A 1938-1940 timeline

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1938-1940 timeline


Diver Jean Gilbert

These highlights are taken from the yearly reviews in Evening Post Almanacs


  • 2 January – Fire at Greve de Lecq, Mr Alluto’s tearooms destroyed
  • 5 January – Public meeting at Town Hall regarding presentation for HMS Jersey when launched
  • 12 January – Outbreak of foot and mouth disease at Broadlands, St John, followed by another a week later at China Quarries Farm, and then further outbreaks across the island
  • 12 January – Landslides at Mont Cochon and Bonne Nuit
  • 20 January – Jersey beat Guernsey in first rugby inter-insular at FB Fields
  • 9 February – Jean Gilbert fourth in Empire Games high diving at Sydney, Australia
  • 17 February – Jean Hamon washed off rock and drowns while ormering at Portelet
  • 21 March – Air Raid Precautions school opened at Fort Regent
  • 31 March – Jersey Symphony Orchestra concert
  • 24 April – Militia annual camp opens at Les Landes
  • 20 May – Itinerant photographers banned from ‘snapping’ on Sundays
  • 21 May – Jersey Airways private charter from Cannes to Jersey
  • 31 May – Keep fit classes arranged
  • 2 June – Potato glut; loads unsold
  • 14 June – ARP demonstration at Fort Regent
  • 30 June – Colorado beetle scare – insects found on French beaches
  • 6 July – Jersey farmers charter plane to visit Cardiff Royal Show
  • 13 August – Paris-Dinard-Jersey air service inaugurated
  • 14 August – New telephone cable arrives at Plemont
  • 17 August – Visit of 12 RAF Anson aircraft on exercise
  • 26 September – HMS Jersey launched at Cowes by Mrs Coutanche, wife of Bailiff
  • 27 September – First black-out ‘in view of the international crisis’
  • 29 September – Black-out discontinued in view of ‘more hopeful’ international situation
  • 3 October – ‘Terrific gale’ causes damage in town and country, tomato crop suffers
  • 6 October – Arrival of first trainees at Army Technical School at St Peter
  • 20 October – Large scale ARP demonstration on Victoria Avenue
  • 28 October – Workman killed by falling rubble working on demolition of Plaisance before opening of Howard Davis Park
  • 4 November – Jersey Airways plane crashes: 14 die
  • 12 December – Wing of La Moye Golf Hotel destroyed by fire
  • 21 December – Heaviest snowfall since 1929
The JEC's new Broad Street premises


  • 10 January – Opening of JEC’s new showroom in Broad Street
  • 12 February – Police swoop on gang of safe-breakers wanted by Bournemouth police; two men captured, third gets away, but eventually captured after breaking open safe at West Park Pavilion
  • 14 February – Morel Farm donated to National Trust
  • 25 February – Meeting at Tow Hall of pig-breeders with view to establishing bacon curing industry
  • 4 May – Jersey beat Guernsey in Muratti final in Guernsey
  • 6 May – Oaks FC first football team to fly to Guernsey for match after opening of Guernsey Airport
  • 30 May – Major General JMR Harrison sworn in as new Lieut-Governor
  • 3 June – 1835 loads of potatoes taken to Weighbridge on busiest day of season
  • 7 June – King’s birthday levee at Government House
  • 24 June – Visit by HMS Sheffield
  • 2 July – First visit of Jersey Airways’ new DH Flamingo
  • 10 July – Visit of HMS Jersey for week of social events
  • 1 August – Inauguration of new submarine telephone cable
  • 2 August – Jersey v France in international aquatic gala at Havre des Pas
  • 3 August – Jersey Battle of Flowers
  • 6 August – Weekend visitor traffic ‘enormous’ but down on 1938
  • 31 August – Royal Court registers Emergency Powers Order
  • 1 September – Germany invades Poland. Special session of the States to pass emergency legislation. All air services cancelled
  • 2 September – Militia fully embdied and many emergency plans put into operation. First full black-out over whole island.
  • 3 September – Great Britain declares war on Germany. Full emergency measures put into operation. Issue of gas masks almost completed.
  • 4 September – British and French reservisits ‘rally to the colours’. All places of entertainment closed. Island almost emptied of visitors.
  • 5 September – All competitive football cancelled. Control of various commodities put in place
  • 6 September – French reservists leave the island; affecting scenes on the pier
  • 7 September – Boat service to Weymouth ceases.
  • 11 September – Emergency war committee meeting of St John Ambulance
  • 15 September – Plans prepared for air raid shelters
  • 23 September – Petrol rationing cards issued
  • 30 September – Opening of Howard Davis Park
Skating on Beaumont Marsh


  • 8 January – Rationing of butter and sugar
  • 9 January – Relatives of French soldiers allowed to send them tobacco duty free
  • 20 January – Big freeze, skating on Beaumont Marsh
  • 30 January – ss Jersey Queen attacked by German aircraft
  • 1 February – Jersey artists’ works exhibited at the Museum
  • 4 March – Arrival of Baron Pinoteau, new French Consul-General
  • 14 March – Butchers start first unofficial meatless day
  • 15 March – Lifting of travel restrictions; no permits necessary for travel to UK mainland or other Channel Islands. Stormy opposition at a meeting of the Peace Pledge Union
  • 25 March – Easter Monday. Butter ration increased
  • 2 April – Registration of men up to 25 under the Military Service Act starts but none called up until middle of July
  • 22 April – Licensing hours back to pre-war times
  • 1 May – Jersey Symphony Orchestra concert
  • 13 May – Whit-Sunday. Fine sunny day with no wind. No public holiday owing to the war situation.
  • 25 May – Refugees arrive in fishing boat from Boulogne
  • 26 May – Enemy aliens interned in a camp at Grouville
  • 27 May – Military Appeal Tribunal held at the Royal Court
  • 5 June – Militiaman wounded by revolver bullet at Fort Regent
  • 11 June – Italians interned following Italy’s declaration of war
  • 13 June – Scenes in the Royal Square resulting from potato deadlocki; at the end of the day long strings of loads were taken back to the farms
  • 14 June – Many English residents are leaving the island
  • 15 June – Outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in St Lawrence
  • 16 June – Day of prayer for France held throughout the island. Troops and stores begin to arrive for the defence of the island. There is great anxiety, the German Army having reached the adjacent French coast. Many local yachtsmen assist with their craft in the evacuation of French and British civilians from St Malo
  • 17 June – Several air radi precautions put into operation; women and children to be voluntarily evacuated from St Helier; curfew from 9 pm to 5 am
  • 18 June – Schools closed until further notice
  • 19 June – After a day of wild rumour, the States announced in late afternoon that the British Government had decided to declare the Channel Islands a demilitarised zone. Voluntary evacuation order announced for women and children, men of military age and whosoever else there may be room for on steamers sent by the British Government. Travel expenses of poor people to be borne by the States. Unfortunately the suddenness of the decision flung the island into a panic and long queues were formed by people waiting to register at the Town Hall for accommodation on the boats.
  • 20 June – The evacuation proceeds on this and on subsequent days. The piers are crowded with people and many boats, including colliers, leave filled to capacity. In the town everyone appears anxious and bewildered, not knowing exactly what to do. During the morning the Bailiff and Judge Pinel address crowds in the Royal Square and appeal to them to remain in the island. Hundreds of houses and farms are abandoned, also cars, cycles and domestic animals.
  • 21 June – The Lieut-Governor and the Militia leave the island. The Animals Shelter announces that over 5,000 dogs and cats have been destroyed in the past four days.
  • 22 June – The island is recovering from its shock and life is more normal; shops that were shut are being reopened. Potatoes are being shipped again. Island cabinet formed composed of several departments. The Morning News closes down.
  • 24 June – The King sends a message of assurance to the Channel Islands.
  • 26 June – Another outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease
  • 27 June - German reconnaissance flights over island. Curffew abolished but black-out is to be strictly observed
  • 28 June – Air raid
  • 1 July – German planes flew over the island very low early in the morning and dropped messages calling upon the island to surrender.
  • 2 July – The German Occupation has started.
  • 24 July – The Dispensary being reopened as purely a maternity home. News from the other Channel Islands indicates that life is going on much the same as in Jersey
  • 29 July – Serious accident in Hill Street when two vans collide; both drivers are badly injured. German Commandant declares that the public must use the roads properly.
  • 10 August – Census taken. Figures subsequently published show that the total population is 41,101, a decrease of 9,361 compared with the census of 1931.
  • 26 August – German authorities give warning that lights showing at night will be fired at. Serious car smash in David Place
  • 30 August – German authorities prohibit all dancing.
  • 3 September – Second year of war commences. Rabbit craze continues and the EP offers prizes for heaviest buck and doe.

And so it continued for almost another five years, as, on the one hand, the Evening Post continued to record the daily life of a small island community, but also the impact on that community of being subjugated to an enemy power

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