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Sunday, 30 April 2017

GOING GREAT GUNS - REMEMBERING THE RESISTANCE


Occupying Love, inspired by the Guernsey Underground News Service, as featured in the Guernsey Press



The Guernsey Resistance movement, established in 1940, has finally been rewarded with a blue plaque this week in a special ceremony on the island. And no-one is more delighted than the families of the original members, two of whom paid with their lives.

The Guernsey Underground News Service, whose acronym GUNS seems almost reckless now, typifies the strength of spirit of islanders who survived five long years of Occupation by the German Army.

The underground newspaper was the brainchild of Charles Machon, who worked as a linotype operator at the old Guernsey Star (later merged with the Guernsey Press.) He believed that gleaning good  news from illegal radios or hand-made  crystal sets would boost the morale those who had become prisoners on their own island. And he was right.

Unveiled by the Bailiff Sir Richard Collas the plaque was placed outside the Star's old offices in the town's Bordage. 'Lots of memories are so traumatic for people that they are never able to tell their stories,' he said.

As a Guernsey girl now living in Britain, I am thrilled to see members of the resistance given a lasting memorial after so many years.  My own father was evacuated from Guernsey to Oldham in 1940 and later worked as a reporter on the Star.

The story of the island's resistance movement was the inspiration for my novel Occupying Love, featured last year in the Guernsey Press and available on e-book  here. The fictional Guernsey Independent News Association (GINA) is not based on real people but a tribute to everyone who lived, and died, through that time.

Liberation Day will be celebrated on the island on May 9, 2017


4 comments:

Barbara Fisher said...

That acronym really does seem reckless, but I can only admire their fighting spirit. It took an awfully long time to get that blue plaque, still better late than never as my dear old dad would have said.

Guernsey Girl said...

Fighting spirit! That really sums it up, Barbara. The Guernsey Resistance fought without guns, or any visible weapons, but they were the winners...ps I agree with your dear old dad. ;)

GILLIAN MAWSON said...

Thats such great news. Would love to see a photo of the plaque some time as cant get over there this year :) Gill

Guernsey Girl said...

Thank you for sending me a photo of the plaque on twitter, Gillian. I will see if I can reproduce it here!