhere, an unusual hexagonal pillar and its Roman foundations.

There is also the second part of Stephen Foote’s article on the shipwreck of the Echo in 1884. The first part told the story of the tragedy and the impact it had on Christmas in the island. This second part looks at how the community rallied around to support the widows and children of the crew members who perished.

We are also delighted to publish the first winner of the Guernsey Society trophy for Local Poetry from this year’s Eisteddfod – Jan Hugo’s poem ‘A Bordeaux Stone’ impressed the adjudicator who said “I wish I had written that”. In May, the Society is sponsoring an event at the Guernsey Literary Festival, and there is more news about that too.

There are reviews of some of the best recent local books, including Rose-Marie Crossan’s Poverty & Welfare in Guernsey, 1560-2010, Rob Batiste’s LOOKback, and Richard Hocart’s The Country People of Guernsey and their Agriculture, 1640-1840.

In addition, we have the usual Island News section, and news of forthcoming Society meetings in London and Guernsey.

The Review is sent out free to members three times a year.


Next London meeting, 28 April: Little Chapel meets Little Venice

The Little ChapelOur next London social meeting will be a pub crawl in aid of the Little Chapel Foundation on Friday 28 April.

Meet at ‘Fountains Abbey’, 109 Praed Street, London W2 1RL at 5.30-6.00pm. We’ll walk along the Paddington Arm Canal to Little Venice, and eat at the ‘Bridge House’ at 6.30pm.

NB If you are coming, please contact us, as we will need to know numbers for the restaurant.

We will pass on the latest Little Chapel news and accept any donations for its restoration – this isn’t a condition of attendance!

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