Ralph Mollet's diary - ultimatum and surrender

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From Jersey Under The Swastika by Ralph Mollet

On Friday 28 June and during the two previous days German planes flew over the Island, very low at times. The shipping continued to leave with cargoes of, potatoes, and the mail steamer left as usual in the afternoon. About 6.55 pm on the 28th, three German planes flew over La Rocque, machine-gunning the district and dropping two 50 lb HE bombs on the road near the Harbour. Mr John Adams (an Air Raid Warden) was killed on his doorstep, whilst Mr Thomas Pilkington and Mrs Farrell were killed by bullets, when sitting on a form in the vicinity.

The planes flew over Samarès, firing as they went; over Havre des Pas the bullets were seen ploughing the sand on the beach; two bombs were dropped on Mount Bingham, killing Mr John Philip Mauger near his house, and damaging many houses near by. Two fell on the Fort and the District Office, and others fell in the Old Harbour, setting fire to many small boats. The planes then went over the Island to St Ouen, returning to St Helier, machine-gunning the Albert and North Piers, dropping bombs on Commercial Buildings, setting fire to Norman's wood-stores. The furze on Fort Regent caught fire and burnt for several days. The planes, after again machine-gunning various parts of the Island, then dropped two bombs on the Yacht Hotel and two on the Pomme d'Or Hotel. Messrs Robert Fallls, Leslie Bryan, and W C Moodie were killed on the piers, and Messrs F W Ferrand and Wm A Coleman in Mulcaster Street. Many other persons were wounded and taken to the General Hospital.

Mr Harold F Hobbs was killed in the Guernsey life-boat when off Noirmont on its way to Jersey-

A telegram reporting the raid was sent to the Home Office; this was the last communication sent to the British Government. Jersey was not declared "an Open Town" by the BBC until three hours after the raid. Many people again left the town to sleep in the country.

On the following Saturday, 29 June, and Sunday, there were several alarms, and everyone was rather nervous and anxious as to what would happen next. All shipping had left the harbour on Friday evening; the cables to Guernsey and England were still in use.


On 1 July, at 5.30 am, planes flew low over the town and airport, dropping copies of an ultimatum. One landed in Bath Street and two at the airport. The police of St Helier and Mr Roche, Controller of the airport, took them at once to the Bailiff. The message was as follows :-

1 July, 1940

The German ultimatum

These were the terms of the German ultimatum dropped from the air on Jersey on the morning of 1 July 1940:-

To the Chief of the Military and Civil Authorities, Jersey (St Helier).

  • 1 I intend to neutralize military establishments in Jersey by occupation.
  • 2 As evidence that the Island will surrender the military and other establishments without resistance and without destroying them, a large White Cross is to be shown as follows, from 7 am, July 2nd, 1940
a In the centre of the air port in the East of the Island
b On the highest point of the fortifications of the port
c On the square to the north of the Inner Basin of the Harbour
Moreover all fortifications, buildings, establishments and houses are to show the White Flag
  • 3 If these signs of peaceful surrender are not observed by 7 am, July 2nd, heavy bombardment will take place
a Against all military objects
b Against all establishments and objects useful for defence
  • 4 The signs of surrender must remain up to the time of the occupation of the Island by German troops
  • 5 Representatives of the Authorities must stay at the air port until the Occupation
  • 6 All Radio traffic and other communication with Authorities outside the Island will be considered hostile actions and will be followed by bombardment
  • 7 Every hostile action against my representatives will be followed by bombardment
  • 8 In case of peaceful surrender; the lives, property, and liberty of peaceful inhabitants are solemnly guaranteed

The Commander of the German Air Forces in Normandy, RICHTHOFEN, General.

Court and States meet

The Bailiff immediately summoned the Royal Court at 9.30 am, and the States to meet later. The States then made an Act to comply with the terms of the ultimatum.

Copies of the translation of the ultimatum were printed and posted up in all parts of the Island with the following footnote:-

"The States have ordered this Communication to be printed and posted forthwith, and charge the inhabitants to keep calm, to comply with the requirements of the Communication, and to offer no resistance whatsoever to the occupation of the Island."

Large white flags were hoisted on all public buildings, and white flags of various materials were flown from the majority of the houses, whilst white crosses were painted in the Square and at the places mentioned in the ultimatum.

Jersey with her centuries of attachment to the British Crown, was forced reluctantly to surrender to the enemy.

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