|On the 10th April, 1917 the States of Jersey
appointed a Special Committee of their body to compile a
Roll of Honour of Jerseymen, who had given their lives for
their Country, as also a Roll of those who had served in
His Majesty's Forces, in the Great War.
The task imposed on the Committee was a difficult one,
for Jerseymen were serving on every front, and in every
part of the world, - in the Navy, in the Army and in the
Mercantile Marine; but with the ready assistance of the
local Recruiting Military Authorities and of the Press
and in particular of the Editor of the "Evening Post",
these difficulties have been surmounted.
In now presenting to the public the result of their work,
the Members of the Committee desire to say that no effort
has been spared to make the Rolls as complete and as correct
as possible. The collecting of the many particulars required
has involved much careful research and the Committee would
here wish to place on record their appreciation of the
invaluable services rendered in this direction by Mr.
Ralph Mollet, who has devoted time and labour to ensure
the accuracy of these records.
If omissions there be, the responsibility must rest with
those who, if it was in their power to do so, have omitted
to supply the information repeatedly requested by means
of official notices in the local press.
The only regret is that it has been found impossible
to include some special reference to the career and valorous
deeds of each soldier. The attempt was, indeed, made,
but, with the exception of a few cases, the difficulties
of obtaining reliable information in a war of such magnitude
was found to be insurmountable and the idea had to be
|"A thousand glorious actions, that might claim
Triumphant laurels, and immortal fame,
Confused in crowds of glorious actions lie,
And troops of heroes undistinguish'd die."
The Roll of Honour contains 862 names, - a touching record
of death's toll of the Island's manhood. In that long
list of heroes will be round a representative of nearly
every Jersey patronymic. Jersey's sons have fallen in
well nigh every battle on sea or on land. They took up
arms that we might live in peace. It behoves us to take
care that their noble deeds be kept in lasting remembrance.
The Roll of Service includes over 6,292 names, and gives
particulars of many gallant men who have been wounded
in battle and who have gained coveted distinctions for
valour. It is a record of which Jersey may well be proud,
and can compare favourably with that of any other part
of the Empire.
A Roll of Jerseymen serving in the Mercantile Marine
also finds a merited place. For obvious reasons it is
incomplete. It does not by any means permit us to realize
how large a number of our fellow islanders were engaged
the world over in maintaining the food supply of the nation,
braving untold dangers and suffering countless hardships.
This Memory Book would have been incomplete had it not
included the Roll of Honour of those French residents
in Jersey, who on the declaration of War, readily responded
to the call to join the armies of our great ally. Monsieur
A Jouve, the French Consul, to whose good offices in the
times of stress through which we have just passed, this
island is deeply indebted, has been kind enough to prefix
a few tender words of homage to the memory of his departed
countrymen. May we be permitted to add Jersey's respectful
and sympathetic tribute to those valiant spirits of France.
The frontispiece and cover have been befittingly designed
by a distinguished Jersey Artist, Mr. Edmund Blampied.
In the after-part will be found a brief account, related
by Sergeant Major J Le Breton, of the services of the
Jersey Contingent, (that patriotic little band who volunteered
at an early stage of the war), together with a high appreciation
of their work contained in a letter from their Commanding
Officer to His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor. Another
equally flattering communication as regards the soldier-like
qualities and devotion to duty of the Jersey soldier from
the Commanding Officer of the King's Royal Rifles, is
also inserted. These are testimonies to which our men
can look back with feelings of pride and satisfaction.
Some official notes on the mobilization of the Royal
Jersey Militia at the outbreak of war form a state-paper
of interest and importance, which properly finds a place
in these records, and finally the Deputy for St. Saviour
(Mr. FJ Bois) has been good enough to contribute a brief
but succinct Memorandum, recapitulating the various political
and economical phases through which the island passed
during those terrible years.
The Great War, with all its tragedies, its heroisms,
its prodigies, is vanishing into the past. There exists
even a tendency to forget it; though, but a year ago,
we thought the rest of our lives would be passed in meditating
over the most momentous and eventful chapter in all the
history of humanity. Truly, we live fast in these days.
A great Roman historian held it to be the especial office
of history that virtuous actions be not buried in oblivion.
It is fitting, therefore, that these plain unadorned memoranda
of our men's glorious achievements should be chronicled
for the contemplation and remembrance of this and of future
generations. May they help those who come after us to
appreciate the virtue of self-sacrifice and to kindle
that love of justice and hatred of oppression which make
for freedom and independence, for peace and prosperity.
|"It is the Dawn! the Dawn! The nations
From East to West have heard a cry, -
Though all earth's blood-red generations
By hate and slaughter climbed thus high,
Here - on this height - still to aspire
One only path remains untrod,
One path of love and peace climbs higher.
Make straight that highway for our God."