Guernsey Heritage Festival
School Poetry Competition – Occupation, Liberation 75 Years
VOTING IS NOW CLOSED. Removing all multiple votes, the adjusted number of votes cast online was 500.
Congratulations to all the finalists- there were 110 entries in all. All finalists will be given an engraved medal and a voucher. The overall prize winner also gets a pyramid trophy engraved with their name and vouchers. I am unsure at this time about the OGH Liberation tea which is also part of the overall prize.
The Liberation 75 Exhibition may still be taking place so all finalists poems will be part of this at Candie gardens at some point in the future.
I am very pleased to announce that there is also a school prize for the quantity and quality of entries to this competition. This prize is awarded to Beechwood.
All poems were read out on the JKT show on Radio Guernsey on Thursday 16 April 2020.
Prizes will be awarded once we are back to normal.
A good poem tells a story and the theme is Occupation and Liberation in the Bailiwick of Guernsey. The poems are not listed in any particular order.
The winning poem is by Lucie from St Martin’s Primary School
In June 1940 our children lined up,
Waiting, waiting, waiting
to be evacuated to safety,
We hoped to see them soon,
Before the Nazis arrived to stay.
On the 28th June the Nazis flew over,
Dropping, dropping, dropping
their bombs as they came,
People ran and sheltered in cellars,
Alas, 33 died that day.
On the 1st of July they took over,
Marching, marching, marching
through our streets in their droves,
With loaded guns ready to fire,
Innocent people were left in dismay.
They imposed their Nazi rules,
Censoring, censoring, censoring
everything we would say or do,
Forcing us into hiding,
All we could do was pray.
We lost a large number of houses,
taking, taking, taking
everything for themselves,
Leaving some homeless and desperate,
With everything taken away.
The island was just like a prison,
building, building, building
fortresses and wire walls everywhere,
No allies could come in or out,
Leaving us feeling somber and grey.
We were trapped with limited food,
Scavaging, scavaging, scavaging
for every scrap we could find,
Black market deals were an option,
If only we could pay.
For 5 long years this lasted,
Praying, praying, praying
this misery will end soon.
Our beautiful isle changed forever,
As we waited for our Liberation Day.
You are Free by Seb from La Mare High School
Do what you want,
When you want.
You’re in a camp,
Watching the world go by,
Dreaming to be free.
Reunited with family,
You were being starved,
Now you can eat freely.
Your summer holidays are free,
Do what you want,
Build sand castles,
And watch the world go by,
You have been liberated!
The ninth of May by Hannah from The Ladies’ College
The ninth of May is the day the soldiers left and stayed away.
They left their boats upon the shore.
They left their guns and so much more.
I ate the sweets, I heard the crowds.
I saw my father walking down,
the high street he’d once known and loved.
That once was covered in the blood, of my closest, dearest friend,
My grandmother, a woman whom for all,
the rules she would bend.
So please just, think before you moan, does your life deserve a ‘groan’?
Think of all of those who died,
some whom to this island are tied.
Live your life, day to day.
But just know that they went away, to fight a fight they didn’t start,
so our freedom we wouldn’t have to part.
The ninth of May is liberation day.
The ninth of May, our island’s day
Forget that Day by Harry from Elizabeth College
The dreaded trench whistle was blown,
Everybody knew what that meant.
The arrogant were the first that leaped over the wall
They were shot, impaled by the bullets of all
They crashed to the ground like a fork dropped on the floor With that horrible sound.
I wish I could forget that day.
Pandemonium struck as the ‘weak’ were killed;
You could hear their wails and need for help.
I had to keep pushing forward and watch my only friend suffering
On soft soil, coated with blood, his pale, white face said it all
Why didn’t I save him?
I wish I could forget that day.
The ignorant cascaded down to their death
You could see their spirits illuminate as they levitated up to god.
If you listen closely, really closely,
You could hear the faint sound of Ares cackle
And the scowl of Aphrodite.
I want to forget that day.
Terror spread among the poor, poor soldiers;
I felt my knees start to tremor.
Forced against my own will to do this
Reluctantly, I pulled the trigger.
Red liquid spurted out of his chest.
I saw his soul rise as mine went down.
Please lord, let me forget that day.
None of us were victorious that day,
I’m haunted by the stress of death.
Shot in the leg for the life that I’ve taken.
I still hear his scream…
It’s ringing in my ear.
Why won’t you let me forget that day?
Liberation by Carmen from The Ladies’ College
At last the sun shines over Guernsey,
At last are people are free,
Joy has spread
families have reunited
happy as could be.
At last are people shall suffer no more,
At last we can foresee,
A happy lively lovely place for our children to grow up in
At last we see the light of day,
A joyous place to be,
A new, exiting, loving place for you and me to see
No fighting, No sadness,
No evil no more.
Just a cheerful, welcoming Guernsey.
We shall never forget this merry day
In which the sun shone over us,
In which the terror was over,
When Guernsey became Guernsey again!
Occupation, Liberation by Sebastian from Beechwood
At the moment we are occupied.
The entire Island is terrified.
We are trapped on this Island, hungry and cold
All the soldiers fighting brave and bold.
But then my radio sounds, Britain has taken Europe over.
I get on my bike and go to my friend and tell him the war is over.
And the next day the British boat is here.
I run all the way down the pier.
The British flags are raised.
I am feeling very dazed.
Once they have signed the papers, the Germans flee.
The whole Island cheers with glee.
Time after Time by Zoe from Melrose
The day had come; war had started,
I could taste fear in the air.
The guns were already shooting.
I was four. My parents told me
to get packed for a journey.
I had only packed a few things
Before the sun was no more.
People were queuing at the harbour
Screaming at the boats, babies bawling
Mum took me to the teacher.
I was taken away
I never saw her again for years to come.
The next moment I can remember
Was on a rocking boat sailing
away from my beloved Guernsey
and my parents.
I didn’t know what the soldiers
Would do to them.
My teacher was as strict as ever,
I was so downhearted to see the island
disappearing from my sight.
After five years of German
occupation I finally came home
But I hardly recognised
those strangers who were my family.
Ringing Freedom by Lara V from Melrose
Silence haunts streets,
No hourly chimes,
Not a word was spoken,
After those fateful times.
No Sunday meetings,
Or candles being lit,
Only brown doors to look at
And empty pews.
I rust away just like the Titanic,
Joints of bronze stiffen,
Quiet and lonely,
I stay tranquil for years.
May the eighth,
People scream and shout,
Not from dread,
But from joy.
The door creaks open,
I watch the hinges slowly move,
And suddenly I chime with pride,
With no rules to abide.
The air smelt of freedom,
Tasted of a new beginning,
As our dear Channel islands;
Kill by Annie from Melrose
The boat was rocking, my feet unstable,
My leather boots, too big.
All I wanted was my mother,
I had no choice we all had to go.
Smoke hung on the bomb ridden docks,
The stench of smoke was unbearable,
We marched down the road,
Fear etched on all faces,
Children crying and dead littered the road.
I wasn’t to know what we had done,
What misery and pain we had caused,
Gunpowder stung my nose.
They rebelled, our signs turned,
V for Victory everywhere,
Officers screamed and shouted.
My job was to kill,
Who was caught,
I did not want to,
My heart would shatter,
As the trigger I pulled.
We took what wasn’t ours,
We stole and rationed those around,
We lived in splendour while others,
Struggled on the cold ground.
Five years later,
My freedom was found,
We piled our guns,
A black pile of death on pain.
We were imprisoned in England,
Before we returned home.
Featuring the worst,
Dreading what I would find.