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"Bursting with relief and joy!"

Saturday 09 May 2020

"Bursting with relief and joy!"

In the final chapter of her Occupation diary which has been serialised all this week by Express, Irene Rose gives a glimpse of the elation that came with Guernsey's Liberation and how the entire community joined together to celebrate...

"There was great joy at the arrival of the Red Cross ship, Vega; everyone was trying to get a glimpse of it.

As the harbour was out of bounds, every other vantage point was crowded. People were very hungry!

Things were really desperate when - thank God - on Monday 7 May 1945 the war ended, but it was not until the eighth in Jersey and the ninth in Guernsey that we were finally liberated, pulling down the hated Swastika and once again proudly flying the Union Jack.

Irene Rose

PIctured: Irene Rose (on the right) with her sisters, Alice and Honey.

We could have been liberated on the eighth, but the Germans insisted that we would not be officially free until the British had landed on the island and it was the next day before the Germans finally left. They marched in silence to the quay where they boarded boats awaiting them.

Some Germans were retained to help clear the coast line of mines and booby traps. 

Church bells were peeling messages of joy. There was great excitement as the British troops poured out of the carriers. We were all singing and clapping, just bursting with relief and joy!


Pictured: Union Jack flags were flown in Guernsey once more.

At long last, on the 14 May, we could once again send letters to our dear loved ones."

Rene's family shared her story with Express after stumbling across her writings while looking through old papers.

She passed away in a care home in Bristol in 2013, aged 95. You can read more about her HERE.

Pictured top: Spirits were high as British soldiers arrived in the island (image from courtesy of the Priaulx Library).

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