In the Introduction, Stephen explains the geography and history of the Islands, which are closer to France than to England. They are British Crown Dependencies and inhabitants are British citizens. Chapter One sets the scene and goes into detail about the different regiments, corps and units with which the men of the Channel Islands served, with biographies of those who died. There is also a section on the Women of the Channel Islands and their part in the war.
I was fascinated to learn in Chapter two that there was a Prisoner of War Camp for German prisoners on the Island of Jersey at Les Blanches Banques. The camp had running water, and electric lighting – facilities that many of the neighbouring houses did not have at that time. It opened on 20th March 1915 and closed in October 1919.
Chapters three, four and five deal with 1916 – when Conscription was introduced – 1917 and 1918. Chapter six is entitled “Red Cross nurses from the Channel Islands”, Chapter seven covers War Memorials and lists all those from the Channel Islands who lost their lives during WW1. Chapter eight those who died after the Armistice.
Stephen Wynn gives detailed biographical information about many of those from the Channel Islands who were involved in WW1. He mentioned that in his opinion there is sufficient material about the Women of the Channel Islands in the Great War to merit another book and I do hope that comes to fruition. With illustrations throughout and an index, Stephen’s book is a fitting tribute to the men and women of the Channel Islands during the First World War. He also raises an interesting question in the final chapter of the book – “what criteria was used to decide who should be included as a casualty of war?”
I found a great deal of interesting facts for my weblogs and Facebook pages and will spread the word about this book which is a must for anyone interested in the history of the First World War.
“The Channel Islands in the Great War by Stephen Wynn” (Pen & Sword, Barnsley, 2019). For further information please see https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/
Lucy London, March 2019