Occupied Islands: True Stories

Real people, real stories. Go on a guided walk with an Accredited Guide as they bring personal stories from the German Occupation of WWII to life.  

True Stories with Victoria Robinson (Mrs Mahy’s Occupation Memories) 

Saturday 4 and Saturday 25 April / 2pm – 5.30pm 

If you were inspired by the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, then hear the real life recollections of a local islander, Miriam Mahy, who remained in Guernsey throughout the Occupation. When the news arrived that the island was to be occupied in 1940 nearly half the island’s population evacuated to the mainland. Those who stayed faced great uncertainty of what was to come. When the Germans arrived they took over every aspect of island life and so began a hugely difficult chapter for the locals who remained.

Miriam Mahy was 26 when the occupation began in 1940. In 1992 she published her book ‘There is an Occupation’ which recalled her life in Guernsey throughout the war. Living to 104, she spent many years sharing her recollections of the occupation with younger generations, preserving the memories and history of what life was like during that period for years to come.

Discover the occupation through the eyes of Miriam, walking the Vale lanes in the north of the island where she lived during the war. Along the way visit the main sites mentioned in her book including her wartime home, landmarks such as the Vale Mill, Paradis- a war time prison, and Bordeaux Harbour where some daring islanders escaped from. During the walk, find out what everyday life was really like for the locals who remained here. From the sadness of evacuations, encounters with the Germans, surviving with little food, uniting community spirit and much more. This walk will give you a true idea of what life during the occupation was like for those living on Guernsey and the lasting effect it's had on the island to this day.

Meeting point: Vale Douzaine Room
Cost: £8 per person 
Email Victoria to book

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True Stories with Jan Le Tissier

Friday 1 and Tuesday 12 May / 10am – 1pm 

A gentle 2-hour walk around Guernsey’s capital of St Peter Port where Jan Le Tissier will tell you of the experiences of her two grandmothers before the evacuation, her 10 year old parents experiences of being evacuated and her teenage in laws experiences of being occupied. What was it like to return home? On this walk you will look at places that were particularly influenced by the war. At the end of the walk you will experience a taste of WWII delicacies.

Meeting point: Liberation Monument, St Peter Port 
Cost: £15 per person 
Email Jan to book

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True Stories with Keith Pengelley

Saturday 8th August and Saturday 10th October / 2pm – 4pm 

Keith Pengelley of Guernsey Walking Tours will guide you through beautiful St Martin’s lanes and locations associated with his family’s experiences during the run up to WWII and the rigours of the Nazi Occupation.

The walk will include many rare documents and photographs that will chart this period in our shared island experience – Keith’s family story also includes a real Potato Peel Pie tale of huge family significance.

Meeting point: St Martin’s car park opposite Valpy’s store 
Cost: £8 per person 
Email Keith to book

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True Stories with Eric Grimsley (A Family Separated)

Saturday 5 and Sunday 13 September / 9.30am – 12pm

This is the true happenings of a Guernsey family torn apart through war. The best laid plans destroyed by an air raid on a defenceless town. News reports of bombings in England and months of not knowing whether the family members were still alive. Led by Gold Accredited Guide Eric Grimsley. 

Meeting point: Guernsey Information Centre, St Peter Port
Cost: £8 per person
Email Eric to book