Jersey / Museum
Jersey’s Maritime Museum, which occupies two large granite goods stores dating from the late 1800s, sits on the New North Quay beside St Helier Harbour.
The Harbour was the focal point of the Liberation of Jersey on 9 May 1945 when, after five long, hard and hungry years, the first Officers of Liberation Force 135 landed at the end of Albert Pier. They were Royal Navy Officers Surgeon-Lieutenant Ronald McDonald and Sub-Lieutenant David Milln, who were lifted shoulder-high and carried towards the Harbour Office, from the window of which they unfurled a large Union Flag.
The advance party of 20 men followed closely behind, landing at the end of the New North Quay. Led by Lieutenant-Colonel Robinson and Captain Hugh Le Brocq, they were besieged by civilians and endured 100s of kisses. The relief of Liberation was quite clear to them!
On display at the Maritime Museum are many objects from the Occupation period, such as items retrieved from Allied and enemy wrecks. One gallery is dedicated to telling the story of the Diana, one of the small boats that took part in the dramatic evacuation of Allied troops from St Malo in June 1940.
The Occupation Tapestry
The Tapestry is a community project that provokes a deep sense of pride, draws immense praise and can move people to tears. The original 12 panels were unveiled in 1995 for the 50th anniversary of the Liberation, whilst a 13th panel was commissioned in 2015 to mark the 70th anniversary of Liberation.
Film footage: The advance party of Force 135 arrives in Jersey on 9 May 1945.
Captured in colour, the momentous arrival of the first soldiers of Liberation Force 135, St Helier Harbour 9 May 1945.
Copyright notice: Evans Family