Jersey – Occupation and Liberation & the Battle of Britain Air Display by Air

What our previous travellers have to say about this tour

"All in all, this was an excellent and fascinating tour - unique in many respects, which we would have no hesitation in recommending to others."

Mr & Mrs Taylor

Mr & Mrs Taylor

"For many years now I , along with my son, and on occasions my wife, have been on many WW1 and WW2 Leger Battlefield Tours. I have always been impressed by the itineraries, accommodation, and knowledgeable tour guides-who are second to none.

This year my wife and I were attracted to the Jersey Occupation and Liberation tour because it differed from all the other tours that we’ve been on, in that Jersey, and the rest of the Channel Islands, were not a ‘battlefield’. The British Government decided not to defend the Islands as it would have involved considerable destruction of property and loss of life, both civilian and military. In the first few days prior to the impending occupation, Islanders had to choose between evacuation to Britain, or to stay and tough it out under German occupation for an indeterminate period of time, not knowing what life would hold in store for them…Whichever option they chose.

Of course, the Islanders who did stay had to get along as best they could; putting up with the presence of German soldiers throughout the war years - almost one soldier for every three citizens - and it was fascinating to learn how they coped with the restrictions placed upon their freedoms. Because Britain had decided not to defend the Islands or to mount an invasion, at least there was the consolation that there were no air raids, the Islands and Islanders were largely unscathed.

Towards the end of the war the Islands were blockaded, so in effect they became a sort of ‘Prisoner of War’ Camp for German soldiers, who had no means of escape or retreat. When Germany surrendered, the soldiers were shipped to the UK mainland as POWs, with some left behind to clear the mines that they’d laid.
The itinerary was excellent and included visits to German fortifications and the enormous underground hospital- hewn out of rock, and now converted into an excellent ‘Occupation Museum’. Our tour was timed to coincide with the annual ‘Battle of Britain’ air display, and on the two free days there was much to explore on the Island, which has an excellent bus service and lots to see, including castles and the Botanical Gardens.

We flew from Leeds/Bradford Airport, which was a little over an hour to St Helier and had a short coach transfer to our hotel - The Mayfair, where we enjoyed half board, the leisure facilities including a swimming pool and evening entertainment. The hotel is ideally located; about 15 minutes walk into the excellent shopping area and other attractions in St Helier.

The tour guides were local historians, born and bred in Jersey so could speak first hand about the effects of the occupation on their own families and friends.

All in all, this was an excellent and fascinating tour - unique in many respects, which we would have no hesitation in recommending to others.