GUERNSEY HISTORY 

25th August 1945
The post-Occupation military government was disbanded

The Channel Islands’ political recovery from the Occupation of the Second World War was swift, even if the physical scars of the Germans’ extended visit remain. After 90 days of direct British military rule, the interim military governments of Guernsey and Jersey handed control back to the people. Civil service staff resumed the roles they had held before the start of the war.

Guernsey’s new Lieutenant-Governor, Major-General Philip Neame VC, arrived on the morning of the 25th August 1945 as the king’s representative on the island. He had travelled from the mainland on a destroyer, the Brocklesbye, and arrived at St Peter Port just before noon with his family.

The guns that the German forces had installed at Castle Cornet were fired in his honour, while, on Jersey, Sir Arthur Edward Grasett was sworn in as his equivalent on that island.

Their effective predecessor, Brigadier AE Snow, who had accepted the Germans’ surrender, had diligently continued in his role as head of government until the very last moment. Just the night before handing back control, he had got into diving gear so he could check the progress of repairs being made to St Peter Port harbour to fix the damage caused by the German invaders.

Financial woes

The civilian government had a difficult rebirth. One of its first tasks was to work out how it would repay its war debt to the mainland. This was set at £7m, including around £1.5m that would be needed to rebuild damaged and destroyed property on Guernsey. There would be no money to compensate anyone who had suffered financially or lost their homes as a result of the war.

At the time, this was an extraordinary sum of money, and the States had no choice but to introduce higher rates of income tax. Before the war, earnings had been taxed at just 10.5 pence in the pound which, with 240 pennies in an old pound, was a rate of just over 4%.

Jurat John Leale, president of the Finance Committee, said that islanders would just have to grit their teeth and bear it, as they had done through five years of occupation. Leale had previously headed Guernsey’s Controlling Committee through most of the war.

Category: Guernsey History | Other events tagged ,

Check out The Sarnian’s email newsletter for Guernsey history, features, puzzles and pictures. It’s also the first place where you’ll find out about the Sarnian series of books, including sneak previews and discounts.

We will never sell your data to third parties, and there’s an unsubscribe link in every email, so you can leave whenever you like.

What else happened in Guernsey in August?

Guernsey history newsletter

Check out The Sarnian’s email newsletter for Guernsey history, features, puzzles and pictures. It’s also the first place where you’ll find out about the Sarnian series of books, including sneak previews and discounts.

We will never sell your data to third parties, and there’s an unsubscribe link in every email, so you can leave whenever you like.

* indicates required

The Sarnian

The Sarnian Book 1: Dead in the Water

A body on a beach, an impossible alibi and an unstoppable race against time!

Check out the first book in The Sarnian series, set on the Channel Island of Guernsey.

Click here to get your copy today…

October in Guernsey through the years…

The first lighthouses are built on the Casquets

30th October 1724

Sir Charles Hayward buys Jethou for £40,000

23rd October 1971

Hitler orders Channel Islands' fortification

20th October 1941

Channel Television sees off rival broadcasters

16th October 1992

Commercial radio station Island FM launches

15th October 1992

Sarnian secrets

Sign up to The Sarnian's occasional newsletter for updates on your favourite characters and locations, to go behind the scenes on the writing process, and for early-bird discounts on every new book. We promise not to share your details with anyone else, and you can easily unsubscribe whenever you choose.
* indicates required

Search the archiveWarning