Saturday 6 August 2011

Day Five - Jersey - 16th July 2011 - Jersey War Tunnels - Part Four

Back in part one I mentioned that upon entering the War Tunnels we were given replicas of two Jersey Identification documents. Here are ours.

The mood was very sombre as people completed their visit to the War Tunnels, caught up with the thoughts of what could have happened, many of us present would be leading very different lives. We made our way to the restaurant, for a much needed sit down and cup of something and a light lunch. The sombre mood continued in the restaurant, not just for us, but others who were present. I could not initially understand it, until I looked at the walls.

Across the walls was some information of those Islanders whose lives were reflected upon the Identity Cards. I searched for our first one; Belza Alther Turner. There was no trace of her, I searched again, no there was definitely no information. Slightly disappointed I turned to the second one. Albert Gustave Bedane.

Albert Bedane showed incredible bravery, he paid the ultimate price. He was awarded, posthumously Isreael's highest Holocoust Honour.

On the way out I asked at the desk if there was any information on the fate of Beliza Turner. Nothing has survived. Although born in Canada, whose links were entangled with the United Kingdom. She was more than likely evacuated from Jersey to Germany and did not return. Although perhaps, you know differently?

The whole experience of the visit to the War Tunnels was truly amazing. I would wholeheartedly recommend a visit to them.


  1. Wow. The name tags are a good idea because they really bring it to life. There is a Beliza Turner who married someone named Oldham. But I can't tell what year. Woman are hard to track with the name change... I looked on

    1. Thanks Libby. I will have another look on Ancestry. It could be that she survived the camps and was liberated by the Allies and returned back to Canada. I do hope so.

  2. This must have been a very emotional trip. Thank you for sharing.

    1. It was a very emotional visit. There was a couple with their Grandchildren and every now and again Grandma would stop and explain to the children (around the ages of 8-10) what the exhibitions was about. Then the little boy said "Did they die granny?" Out of the mouth of babes.....

      The emotions in the restaurant were at first unexplained until I looked at the walls. Everyone wanted to see the fate of the person whose replica card they had. I guess if felt kind of complete - a full circle to see what happened.

  3. Glad you posted this. The Underground hospital is indeed a poignant reminder of what was, and could have been. I always recommend a visit. The German presence is still everywhere particularly bunkers now converted into cafes. I remember a young German police team that came over to compete on the island a few years back. We all went for tea at one of the converted bunkers - The Gunsite Cafe, after a while a young German police officer asked "So...what did Jersey do during the War?" Some laughed, some sat mouths agape; I asked him to look around and the penny dropped!
    A friend of mine, Ann just turned 80. She lived in Grouville and remembers hearing planes roaring over in 1940. Her grandfather went outside to see whose planes they were. Ann still remembers with vivid detail the flying glass, the loud explosions that killed her granddad and 2 others who had gone out to look. The Germans bombed several places on the island which kind of tells you how indefensible Jersey was.

    1. Jeremy thanks for stopping by and commenting. I was very taken with the whole Jersey trip, so much so we had another visit their in October. Some things are quite unexplained. I have no idea why I should feel such a pull to the Island, it is lovely, but this feels a really comfortable place. I was dismissive and put it down to simply enjoying the holiday and being fortunate to have visited such an island. Then, about two weeks ago, I was reading a family history document relating to an ancestor - a Will from the 18th Century. When all of a sudden I read "Henry Budd of Guildford and the Islands of Jersey and Guernsey". Well, I was completely surprise and need to do some investigations. Who knows whether the comfortable feeling is because of a connection a couple of hundred years ago or coincidence. I like to think its a family thing!

      I think that to find a modern use out of something from those troubled days of the 1940s has to be a good thing. We went for a drive out along the coast to what is I would call a fresh fish establishment, which was situated in a bunker. The chap was most surprised when we asked if we could look round - hubby observed the crabs and fish and I amused myself with the structure of the building. There have been quite a few Jersey posts since July, with more to come. I hope you will stop by again.


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