Jersey War Tunnels





Jersey War Tunnels, formerly known as the German Underground Hospital, is without doubt the best known of the Island’s wartime fortifications, due to it’s history as a visitor attraction since 1946.

For that reason, much has been published about the working conditions endured by those forced to take part. The complex, known as Ho8 (Hohlgangsanlage 08), was built as an artillery quarters and later converted into a casualty clearing station or underground hospital. 

When construction began in September 1941, the workforce consisted of German Construction Battalions and political prisoners from occupied countries encamped at Fort Regent. 

Former Spanish Republican forced worker Pascal Pomar wrote: ‘…the first deportees to work on this site were Spanish Republicans, also a group of Polish, Czecho-Slovak [sic] and Alsatian Jews arrested in the Toulouse area. These deportees imprisoned in Fort Regent…were transferred by lorry and worked from 4.00am to 7.00pm, so it was they who opened up the first galleries.’ 

Work was then taken over by the Organisation Todt, when the labour force consisted of French North Africans, Spaniards and local labour. The Russian (including Ukrainian and Belarus) contingent didn’t arrive until August 1942. These workers were largely encamped at Lager Schepke on Goose Green Marsh, Beaumont.

Read more about the conditions the foreign labourers endured in Vasily Marempolsky’s account of the construction of the tunnel complex.



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