Guernsey / Landmark
Unlike the other Islands of Guernsey, the civilian population of Alderney was almost totally evacuated prior to its occupation by German forces in 1940. Islanders returned five years later to a very different landscape, dotted with German fortifications.
Alderney harbour played an important part in the liberation of the Island. An armed trawler carrying Brigadier Snow, commander of the liberating force, Force 135, landed at Braye Harbour on the 16 May 1945, to be met by the German commandant. Moving to a building close by which overlooked Braye Harbour, a document of surrender was signed by the German commandant. This house was later called Peacehaven.
On the 15 December, seven months following the liberation of Alderney, once the Island had been cleared of mines, Braye Harbour welcomed a large proportion of the previously evacuated Alderney residents home. The home comers arrived to the sound of
‘Home Sweet Home’ being played and a large ‘Welcome Home to Alderney’ banner displayed at the harbour. Homecoming Day on the 15 November, is now an annual celebration in Alderney.