Life in an occupied island

From Jerripedia
Jump to: navigation, search


Life in an occupied island


It did not take long for the majority of the people who remained in Jersey to realise just how different life was to become under German occupation.

German orders

A succession of orders issued by the occupying forces imposed such restrictions as a daily curfew, a switch to Central European Time, a ban on listening to anything other than German radio stations (subsequently relaxed, but followed later on by a ban on all radio use and confiscation of sets), a ban on private use of motor vehicles, a ban on sales of spirits and an order preventing the raising of prices of any commodity.

The Germans, finding shops stocked with luxury goods for the first time since the outbreak of war, went on a shopping spree which was curtailed by restrictions on how much they were allowed to purchase.

Initially rationing followed the pattern already imposed before the Germans arrived, but as the Occupation years went by, restrictions became stricter and stricter, and most foodstuffs would run out by D-day in 1944, when Allied troops reoccupied France and the Channel Islands were completely isolated from German occupied territory.

Billeting of troops

Accommodation had to be found for the occupying troops. This was not a great problem because the island's hotels, which would normally have been full of holidaymakers in the middle of summer, were, of course, empty when the Germans arrived. A large number of houses had also been deserted by those families who evacuated to England.

But it did not take long to become apparent that the large numbers of soldiers and other Germans being brought into the island to defend it against any attempt at recapture could not be housed in the accommodation which was empty, and orders were soon issued to householders to accept troops in their homes at very short notice. International Law forbade the expulsion of home owners if their properties were required for billeting, but many chose to move out and live with friends or family rather than stay and share their homes with Germans.


Restrictions on the use of radios and a subsequent total ban were high on the list of the most hated controls imposed by the Germans on the island community. From the day of their arrival, when radio use was restricted by order to listening to German stations, things went steadily downhill, and ultimately brave Jerseymen were to lose their lives for trying to keep themselves and other islanders aware of the progress of the war by listening to BBC broadcasts on illegal radios.

Legal and financial issues


The Germans

Islanders could keep in touch with relatives through sending and receiving Red Cross messages

The view from England

Personal recollections

Personal tools
other Channel Islands
contact and contributions

Please support Jerripedia with a donation to our hosting costs