The family which evacuated before the Occupation and then changed their minds and returned

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Evacuees who
changed their minds


The Le Marquand family's First Tower shop with their van outside

Thousands of islanders were faced with the dilemma of whether to evacuate to England or remain in Jersey when invasion by Germans threatened in 1940, but few evacuated and then changed their minds and returned

Le Marquands

One family which did was the Le Marquands, of A R Le Marquand Suppy Stores at First Tower. The family decided when faced with the evacuation dilemma that the head of the family should remain in Jersey to keep their shop running, but that his wife Mary, mother Elizabeth Howe and her sister Iris, and children Geoffrey and Anne would leave, and travel via Portsmouth and Liverpool to Canada, where they would stay with relatives.

The family travelled in the anchor chain locker of a coal boat bound for Portsmouth, even though Mr Le Marquand had paid for them to occupy a crew cabin, but attacks on their destination port by German bombers caused the captain to divert to Plymouth.

After they arrived the Le Marquands took the train to Southampton and bought tickets to Liverpool, only to change their minds after phoning home and being told by Mr Le Marquand that he did not believe the Germans would come to Jersey. Mrs Le Marquand and her two children returned to Jersey on the Isle of Sark just five days after setting out.

They got back to the island as German bombing raids and leaflet drops announced the impending arrival of the occupying forces.

It was not long before lack of supplies forced Mr Le Marquand to close his shop and hide his van behind bales of straw at his parents’ home on Mont Cochon. The family went to live at Mrs Howes’ home in Bellozanne Road, to prevent the Germans from occupying it. Mrs Howes and her sister spent the war in Sidmouth, having decided against continuing to Canada.

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