Updated: Jun 2
Saturday 29th May 2021
As the sutiation prevents us from visiting France at the minute, this years trip to Masnieres had to be cancelled once again until next year. In its place we decided to organise a battlefield tour on Saturday 29th May (when we would have been at Les Rue Vertes) to a number of historic sites associated with the RGLI here in Guernsey.
Starting in the north of the island the tour began at L'Ancresse Common by Pembroke Bay, taking in the parade ground where on 3rd May 1917 the regiment was presented with its colours, bugles and drums in the presence of Lt Gov General Sir Reginald Hart VC.
From here we moved to Grand Rocques and a short stop to see the camp grounds outside the Grand Rocques Hotel, then to Beaucamps School, training and parade grounds, including the Royal Guernsey Militia parade hall which was used by the RGLI and is still in use today.
Leaving the school grounds we travelled to Les Touillets in the Castel Parish and now a large private home. This was once the recovery centre for the returned wounded of the RGLI and by special permission the tour included access to the property.
Following a trip past the battle training grounds of Talbot Valley the tour carried on into town and past No 2 Eaton Place in Les Gravee. This was the house rented by the States of Guernsey in 1917 for General Hart and used as Government House. The tour then proceeded to the Harbour and visited the restricted area of No 6 Berth, the site of the departure in 1917 and return in 1919 of the regiment on the cross channel stream the SS Lydia.
There then followed a short service at the RGLI memorial in St Pauls Gardens, St Annes Place, St Peter Port at 13:00 hours.
During the afternoon there was a complementary guide through the RGLI Regimental Museum at Castel Cornet in St Peter Port and then a final stop at the Fort George Cemetery and the graves of those members of the RGLI buried in Guernsey.