Immediately prior to the German invasion of the Channel Islands, Jersey had formed the Superior Council, headed by the Bailiff, Alexander Coutanche and in Guernsey the Controlling Committee had been established under the presidency of H.M. Procureur, Ambrose Sherwill.
These two Island Governments administered the two Bailiwicks throughout the entire Occupation, ensuring the population had food and were in good health. However the Islands were not self-supporting, they relied relying on supplies from the United Kingdom. In 1939 Guernsey’s food imports amounted to over 16,000 tons, with Jersey importing close to 20,000 tons.
Within the first few weeks of Occupation, representatives from the Islands travelled under escort to France to buy supplies. The commission continued to operate in Granville until the Allied invasion of France in June 1944; when it moved to St. Malo. This was the last trading port for the Channel Islands, all trade links to France were severed, leaving the islands in a Siege period. Substitute foods were essential to try and bolster these ever dwindling rations until the Red Cross Parcels arrived in late December 1944.
January’s Member Event is a talk “Limpet Stew to Liberation” by CIOS Jersey President and Archivist Colin Isherwood. Please join us Wednesday January 10th 2018 at 8.00pm, in the Société Jersiaise Members Room. The talk is for CIOS members only.
Top image: Queuing for bread in 1944