Jersey / Monument
On Christmas Day in 1943 a team of six under Captain P. Ayton undertook the only Allied raid to take place on Jersey during the Occupation, “Operation Hardtack 28”. The plan was simple: land, gather intelligence and capture and bring home a German soldier for interrogation.
The small party landed on the north coast, searching the farms in the hamlet of Egypt. Eventually they managed to get some information about the German garrison from the Le Breton brothers. They were also told that there was no civilian resistance to the German presence. Venturing further along the coast, Captain Ayton trod on a mine and was seriously wounded. They signaled to their MGB (Motor Gunboat) and awaited evacuation.
Conscious that the explosion may have alerted an enemy patrol, the team just had time to retrieve a small fragment of the mine. At this point they heard the faint sound of the MGB approaching. They exchanged signals and managed, with great difficulty, to get Captain Ayton down the cliff. Ayton died of his wounds in hospital at Portland the following day.
Soon after Hardtack 28, Allied raids on the Channel Islands were ended in fear that they caused the enemy to bring reinforcements, which would have been detrimental to the Allied invasion of German-occupied France.
A small stone memorial marks the spot where the men landed, and is the focus of annual commemorations.