Remember children’s wartime evacuation

First published in News

A COMMEMORATIVE plaque will be unveiled at Weymouth Harbour to mark the wartime evacuation from the Chanel Islands.

In June 1940 thousands of women and children from Jersey were evacuated to Weymouth to escape Nazi German occupancy.

Gerald Journeaux was 15 years old when he was put on one of the dozens of boats which brought the refugees across in treacherous conditions overnight.

He will be coming back to the town with a host of Jersey dignitaries and other surviving evacuees for the unveiling of a plaque to commemorate the event.

Mr Journeaux, 89, of Bristol, said: “I was one of the oldest children to get evacuated.

“I came home one afternoon and my mother said we didn’t have time for any tea because we were leaving.

“It was myself, my mother and two brothers – we only took the clothes on our backs.”

He added: “Something like that never leaves you. It lives in my mind all the time and you can’t lose it.

“When we arrived in Weymouth the locals helped us from the boats, labelled us up and sent us on our way.

“The town has always stuck with me – I’ve been back a number of times since that day.”

The plaque will be placed at the quay beside the Pavilion and will be unveiled on November 9 at 2pm.

There will also be a lunch at noon at the RAF Club which is open to anyone who has links with the evacuation.

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