Guernsey / Landmark
Mill Lane had become the fortified citadel of the German Headquarters during the Occupation, surrounded by barbed wire and mines. The Manoir, a prestigious house and once the home of Sark’s past Seigneurs, was occupied as the German Headquarters between 1942 until the surrender on 10th May 1945. On that day, the liberation party of the British officers and soldiers were escorted to Mill Lane by Dame Sybil.
The Dame led the British troops into The Manoir’s neighbouring property, Rosebud Cottage, where the surrender papers were signed by Inselkommandant Hauptmann Magsam. The Swastika hung above the front door and the German eagle lay inset on the front lawn, both items were made out of ormer shells.
The Dame translated into fluent German on behalf of Colonel Allen and into English for the German Commandant. One of the British party, Lieutenant Cowell, reported that this was a tense time and stated in his written account “what if the German Commandant had refused to acknowledge the authority of this tiny force? We would most certainly have been trapped on the island at least for a time in the face of the 250 German troops who remained there.”
The British detachment need not have worried, Inselkommandant Hauptmann Magsam accepted the official surrender and signed the papers accordingly. The surrender document was countersigned by Colonel Allen, who gave orders to the Germans to start dismantling mines and gathering into a central point the arms and ammunition of the Garrison, under the control of Sibyl Hathaway.
From here the British officers, soldiers and Dame Sibyl made their way to La Seigneurie, Dame Sibyl’s home.