– School boy memories of the German occupation 28 June 1940 – 9 May 1945
OCCUPATION veteran, Gerald (Gerry) Le Marrec has written his memoirs about his occupation experience starting with the bombing at Le Rocque Harbour on 28 June 1940 – eighty years ago this Sunday.
Gerald, with the kind permission of the Constable of Grouville, John Le Maistre, will be laying a wreath at the exact time of the attack on Sunday 28 June at 7pm by the memorial plaque at the harbour to honour the memories of his neighbours who were killed on that day.
Gerald’s first memory of the occupation started at 7pm on 28 June 28 1940. He was standing with a close friend, Bernie Robert, on one of the two sea walls bordering the main slipway at La Rocque Harbour. They were both seven years old.
The two boys were watching three German Heinkel bombers flying quite low from the direction of France. They were not unduly worried, as the odd German plane had been flying over in recent days, probably reconnaissance aircraft checking possible defences.
Suddenly they heard the whistling and screaming of descending bombs. There were two explosions, one approximately a hundred yards away close in shore. The second exploded in the road just opposite the wall they were standing on, twenty yards away. They either fell or were blown off the wall, landing on the sheltered side. The wall, in spite of the explosion, stood firm and without doubt saved their lives. They escaped without a scratch.
Sadly, three people were killed close by. Major Thomas Pilkington was killed in the open road. Mr Jack Adams was killed outright in his doorway. Having heard the planes overhead, he had stepped out of his cottage just as the bombs struck. The third casualty was Minni Farrel, killed in her kitchen by shrapnel which had blown through her window. Thick black smoke had engulfed their surroundings and they had no idea what was happening to them.
Gerald’s memoirs talk about what happened next on that fateful day eighty years ago and his experiences as a small boy who grow into a teenager during the Occupation.