Guernsey's Finest Hour: ‘Guernsey has every reason to be proud of her sons’

‘GUERNSEY has every reason to feel the greatest pride in her sons,’ said General Sir Henry de Beauvoir De Lisle, shortly after the Great War’s Battle of Cambrai, in a letter to the Bailiff.

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And it was that letter which West deputy David De Lisle, a distant relative of the general, says encapsulates his feelings about the conflict.

He and his wife, Anna, are two of the many islanders who have made donations towards dedicated memorials in Guernsey and in France to commemorate the heroic contribution of the Royal Guernsey Light Infantry.

And it was a quote from General De Lisle which Deputy De Lisle decided to include with their dedication on the newspaper’s Guernsey’s Finest Hour campaign’s Roll of Honour.

‘I just felt something should be done to commemorate all the lives lost in that battle,’ he said, when asked why he had decided to donate to the Royal Guernsey Light Infantry Charitable Trust’s appeal, which the Guernsey Press campaign is supporting.

‘It seemed to me the idea that has been put forward [by the trust], for the commemorations in the Town Church and on the land in France, was right.’

Deputy De Lisle had relatives from both sides of his family who fought and died in the First World War.

General De Lisle was born in Guernsey and Deputy De Lisle said he was a distant relative, who had links with the island.

At the time of Cambrai, the centenary of which is this year, General De Lisle was commanding officer of the 29th Division, which included the RGLI

In a letter to the Bailiff he said he wanted to convey to the Guernsey authorities his high appreciation of the services rendered by the unit.

‘Theirs was a wonderful performance,’ he said.