04 Jun 2017

Celebrations in Guernsey of the departure of the British Infantry to Cambrai WW1


On the 4th of June, Guernsey celebrated the hundredth anniversary of the departure of the island’s soldiers of the British Infantry to Cambrai during the first world war. Philippe Bas, former Minister, Senator of La Manche and President of La Manche County Council was present to represent France during this very emotional celebration. Here is an extract from his speech:

“It is a great honour for me to come to Guernsey – which has always been dear to the Norman soul, and will always remain so – to be by your side today and commemorate with you the centenary of the departure of the Royal Guernsey Light Infantry, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Henry de la Condamine, for the battlefields of Northern France.

As President of the Department of La Manche and a member of the French Senate, I am your closest neighbour in Normandy, and I feel deeply moved today as I express the gratitude of the French nation to the people of the island of Guernsey. […]

The sons of Guernsey stood against a determined German counter attack during the war and suffered very heavy losses. Almost every family in Guernsey mourned the loss of a dear one. […]

The purpose of these commemorations, as we enact them today, is to continue the fight to ensure that these tragic events shall never be forgotten, and their importance never undervalued. […]

Our devotion to their memory and our ability to pass it on to future generations not only marks our respect for those who sacrificed their lives but, in particular, testifies to our staunch determination to believe in humanity.” Philippe Bas



Guernsey's Bailiff and other island officials