Guernsey Society

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Society Aims

The Guernsey Society aims are to promote, maintain and stimulate interest in all matters concerning the Bailiwick of Guernsey, its past, present and future - and keeping alive the Spirit of Guernsey both in the islands and overseas

  • Publish The Review of the Guernsey Society three times a year - a high quality magazine with articles on Guernsey's past, present and future
  • Organise meetings - both formal and informal - in Guernsey, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere
  • Provide a network for anyone with an interest in Guernsey[1]

History of the Society

The Guernsey Society was formed in 1943 to represent the interests of the island to the British Government during the German Occupation, and to establish a network for Guernsey evacuees in the United Kingdom.

The Society was the idea of three Guernseymen based in London: Sir Donald Banks, Air Commodore Henry Le Marchant Brock and Colonel Guy Durand Ozanne. Banks became the first Chairman, and Brock became the first Secretary. Other founder members include: actor Barry Jones, Professor John Le Patourel, Professor Herbert Fleure, Phoebe Broome, Very Rev Douglas Carey, Vincent Grantham, Dr Francis Hardy, Dr Charles Sundell, Edward Gibson Fleming, Captain William Arnold and Commander Esten de Jersey[2].



The Society has published a regular magazine since 1945. The Bulletin appeared eight times during 1945 and 1946. It became Quarterly Review of the Guernsey Society in January 1947, and continued until 1971, when the frequency was reduced to three times a year, and the title changed to The Review of the Guernsey Society. Since its inception it has published articles from a wide range of respected Guernsey figures including Sir Ambrose Sherwill, Professor John Le Patourel, James Marr, Marie de Garis and TF Priaulx[3]

In the summer 1944, the newly-formed Society was instrumental in organising, together with prominent members of the Jersey Society in London, a symposium in Oxford to start planning for the future of the Channel Islands following their liberation from German Occupation. The result was the publication of a book, Nos Iles, which was widely read by members of the States of Guernsey and States of Jersey, and became known as "the Liberation Army's bible"[4].

The Society has also published a number of books on the island and its history:-

  • Durand, R, Guernsey under German Rule, 1946 - one of the first accounts to be published about life during the German Occupation
  • Eagleston, AJ, Channel Islands Under Tudor Government, 1951
  • Members of the Guernsey Society, The Guernsey Farmhouse, 1963 - a survey of the architecture of Guernsey farmhouses
  • Guernsey Ways, 1966 - a selection of articles from the Review, published to celebrate the 900th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings
  • Marr, LJ, More Guernsey People, 1992 - the sequel to Marr's Guernsey People biographical dictionary (published 1984)

Articles from The Review, as well as its publications, have been influential and widely used as source material for authoritative works on the island's history. Examples include:

  • The Guernsey Farmhouse provided the inspiration for John McCormack's The Guernsey House[5].
  • Marie de Garis' Folklore of Guernsey started off as a series of articles published in the Review during the 1970s[6].


The Society organises regular formal and informal meetings in London and Guernsey[7].

In 2010, the Society launched Donkipedia, a wiki dedicated to the Bailiwick of Guernsey[8].

References and further reading

  1. Society Aims - Guernsey Society web site
  2. Brock, H Le M, Twenty One Years Ago, Quarterly Review of the Guernsey Society, 1964
  3. Foote, S, A Review of the Review, Review of the Guernsey Society, Summer 2010
  4. Read, Brian Ahier, Jersey in London, Seaflower Books, 1994
  5. McCormack, John, The Guernsey House, Phillimore, 1980
  6. de Garis, Marie, Folklore of Guernsey, La Société Guernesiaise, 1975
  7. Guernsey Society web site - Meetings
  8. Donkipedia
  • Brock, H Le M, Twenty One Years Ago, RGS, 1964
  • The Guernsey Society: People and Events 1943-64, RGS, 1964
  • Harwood, Melvyn, The Guernsey Society 1943-1993 - A History, RGS, 1993
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