GUERNSEY MILITARY
VEHICLE GROUP

Dedicated to restoring and preserving military vehicles

Liberation Tour (May 2010)

US Navy Jeeps at the 2010 Liberation Tour Campsite (click on image to view larger picture on Flickr)
Pair of US Navy Jeeps at the 2010 Liberation Tour Campsite.
(view a larger version of the above picture on Flickr)

During May 2010 the Guernsey Military Vehicle Group hosted a tour to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the Liberation of the Channel Islands from German occupying forces.

Liberation tours have been held every 5 years since 1980 and they continue to attract Military Vehicle Trust (MVT) (http://www.mvt.org.uk/) members, Invicta Military-Vehicle Preservation Society (IMPS) (http://www.imps.org.uk/) members and military vehicle enthusiasts from far and wide.

As normal the tour made camp at La Vaugrat campsite from where the Guernsey Military Vehicle Group provided entertainment, a watering hole and a mustering area for vehicle movements.

You can see photographs taken at the 2010 Liberation Tour Campsite in our Flickr "Liberation Tour Campsite (May 2010)" photo set (https://www.flickr.com/photos/gmvg/sets/72157625973347147/).

We would like to thank all of those who participated in the tour. Hopefully we will do it all again in 2015 for the 70th Anniversary!

A diary of the tour's main events can be found below.

Monday 3rd May 2010

The tour commenced on Monday 3rd May with the arrival of North Staffordshire Military Vehicle Trust (http://www.northstaffsmvt.co.uk/) members and the Dutch Dispatch Riders.

Wednesday 5th May 2010

Wednesday 5th May was a busy day for the Guernsey Military Vehicle Group as the majority of the visiting vehicles and owners arrived on boats from Weymouth, Poole, Portsmouth and St Malo. St Peter Port Harbour was a humdrum of activity as the visitors were met and escorted by local members (quite a sight on Guernsey's narrow roads). The evening was rounded off with drinks and some hearty grub, giving visitors and locals a chance to catch up as many had not seen each other since the last tour in 2005.

Thursday 6th May 2010 (Fortification Excursion)

Vehicles parked by the Naval MP3 Observation Tower (click on image to view larger picture on Flickr)
Some of the vehicles that took part in the Fortification Excursion on 6th May 2010 parked by the Naval MP3 Observation Tower at Pleinmont.
(view a larger version of the above picture on Flickr)

Thursday 6th May was set aside for an excursion around the island's more accessible German fortifications. The first port of call was Fort Hommet's 10.5cm Casemate bunker (http://www.festungguernsey.supanet.com/10_5cm_jager_casemate.htm) and the recently excavated M19 mortar bunker (http://www.steve-powell.co.uk/festung/Stp%20Rotenstein/M19/index.html) also at Stutzpunt Rotenstein. The excursion then continued on to La Houguette Primary School where lessons were temporarily disrupted as the excited children looked around all the different vehicles. The visit to La Houguette Primary School was combined with a visit to the nearby No.4 gun emplacement of Batterie Mirus (http://www.festungguernsey.supanet.com/batterie_mirus.htm). The day was broken up with a picnic lunch on the Pleinmont headland and a look around the restored Naval MP3 Observation Tower (http://www.festungguernsey.supanet.com/MP3.htm) at Pleinmont. Guernsey Armouries (http://www.cwgsy.net/community/guernseyarmouries/) then re-enacted the firing of the 22cm gun at their own restored site of the No.3 gun of Batterie Dollmann (http://www.festungguernsey.supanet.com/batterie_dollmann.htm). The adjacent motocross track was also explored by the visiting motorcycle riders from Holland (much to the amusement of others).

You can see photographs taken during the Liberation Tour Fortification Excursion in our Flickr "Fortification Excursion (06 May 2010)" photo set (https://www.flickr.com/photos/gmvg/sets/72157625973240437/).

Friday 7th May 2010

Friday 7th May was a free day for people to explore the island as they pleased. Some of the visitors gave up their day to attend, with their vehicles, two infant schools and a retirement home (which certainly put a smile on the resident's faces). The day was rounded off with a Vin D'honneur at the campsite, with special guests: veterans from the Liberating Task Force 135. A barbeque then followed with entertainment provided by local singer Lee Rosete. All seemed to be going well until the generator cut out and all power was temporarily lost. One generator and about 8 men later normal service was resumed!

Saturday 8th May 2010 (Liberation Festival of Transport)

Rolls Royce at the 2010 Liberation Festival of Transport (click on image to view larger picture on Flickr)
Field Marshall Montgomery's Rolls Royce at the 2010 Liberation Festival of Transport, held at Saumarez Park on 8th May 2010.
(view a larger version of the above picture on Flickr)

On Saturday 8th May the Liberation Festival of Transport was held in Saumarez Park. This event raised £5,000 for the Help for Heroes (http://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/) charity. In addition to all of the local and visiting military machinery the festival included vehicles from other local car clubs. One very special car that had made the journey over from the UK was Field Marshall Montgomery's Rolls Royce. This vehicle is usually on display at the Royal Logistic Corps Museum (http://www.rlcmuseum.co.uk/) in Surrey. Other entertainment at the festival included a paintball range, put up (for the kids amongst us) by the Parachute Regiment.

You can see photographs taken at the Liberation Festival of Transport in our Flickr "Festival of Transport (08 May 2010)" photo collection (https://www.flickr.com/photos/gmvg/collections/72157625957045185/).

Videos of the Liberation Festival of Transport 2010 can be viewed on the Guernsey Military Vehicle Group's YouTube Channel» (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLW_FTxzHn0xu8hRcd6pKPILutoTELnWsD)

Sunday 9th May 2010 (Liberation Day)

2010 Liberation Day cavalcade (click on image to view larger picture on Flickr)
Cavalcade through St Peter Port on Liberation Day 9th May 2010.
(view a larger version of the above picture on Flickr)

Sunday 9th May was the day everyone had been waiting for - Liberation Day and the Liberation 65th Anniversary Cavalcade. As normal the vehicles mustered at Pembroke Bay, where there was a strong North Westerly wind blowing in off the sea. Those sheltering behind vehicle doors were relieved, those in jeeps were not so lucky! It was quite a sight to witness 113 military vehicles winding their way around the North of the island into the capital of St Peter Port. Once in St Peter Port the vehicles were met by thousands of islanders waving and cheering. If there is something Guernsey knows how to do well, it is putting on a good Liberation Day, celebrating, but also not forgetting the true meaning of the occasion 65 years ago. Everyone was then free to spend the rest of the day soaking up the atmosphere in the town. The day's celebrations came to an end with a firework display over Castle Cornet.

You can see photographs taken on Liberation Day in our Flickr "Liberation Day (09 May 2010)" photo collection (https://www.flickr.com/photos/gmvg/collections/72157625957084953/).

Videos of Liberation Day 2010 can be viewed on the Guernsey Military Vehicle Group's YouTube Channel» (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLW_FTxzHn0xt-BwSoT4Z9qcVoDfrWBL4V)

Monday 10th May 2010 (Sark Liberation Day)

Sark's 2010 Liberation Day celebrations (click on image to view larger picture on Flickr)
Sark's Liberation Day celebrations on 10th May 2010.
(view a larger version of the above picture on Flickr)

Monday 10th May was the island of Sark's Liberation Day. All those that braved the rather choppy crossing (in a bracing force 6 wind) enjoyed the festivities put on by one of the smaller islands in the Bailiwick.

You can see photographs taken at Sark's Liberation Day celebrations in our Flickr "Sark Liberation Day (10 May 2010)" photo set (https://www.flickr.com/photos/gmvg/sets/72157626097221226/).

Tuesday 11th May 2010

The tour culminated on Tuesday 11th May with a meal held at the Peninsula Hotel, where many of the visitors had chosen to stay. The hotel laid on a good spread, including a variety of sea food and the proverbial roast dinner. The evening was rounded off with live music followed by speeches from Stewart Dyer (Guernsey Military Vehicle Group - Chairman), Rick Brouard (Guernsey Military Vehicle Group - Secretary) and Paul Bourgaize (Guernsey Military Vehicle Group - Show Secretary). It was these individuals, along with many others behind the scenes, that organised this tour. A tour that many participants claimed was a very successful and memorable event. Many thanks also to Preston Isaac and Jim Baxter for their kind words of appreciation during the evening.

Prizes awarded during the tour