Jersey

Channel Islands Liberation recreated online

Guernsey woman standing outside house with a sign saying "welcome, at long last liberty" Image copyright G. Holt, US Army Signal Corps
Image caption Elsie Jory celebrating outside her home in Guernsey with a sign painted by her husband, who smuggled it from work in a wheelbarrow to avoid the Germans

An online recreation of the Channel Islands' Liberation in real time has been running on its 75th anniversary.

"Liberation 1945 - As It Happened" broadcast the mission to free the islands from German occupation "had there been social media" during World War Two, the event's organisers said.

Updates were going out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram from 04:50 BST on Friday until 02:00 BST on Sunday.

They were drawn from photographs, diaries and other historical records.

The posts will report on the progress of Force 135, the reactions of people from Guernsey and Jersey, as well as the occupying Germans.

The project has been put together by a team of four local historians, co-ordinated by teacher and former journalist Eric Blakeley.

Mr Blakely, alongside Simon Hamon, Mark Lamerton and Damien Horn, hope to "recreate the tension, excitement, elation and confusion" experienced between 8 and 9 May 1945.

Mr Blakely said by matching the posts with the actual or approximate time events happened, the hope was to convey the Liberation as "people might have experienced it, had there been social media".

The project had been in the works for "quite a long time", but the cancellation and movement online of public Liberation ceremonies in both Guernsey and Jersey had caused them to "usher the project forward", he added.

"We thought that by having something online like this, whole islands could share in the experience that they are going to be missing out on."

Simon Hamon, who owns one of the largest private Occupation archives in Guernsey, said he hoped the project would bring people together to listen in a "collective" manner.

"I'd like people to follow it as often as they can, and think about what they would have done at that time", he said.

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