Jersey / Trasa tematyczna

Liberation of St. Helier

Ścieżka turystyczna


​​This trail consists of seventeen special places intimately connected with the events of the Liberation of Jersey, or those forming part of the broader Liberation story. The route takes you around the town of St Helier, capital of Jersey.​

​​After five long years, on 9 May 1945 the Channel Islands were freed from German military occupation, without armed conflict, by British Liberation Force 135. Landing in St Helier Harbour, the ‘Tommies’ were greeted by multitudes of cheering Islanders, joyously celebrating their new-found freedom.

A young Stan Hockley remembers the arrival of the first troops:

'It was quite amazing because everyone wanted to touch them, clap them on the back, the girls wanted to kiss them and some people wanted to scrounge their cigarettes, but however, that was what Liberation was all about, we were at last free.

The ecstatic sense of release felt by Islanders is immortalised in a sculpture entitled ‘The Monument to Freedom’ in Liberation Square. It stands opposite the Pomme D’Or Hotel, from the balcony of which the Union Flag quickly replaced the German Swastika – this was one of the great symbolic moments of the Liberation and it is re-enacted on each anniversary.

Also featured is Elizabeth Castle, which had been converted into a modern fortress by the Occupying Forces. On 10 May Royal Navy minesweepers searched the inter-Island channels and approaches to St. Helier Harbour to prepare for the arrival of the main Liberation force. The underwater minefield between the Castle and the Harbour was disconnected, and British troops occupied the Castle from 12 May.

The lifesaving role of the International Red Cross is not forgotten. With thanks to them, the SS Vega visited the Channel Islands six times with lifesaving food parcels and medical supplies. Half-way along the Albert Pier, is the SS Vega Memorial in the form of a large golden ‘V for Victory’, commemorating its first arrival in Jersey on 30 December 1944.

The Trail also includes places that testify to the sacrifices that Islanders made for their efforts to find freedom from military occupation. The Grave of Maurice Gould in the Allied Military Cemetery reminds us of those who paid the ultimate price for defiance and died in German prisons or camps on the European Continent.

Immerse yourself in some of Jersey’s character-defining Occupation stories and discover something new and unexpected.

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