Letter 1940 June Evacuation of Guernsey – Edwin Le Messurier – Alfred Le Messurier

Letter found in envelope addressed to

A.T. Le Messurier, 27 Aston Hall Lane, Hawarden, Chester.

Here is a link to the wikipedia article about the Guernsey evacuation.

Eda Stringer also copied the letter to send on, and annotated it, so there is the original letter from Edwin, and a copy by Eda.  Her annotations have been inserted in the appropriate places of the letter below:

c/o J. Pierce Esq. Holme View Aglionby Carlisle


My Dear Alf

It is time I wrote to you.  Laura, Nita and I arrived on Sat. last, we left Gu: at 10.20pm on Fri. 28th as soon after the serious raid was over.  For 50 mins we were huddled in the cabin two decks below, and the frightful din of bombs, machine guns and A.A. guns from our ship “Isle of Sark” and cargo boat “Sheringham” made us feel our end was come.  We understand that calls were made by captains for air force from Admiralty.  No bombs actually fell on our ship, but first one dropped by Weighbridge Clock*, demolishing the building, killing a policeman.  All lorries, 2 lines, with produce from jetty to Bridge were set on fire.  Drivers had sought safety under their lorries, these were burnt to death.  Windows of houses and buildings along esplanade & both sides of Avenue were broken.  Stores on Cambridge Berth were set on fire, several cranes blown down.  Planes (9 in number) went in as far as Catel & in by forest, machine gunning roads & cows in fields.  Joe Way driving ambulance was killed, and ambulance was machine gunned.

Henry is in Exeter, he left Gu. yesterday week** with Bank papers & was retained in Exeter.  Brian is with his school & Fulford at Rochdale or Gloham/Aloham??  Daisy crossed over last Thursday*** with her father & mother for Barth?Borth/Perth in N.Wales.  Laurie & Phyllis are still in Gu; we hope & pray they are alive but can’t get any news.  Bank was still standing after the raid & Kings Rd was not touched.  We had trusted the Govt would see to the evacuation of Guernsey people or protect them by Air Force. We had Laurie to tea Friday & he left us at 6 p.m. to go back to the Bank till 11pm & he was to complete balance on the Sat. & we hoped then that arrangements would be made for their evacuation.  For my pension’s sake & Nita’s we had to leave, I was loath to leave him behind.  Le Masurier, Le Couteur, Shayer, Rose, Bartlett, Knight and their wives are all there;  also Bailiff & Royal Court & Clergy are all there.  The Germans it appears landed on Sunday.  What is going to be the end of it all.  We are living in hope of seeing Laurie again.

We brought over some blankets, sheets, pillow slips towels etc. & silver spoons & forks.  Our address is above for the time being.

Laura’s sister came up with us & is with her brother Lewis in Eastbourne – Agnes is with Jack Shaw.  Numbers of Guernsey people are now spread all over England.  S.R (Southern Railway) GuR (G.W. Railway) staff jumped on board our boat about 9 p.m., leaving no one behind.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *