Guernsey German Occupation Museum with Kids

 

Although this UK Channel Island had been demilitarized and secretly classified as an area with no strategic value by the British government, the Germans still chose to bomb the small island of Guernsey on June 30, 1940.
Over 30 people lost their lives that day as many others would in the days to come. Even the local tomato harvest did not escape the destruction as the group of trucks conveying the produce to the harbor was bombed after being mistaken for a military convoy.

Exploring the Guernsey German Occupation Museum with Kids mapSomewhere between 17,000 and 25,000 people left Guernsey in the days that followed the initial attack.
At first, the local government planned to evacuate all of the island’s schoolchildren as well as any of their parents who wanted to join them.
But it soon became apparent that more people planned on leaving the island than first thought and could be carried out safely.

Those in charge soon realized that this could become a problem so they changed their tune and encouraged people to stay if they could. The result was that most of the islanders ended up remaining on Guernsey for the duration of the war.
The island was occupied by German troops for nearly five years before finally freed by the Allies on May 9, 1945.

The Guernsey German Occupation Museum

What started off as one family’s project to chronical the experiences of those who stayed on Guernsey during the occupation became the Museum of German Occupation.
This modest establishment, which received a 2013 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence, documents the local populace’s struggle for survival and shows how they overcame the everyday challenges that were presented by the German occupation.

The well-lit museum contains some dioramas and historical videos that show how difficult life was in those days. The building is home to artifacts like a 4.7CM anti-tank gun, a four-wheel Enigma machine, a gas mask for horses, and even a mini cooking stove made out of scrap metal.
Reprinted copies of newspapers from the period even line the walls so that travelers can easily get an idea of what was going on at the time.Exploring the Guernsey German Occupation Museum with Kids horses
We visited the island on a short shore excursion while cruising the British Isles.We explored the small but highly informative museum -six rooms in total.
Our kids were surprised to discover that there was a German internment camp on the island that housed over a thousand prisoners and that the island even printed its own currency during the occupation.

After ending the museum visit, we strolled around the St Peter’s  Port area and admired the quaint private homes that sported names instead of numbers.

 

Autism Travel Tips

  • Those visiting the museum should allow themselves several hours to see everything that the site has to offer. Of course, the friendly staff members are glad to answer any questions that their visitors might have.
  • The Museum can be reached by local bus from the nearby village or by cab from the port area for those who visit on a cruise ship shore excursion.
  • Visitors that come by car will be happy to learn that there is free parking nearby as well.
    There are restrooms in the building and an on-site café so guests here need not leave until they have gotten their fill of the exhibits.
  • Between the months of April and October, the museum is open every day from 10 am to 5 pm. From months of November to March, the hours are reduced significantly as the building only stays open until 1 pm. The site is also closed on Mondays during this period.
  • The admission costs remain the same year round at £5 ($7.69 USD) per adult and £2.50 ($3.84 USD) per child.

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