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24 September 2014
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You are in: Jersey » Features
Friday, 27 June 2003
Liberation Square
Liberation square
Liberation Square

During World War II, the Channel islands were occupied by the Germans.

The islanders experienced five years of German rule, and endured many hardships, including the threat of starvation.

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Liberation Square

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On 8 May 1945, two Royal Navy destroyers arrived in Channel Island waters, and on the 9th May a declaration of unconditional surrender was signed.

The celebrations continued for several days, with people singing and dancing in the streets.

Commemoration

Liberation Square was opened by Prince Charles on the 9th May 1995 to mark the 50th Anniversary of the end of the Occupation. The design of the square signifies freedom, with a sculpture by Philip Jackson as the centrepiece.

The site of Liberation Square is very important - it is in this square that islanders gathered on 9th May 1945, whilst the liberators stood on a balcony at the Pomme D'Or hotel and raised the Union Jack.

A commemoration is held every year, with the Bailiff leading a procession from Howard Davis Park to Liberation Square. Liberation day is an important bank holiday for Jersey people, many of whom experienced the occupation at first-hand.

A plaque at the square reads:
'At this place on 9th May, 1945, advance parties from the Royal Navy and the British Army liberated Jersey from nearly five years of occupation by German forces. They and the return of the British flag were greeted by
thousands of Islanders with intense relief, joy and gratitude.

On the 50th Anniversary of that day, the States and people of Jersey dedicate this new Liberation square to commemorate that historic event and all those whose efforts and sacrifices made it possible.'




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