St John commemorates and celebrates Liberation 75

Liberation Day took a very different form this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and the lock-down restrictions which remain in place in the island, but St John Ambulance Guernsey still marked the occasion in a number of different ways.

In the week leading up to Liberation Day St John shared stories of the Occupation through a series of videos featuring photographs taken by Reg Blanchford on a camera which he kept hidden from the Germans.      

The St John Ambulance Guernsey ‘Service Colour Party’ marked Liberation Day by dipping the standards of the Emergency Ambulance Service and the St John voluntary sections.

Representatives from St John traditionally take part in the annual Liberation Day Church Parade and inspection on the seafront in St Peter Port, but like many other aspects of Liberation Day the parade was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic and lock down measures currently in place.

Deputy Chief Ambulance Officer Dean de la Mare and long serving volunteer Alan Stevens were filmed separately dipping the flags and the video was shared on the St John social media pages.

Meanwhile eighteen volunteers delivered around two hundred Liberation Day care parcels to people around the island.The parcels were organised by Kim Marquis, with items donated by the community and designed to reflected the Red Cross parcels which were handed out to starving islanders in the last months of the war.

 

During the Liberation weekend the Emergency Ambulance Service responded to three separate road traffic collisions. In each case one patient was transferred to the Emergency Department following assessment and treatment on scene.

 

The ambulance service also responded to a number of medical and trauma cases, plus transfers to the airport for medivacs.

With public events cancelled people stayed at home with many holding tea parties in their front gardens. Crews reported seeing islanders cheering and waving from their  gardens as the ambulances drove by.

The Channel Islands were the only part of the British Isles to be occupied by German forces during World War Two. On 9th May 1945 Guernsey was liberated after five years of German Occupation.