There was little opportunity for active resistance during the German occupation of the Channel Islands 1940 – 45. The smallness of the islands and the sheer numbers of the occupying forces would have rendered such action futile.

The legendary Bailiff of Jersey during those long years, Alexander Coutanche, walked the thin line between cooperation with the Germans and intervening, protesting and negotiating on behalf of the people without bringing greater oppression on their heads. In this way the population were treated tolerably well under the circumstances.

Although direct action against the occupiers was out of the question there were many acts of passive resistance which frustrated the Germans to a greater or lesser degree. One of these was siphoning off available labour for ‘essential’ civilian work, such as road building and improvement. One such result is La Route du Nord from St John’s Village to Sorel, a beautiful, wide sweeping road going from nowhere to nowhere.100_0258

Another was the road ‘improvements’ along Chemin des Moulins (Waterworks Valley), a beautiful road indeed but probably less used now than in its heyday when a number of working water mills made it a hive of industry. The roadside walls along the valley are of tip-top quality and must have tied up fit tradesmen for many months. An enduring legacy to Jersey doing the little it could to slow the march of Nazism.

Further to Letizia’s comment below, here’s the Fawlty Towers sketch in question 🙂

And for Jenny, ‘Don’t tell him Pike‘ 🙂

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