Guernsey Press

A freedom close to our hearts

THAT the Liberation Day events had a strong Armed Forces theme at their heart is particularly poignant in the light of two key Guernsey military anniversaries this year. Liberation 2017 saw the British Army, Royal Navy and RAF represented on a day the island remembers finally being freed from our five long, dark years of Occupation. Among their itinerary for this important day of remembrance, reflection and celebration – 72 years on from 9 May 1945 – was the Liberation Church Parade. Led by the Band of The Queen's Division, it performed a special anthem in memory of the Battle of Cambrai.


This notorious First World War conflict still lives on in the memory of hundreds of islanders.

It was to take its toll on a generation of Guernseymen in the Royal Guernsey Light Infantry regiment and ultimately their families.

The battle, in a northern corner of France, marks its centenary this year, which is the reason behind the RGLI Charitable Trust's push to raise £30,000 for memorials at home and abroad to the local men's outstanding bravery in our name.

It is also why this newspaper has launched our Guernsey's Finest Hour appeal, to support the Trust's bid to provide these lasting tributes – both at the Town Church where the battalion's colours are still displayed and also near the French town of Masnieres, the scene of the RGLI's heroic fighting.

Next month the island will mark the day the troops waved farewell to family and friends – many for the final time – and departed St Peter Port harbour for the horrors of the Western Front.

Later this year in November the France memorial will be installed.

On a day when we all celebrated our liberation it is fitting we recall the sacrifice of those who have given their lives in this way, defending the rights we enjoy today.

Not only that, but organisers ensured this year's military theme embraced not just what has happened historically in two World Wars, and here in Guernsey, but what is still taking place in conflicts around the world.

Our Bailiwick will never forget how precious freedom is, always.

Donate now:

OUR Guernsey's Finest Hour campaign was set up by the newspaper to help the RGLI Charitable Trust's appeal to raise £30,000 for the memorials.

You can donate in two ways, either directly at Lloyds Bank or by sending a cheque to Chris Oliver, co-founder of the RGLI Charitable Trust.

Donations should be made to Lloyds Bank, St Peter Port, quoting sort code 30-93-73, account number 32700168 and The Royal Guernsey Light Infantry Charitable Trust. Cheques should be made payable to The Royal Guernsey Light Infantry Charitable Trust and posted to the RGLI Charitable Trust, Les Emrais, Ruette des Emrais, Castel, GY5 7YF, tel. 251683.

Inclusion on our Roll of Honour is optional. If you want your reason for donating to appear on the roll, which is updated every few days and appears regularly in the newspaper and permanently on our website, please either email or include a note if sending a cheque, using no more than 30 words for your dedication.

More details of our Guernsey's Finest Hour campaign appear on our website at

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