Escapee Denis Vibert report on early months of the Occupation
On Friday 28 June 1940 the Germans bombed Jersey. Two houses at La Rocque were damaged and three people were killed. The Havre-des-Pas slopes of Fort Regent were hit, and a stick of bombs was dropped on Norman's, which was gutted, Le Sueur's, and Raffray's buildings, and in one of the little bays where yachts were kept, smashing some of those.
More bombs were dropped on the Southern Railway, Victoria Quay, where most of the casualties were caused, although very little material damage resulted. The planes then went on to Guernsey and on their way encountered the Guernsey life-boat which they machine gunned, killing the coxswain's son. After dropping bombs in Guernsey they came back over Jersey and dropped bombs which fell on the Pomme d'Or, the Star, and the Yacht Hotels. The Pomme d'Or was badly damaged and the others slightly damaged.
Air raid alarms
During the next two days aeroplanes passed constantly over and around the island, apparently on reconnaissance. Air raid alarms were frequently sounded, and although no more bombs were dropped, the public were extremely alarmed. On Sunday 30 June 1940 a few leaflets addressed to the governing authorities of Jersey were dropped, demanding the surrender of the island, and requesting the authorities to signify their consent to surrender by exhibiting white crosses on the Weighbridge, and the Royal Square, and by putting white flags on the buildings. These orders were complied with.
Landing near Airport
The leaflets also demanded the officials of the Island to be at the Airport on the following day to meet the Germans on their arrival. On 1 July the Germans commenced their occupation by making a landing in a field near the Airport. Shock troops who were landed then proceeded to the Airport to ascertain that it had not been mined or fortified in any way. Thereafter further German Junkers transport planes landed at the Airport with German military officials and troops.
They were duly met by the Bailiff and others and were driven to town in motor cars, where the Germans took up office in the Town Hall which remained their Headquarters for about two months. The headquarters are now at Victoria College House.
The Germans then proceeded to make a proclamation, which was published in the papers, giving a list of rules and regulations with which the public would be obliged to comply, for example, a curfew at 11 pm, the surrender of armaments, that the German military were to be respected, etc, and saying that if these rules and regulations were observed the property and liberty of the people would not be interfered with. The interior of the Freemasons' Temple was wrecked, however, and everything of value taken away.
People were required to have identity cards with their photographs inside but, owing to the shortage of photographic material, this could not be enforced.