Sir Donald Banks: Blue Plaque unveiling & book launch

Book Launch: Across the Channel by Sir Donald Banks

7th May, 6pm, Guille-Alles Library
Free event - Guernsey Literary Festival

Sir Donald Banks was a distinguished soldier, civil servant and devoted Guernseyman, and will be the latest islander to be honoured with a blue plaque on his childhood home at 43 High Street on 8 May 2020.

He served with distinction in both World Wars, and between them he held a number of senior positions in the British Civil Service. During WWI, he rose from Private in the London Yeomanry to Lieutenant Colonel, commanding officer of the 10th Battalion, Essex Regiment.

As first Director-General of the Post Office he was responsible for the introduction of services including 999 emergency line, the speaking clock and the iconic red telephone kiosks. And during WWII, after having been evacuated from Dunkirk, he was appointed Director General of the Petroleum Warfare Department, whose contributions to the war effort included FIDO (fog dispersal at airfields) and PLUTO (pipeline under the ocean). PLUTO ensured a steady supply of fuel to the forces liberating Europe after D-Day – and was credited by General Eisenhower as being one of the most critical in its success.

He wrote memoirs of his remarkable career during the 1960s, and they are being published for the first time in 2020 to coincide with the unveiling of the blue plaque on 8 May. In conjunction with the Guernsey Literary Festival.

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Blue Plaque unveiling: Sir Donald Banks

8 May, 10am, Outside 43 High Street Peter Port (Schuh store)
Free event - The Guernsey Society

The plaque to honour Major-General Sir Donald Banks KCB MC DSO TD (1891-1975) will be unveiled by the Bailiff, Sir Richard Collas with a Guard of Honour including 10th Essex Living History Group, which model themselves on Banks’ WW1 Battalion.

Sir Donald Banks’ memoirs, Across the Channel, are being published to coincide with the plaque unveiling – with a book launch at Guille-Alles Library in St Peter Port at 6pm on 7 May.