Guernsey

Seventh body of 'Guernsey Eight' found in Hamelin

Charles Machon Image copyright Island Archives, Guernsey
Image caption Charles Machon was in charge of Guernsey Undercover News Service

The seventh body of the so-called Guernsey Eight has been located in a grave in the German town of Hamelin.

Charles Machon was one of a group of islanders who died in prison or camps as a result of the Nazi occupation of the Channel Islands in World War Two.

Dr Gilly Carr, from Cambridge University, has been working on locating all of the deportees.

She said his remains were traced to Hamelin graveyard after uncertainty over whether they were moved in 1950.

Secret news

Nazi German forces ruled the Channel Islands from June 1940 until May 1945.

Mr Machon was in charge of the Guernsey Undercover News Service (Guns) - a loose collection of people who secretly listened to the BBC News on home-built radios or sets they had not handed in. They shared news with other islanders.

In May 1944, he was sent to Rheinbach prison in Germany, and moved to Hamelin prison four months later, dying there on 26 October.

Dr Carr said he died "because of a stomach ulcer".

She said: "He needed special food, and that was not provided in prison, so he didn't last very long."

Image copyright Bernhard Gelderblom
Image caption Charles Machon's grave has been located in Am Wehl Cemetery, Hamelin
Image copyright Gilly Carr
Image caption Guns produced a newsletter by secretly listening to BBC News, which was banned in the Channel Islands under Nazi occupation

Dr Carr said an investigation by her research assistant, Rod Miller, revealed the Guernseyman had been buried in the Lower Saxony town of Hamelin.

However, it had been previously uncertain if his remains were moved when a number of bodies were transferred elsewhere in 1950.

Also, many gravestones were removed or laid flat in 1973 "because then it would be easier to mow the lawn, which would not be allowed today. His stone was one removed."

She said: "According to a cemetery handbook, Mr Machon's was not one of those [bodies] that was moved, which meant that his body was in the graveyard all along."

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