SS Vega Memorial





The Swedish Red Cross ship SS Vega visited the Channel Islands six times with lifesaving food parcels and medical supplies. Half-way along the Albert Pier, a large golden ‘V for Victory’ is set into the wall beside a plaque that commemorates the first arrival on 30 December 1944.

By December 1944 five months had passed since the Islands had been bypassed during the Normandy landings. Supplies had been completely cut off. Conditions were dreadful, with almost no food, medicine and other necessities. Negotiations between the British, German and International Red Cross finally resulted in the Vega being allowed through. The German garrison, just as hungry as those they were guarding, had to watch as the ecstatic Islanders received their parcels once the Salvation Army delivered the innumerable crates to circulation points.

‘God, we were happy,’ remembers Gerald Le Marrec, who was 11 years old when the SS Vega arrived with food parcels for the Islanders. ‘Maple Leaf cheese, Klim milk, cans of salmon, jam, Smiles and Chuckles chocolate…see, I’ve never forgotten them! Every person had a parcel.’

On 10 May, the SS Vega, moored alongside the Albert Pier, held a ceremony on board honouring its crew members for their dedication to helping the Islanders, and were presented with engraved silver milk cans.

Film footage: Islanders collecting Red Cross parcels from a distribution centre.  
Members of the Salvation Army stand ready to assist.  
Copyright notice: Jersey Heritage  

The Channel Islands 1940-1945
Occupation scenes re-enacted post-war. This edited sequence illustrates the joy of collecting and opening Red Cross parcels.

Copyright notice: Jersey Heritage


Albert Pier