Guernsey's Finest Hour Appeal: Why we need to remember their bravery

IT IS very important that the island remembers the events of the First World War and in particular the role that Guernseymen played in it, according to Lt-Governor Vice-Admiral Sir Ian Corder and Bailiff Sir Richard Collas, patrons of the RGLI Charitable Trust.

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The trust was set up to commemorate the courageous part played by the Royal Guernsey Light Infantry in the conflict, particularly at the notorious Battle of Cambrai, the centenary of which will be marked in November.

Hundreds of local men lost their lives, with hundreds more left missing or wounded, in the fighting against a massed German attack in a small suburb near the French town of Masnieres.

Most were friends or family and the impact of the battle, viewed by many as Guernsey’s finest hour, would go on to affect generations of islanders.

Yet while this bravery was acknowledged within the military at the time, no dedicated, lasting public memorials currently exist, either at home or abroad.

Now, in this landmark year, the trust aims to raise enough funds to place a piece of Guernsey granite in the RGLI’s honour near the exact spot where they fought together in France, along with a plaque of Portland stone in our Town Church, home to the battalion’s colours.