Home made Radio

Contributed by German Occupation Museum

A home-made radio, used to tune in to the BBC in German occupied Guernsey during WWII. © German Occupation Museum

Many who were caught using these radios were imprisoned for 6 months in German occupied Europe.This home made radio is one of many to have been constructed by Guernsey residents during the Occupation of the Bailiwick by German forces from 1940 to 1945. Anyone caught using one risked deportation to a prison in German-occupied Europe. Notwithstanding this threat, telephones and other equipment were cannibalised to make the devices, so that the population could listen to the BBC and stay informed of progress against the enemy. They were then cunningly hidden. This one was disguised as a chip basket, used for exporting tomatoes. Others were hidden in beds or disguised as light switches. There are still people around today who easily recall the fear associated with using them. However they also remember the elation of hearing Winston Churchill at 3pm on May 8th 1945 saying 'our dear Channel Islands are also to be freed today'. Guernsey was liberated the following day and Sark the day after.

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