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Europe/Great Britain : Occupied Channel Islands letter form

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Bobstamp
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19 Jan 2015
10:36:29pm
I’m dealing right now with some Red Cross message forms that were used to help people in the Occupied Channel Islands to communicate with friends and relatives in Great Britain. Two of three have no return address but contain messages responding to the original message, and I don’t understand how they could have been delivered. Attached is an image of one of them.

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The letter form came with an envelope which seems to have been the one in which the first message was sent:

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Included was a small information sheet, confusingly from Jersey, not Guernsey:

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Perhaps the envelope and the information sheet were never associated with the letter form, but that still doesn't answer the question about the lack of a return address for the sender. Any ideas?

Bob
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Anglophile
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RPSL, APS, EPA; US, GB, Ireland, British Europe, Italy, Mauritius Classics
20 Jan 2015
08:07:35am
re: Occupied Channel Islands letter form

A guess is that Roy & Amelia Carre registered their local address with the British Red Cross in Chester, so that office could look them up and forward the reply when it was received back via Geneva. Perhaps Roy & Amelia did not trust the Nazis to take note of their address when the message was received in the islands.

Roy & Amelia may have had only a temporary address in Chester. The reply message says "Longing for your return." Perhaps Roy & Amelia lived in Guernsey but were caught in Chester or nearby when the occupation occurred, and had to find temporary lodging. If so, they may have preferred to register an address with the BRC rather than state an actual address of lodging and then miss messages if they had to move on.

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"If this message contained legal advice, it would be followed by a bill."
Bobstamp
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20 Jan 2015
12:32:29pm
re: Occupied Channel Islands letter form

Thank you, Anglophile. I wondered if there was a registry of people who wished to communicate with relatives and friends in the occupied Channel Islands. I hadn't considered the desire for privacy from prying Nazi eyes.

It's possible that Roy & Amelia had been caught in Chester at the time of the occupation, but here's a more specific scenario: They might have been among among the nearly 17,000 Channel Islanders (almost half the population) who were evacuated to Great Britain before the occupation.

The Jersey Bailiff notice is puzzling. I'm thinking that there might have been a central clearing house for these letters in Jersey.

Bob

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malcolm197
21 Jan 2015
08:05:23am
re: Occupied Channel Islands letter form

I'm guessing as usual - but I would think that the only way to get mail to Guernsey from Geneva would be via Germany - and that means the Military post ( no German civilian would write to Guernsey other than to a member of the military). I would suggest that the Bailiff would be the link between the States ( of Guernsey ) Government and the German commandant,and therefore it would be his staff who would deal with external mail.

It should be noted that as well as the Channel Island occupants who escaped to the UK, a number of them were deported by the Germans to mainland Europe for "forced labour", and Deportee Mail is also collected.

Malcolm

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