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The Channel Islands and the Great War
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Guernseymen on the Somme, September 2016

Both Guernsey and Jersey had active militia at the start of the war. Legally, they were not able to be called to serve abroad. However, each island offered to send a contingent of trained (militia) men to join Kitchener's army of volunteers. Both were sent to join Irish regiments then under training in Ireland. More information, including film of the departure of the Guernsey contingent can be found here, and here for Jersey. We also have a Roll of Honour for those who gave their lives on the Somme in 1916.

As part of the the centenary commemoration of the Battle of the Somme, the Guernsey Military History Company, supported by the Guernsey Museums Service, The Guernsey Sporting Club and the British Legion, presented a weekend of activities and demonstrations to give some insight into soldiers lives in camp. Wearing authentic uniforms of the The 6th (Service) Battalion Royal Irish Regiment of 1915 and fully equipped, they were joined by a French "poilu" of the 247th régiment d'infanterie.







Photographs by Mark Bougourd and Liz Walton

Full photosets from Liz Walton & Fran Torode

Guernsey Military History Company on Facebook