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  • Writer's picturePhil (JWT Admin)

The Road to Liberation - 22nd December 1940

Good morning everyone

We have about 3 Terabytes of files, diaries, maps, photos from WW2. Not all of it is Channel Island focused and much is about the wider Second World War in the British and European area.

This has been proved by members, friends, veterans and researchers. We want to start a new 2021 project to help share this data with you. The first step is to set up a drop-in or pop up a digital library for those based in Jersey. We will be using some free space we have in the tower at Greve de Lecq to set up a digital drop-in area. This will be for you to come and use this library on one of our Mac's or PC's for free. If you bring a USB stick with you, you will be able to transfer anything of interest and take it home with you, for your personal research.

In years to come, we will try and get this all online but due to the costs, it's not possible right now. I will post up a page about this project in the weeks to come

Have a fantastic day!



Above (Top) is a Machine Gun Position at German Resistance Nest South Hill more photos info and maps on the webpage.

Two light Machine Gun 34’s

Two 7.5cm FK 231(f) Guns


Occupation Focus

80 years ago today 22nd of December 1940

Today would be the 175th day of the Islands Occupation with 1,599 days remaining.

"Captain of the steamer* which collided with the ss. Antwerp arrested for alleged sabotage; he was put on parole, then tried, and exonerated. "

*The Antwerp collided with the steamer in fog.

Leslie Sinel

Civilian working at the evening post


Further afield

80 years ago today

22nd of December 1940

After two nights visiting Liverpool the Luftwaffe moved on to Manchester, for the nights of the 22nd and 23rd. 122 people were killed and 426 seriously injured. Below is a statement from Frank Walsh, who had only just left school and was working for Abel Heywood, a printer in the centre of Manchester:

We had only just finished Sunday tea. It was at 6-38 pm on that evening of the 22nd December when the sirens sounded their blood-curdling wailing warning into the cold night air. Many people took to the shelters, but we decided to bed down under the large strong oak table standing against the wall in the living room of Scott Road.

Almost immediately the drone of the plane's engines could be heard overhead. The steady crump of the estimated 233 bombs that were said to have been dropped that first night could be heard exploding throughout the night, along with the many thousands of incendiary bombs that had been strewn across a wide area and many districts.

As the night dragged on, I ventured upstairs once or twice to look through the back bedroom window. Each visit saw the skies over Manchester getting ever redder and brighter as the flames took hold and the fires spread from building to building.

The following morning I cycled to work, arriving on time at 8 o'clock and went straight to the roof to join most of the staff who had managed to get to work, enjoying the best view of the biggest fire ever seen in Manchester. Climbing on to the letter H, you could see the whole of the centre of Piccadilly ablaze from Mosely street to Portland street.

Lever Street was blocked off with fire appliances, but making my way down Newton Street to reach the corner where it joined Piccadilly, all you could see was one mass of flames engulfing the whole row of five-story warehouses on the opposite side – every window alight from end to end – top to bottom, with flames belching from where the roof had been. Like a backcloth to some giant inferno. A sight never to be forgotten by those that witnessed that giant furnace of flame and smoke. This block of buildings is where the Piccadilly Hotel now stands. You could not bear to touch the walls of the building housing the BBC opposite because the bricks were so hot. Firemen were even spraying water on these walls opposite, causing steam to rise skywards.

- only the tower and the administrative block were unscathed


The December book recommendation is "The Americans on D-Day."

This book has 450 dramatic photographs captured in northern France during the first day and week of its liberation and is available on kindle! Click the photo to find out more. It also would make a fantastic Christmas Present.

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