Doug Isherwood from JerseyDoug Isherwood, 1940s

The Occupation of Jersey during WWII proved a difficult time for the population and the banning of all groups including St John Ambulance meant that the support the population needed was in jeopardy. Fortunately, the Bailiff of Jersey persuaded the Occupying German Forces that the St John Ambulance members were key to the welfare of the Island.

In 1942, before the first casualties of the war were washed up on the shores of Jersey, three RAF airmen were found. It was Doug and other colleagues’ job to prepare the bodies for burial at a local church spending two nights with them before the burial could take place. Next followed the battle of the Channel when the bodies of 25 seamen were washed up on the Island and Doug, along with other St John Ambulance volunteers had to guard the bodies for three days before they could be interred in a local cemetery.

Another memory was just before D-Day. Doug was stopped on his bicycle as he had a box on his pannier marked ‘Medical equipment.’ He explained to the German guard that he was delivering it to St Saviours Hospital about a mile away. He was relieved that he did not open the box as it contained a wireless he had built and he was delivering it to a relative so that they could listen to the BBC. The punishment to be found with a wireless was to be shot!

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