On This Day in Trinity House History – 19 June

1940

Trinity House Evacuates Alderney during the Second World War

In June 1940 the Cowes District relief by THV Vestal (formerly the first Patricia) was in progress, when she was suddenly ordered to the Channel Islands to evacuate “all Lightkeepers and their families and anyone else who wished to come.”

With no other means of evacuation promised, several islanders also came on board. The unaccompanied men occupied the lightsmen’s berth; couples occupied the officers’ berths or the large officers’ mess room; groups of young women kept together in spare cabins and the officers’ cabins.

The officers and crew slept where they could. In the stewards’ two-berth cabin were put a crippled girl, a heavily pregnant woman and the Alderney District Nurse. In the biggest spare cabin, formerly the state room of the Elder Brethren, were put six small children, three at each end of the big double bed, while their mothers slept on the deck beside them.

THV Patricia (later Vestal) c1930 lifting a buoy

THV Patricia (later Vestal) c1930 lifting a buoy

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