James Marr

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L James Marr (1918-2009) was one of the leading Guernsey historians of the 20th Century.

He was born in Les Canichers, St Peter Port in April 1918. Educated at the States Intermediate School and De La Salle College, Les Vauxbelets.

He started his teaching career at St Sampsons Secondary School. On the outbreak of World War II he joined the army, and saw service in France, North Africa, Italy and Austria. After the war, he joined the staff of Hackney Downs, heading the Department of Economics and Political Science, as well as teaching history.


On his retirement in 1978, he began his research which led to his History of the Bailiwick of Guernsey published in 1981. This was followed Guernsey People in 1984, intended as a companion to his History - the first attempt at a Biographical Dictionary of Guernsey. A second volume of biographies of notable islanders, More Guernsey People, was published by the Guernsey Society in 1991, and a second revised edition of his History of the Bailiwick was published by the Guernsey Press in 2001.

As well as the above, he also wrote Bailiwick Bastions, a historic review of the island's fortifications; Bailiwick Harbours and Landing Places telling the story of the island's havens' historical growth and anecdotes about them; Guernsey Between the Wars: an Islander recalls his Youth, his memoirs of the inter-war years; and Two Men and a Woman, a historical romantic novel.

Marr was also an enthusiastic member of the Guernsey Society, he served on the Council, and he was a regular contributor of articles to The Review.

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