On Tuesday the 9th of May 2017, Guernsey will commemorate the island’s liberation from Nazi German occupation 72 years ago. Liberation Day is an important day in Guernsey’s calendar and there are numerous events for both locals and visitors to enjoy across the bank holiday weekend and on Liberation Day itself. For visitors with an interest in history it is a fantastic weekend to visit, as many of the island’s WW2 attractions and museums host special events and tours and the St Peter Port seafront is turned over to classic military vehicles, parades, music and dancing.
Here’s a selection of events taking place over this year’s Liberation Day long weekend:
- Saturday 6th May - German Naval Signals HQ Tours (2pm, 3pm, 4pm). A chance to tour the underground bunker that served as the Signals Headquarters, transmitting radio messages using the famous “Enigma” machine right up until May 9th 1945.
- Sunday 7th May – Open Day at Pleinmont Observation Tower (2-4.30pm). A chance to tour the bizarre-looking five storey concrete German observation tower (Marine Peilstand 3)on the south west tip of Guernsey. The tower was used by the German Navy for direction and range-finding for their coastal defence batteries.
- Monday 8th May – Heroes of the Occupation talk at the German Occupation Museum (9.30-10am). Join museum director Richard Heaume for a half hour talk before the museum’s opening about the many heroes of Guernsey’s Occupation, including commando raiders, resistance fighters and local heroine Marie Ozanne.
- Tuesday 9th May – St Peter Port Seafront events. From 8.45am onwards, the seafront in town will be the centre of the island’s Liberation Day commemorations and celebrations. Featuring helicopter fly-pasts, the annual Liberation Day parade, markets, tours of Royal Navy patrol boats, 1940s music and dancing in the Homefront Marquee on Crown Pier, music at Castle Cornet and the Lib Rock music stage, proms and culminating in a spectacular firework display, there is a great deal to choose from
Head over to the Guernsey Liberation Day website for further details and a more detailed itinerary of all that will be happening in our island’s celebration of freedom.
Images provided courtesy of (and copyright retained by) Visit Guernsey and The Guernsey Event Company Ltd.