New book tells story of wartime from Occupation to Liberation
Maillards Funeral Directors – Jersey’s only family-owned funeral directors, has published its first book titled ‘Voices from the Occupation: Recollections of daily life under the Reich’. The book, which was conceptualised and sponsored by Maillards and kindly supported by Alpha Print has been created by local author, Penny Byrne and illustrator, Liz Wackett.
The extraordinary compilation of over 80 Islander’s memories includes those from the Austrian- born interpreter who’s cunning and bravery managed to save 40 families from deportation, to the teacher who ingeniously taught each of his pupils a single German word so that he could, apparently randomly, call out names and have them answer correctly when the annual inspection for compulsory German came around.
Julian De La Cour, Managing Director at Maillards Funeral Directors says,
“Maillards Funeral Directors was a local business which traded through the war and which has been a part of the fabric of Island life for almost a century. We hear of such wonderful stories as we meet families so all felt a strong need for these stories to be shared more widely. The book, which forms part of our Celebrating Life initiative is a way to preserve them in a way that will educate and inform future generations and keep these stories alive.”
Penny Byrne, local author and creator of the book says:
“I was so excited when Maillards approached me to ask if I’d be interested in working on this project. It has been such an immense privilege to get to read so many extraordinary stories, quite a number of which had never been shared before. I hope people find it as fascinating to read as it has been to create.”
Throughout the month of May, 1,000 copies will be distributed free of charge to Occupation Veterans, contributors, local schools and historical organisations. The remaining 500 copies are currently available for the public to purchase at £9.99 from The Cooperative Grande Marche (St. Helier and St. Peter), Market Cards (Central Market), Jersey War Tunnels as well as online at www.pennybyrneauthor.com.
Further locations will be updated via the Maillards Facebook page, which can be accessed by searching for @MaillardsJersey on Facebook or visiting www.maillardsfunerals.co.uk/celebrating-life.
Proceeds from the sale of the 500 copies will be put towards the Maillards ‘Make A Wish Fund’, a local community initiative that funds special wishes for local people, to positively impact their social, emotional or mental well-being. To learn more visit
Kindly supported by Alphaprint
Maillards Funeral Directors is very proud to be sponsoring this project, with very kind support from Alpha Print.
We have engaged local author, Penny Byrne, to put together the book and will be producing 1,500 copies. Of these, 1,000 copies will be donated to the local community. Any person whose submissions are chosen for the book will receive a free edition. The remaining 500 will be on sale to the public at hotspots during Liberation week. The book will be priced at £9.99, with all profits going to support local people as part of our Maillards Celebrating Life initiative.
A very big thank you.
Maillards Funeral Directors
The Occupation Memories book forms part of the Maillards Celebrating Life initiative – that will see Maillards sponsor and support local people and causes.
The initiative is designed to act as a beacon of positivity for Islanders over the age of 60. We believe age is just a number and our aim is to make later life extraordinary. As funeral directors, we hear every day second hand accounts of how Islanders have lived extraordinary lives and had extraordinary experiences which, so often, live only in the memories of close friends and family. This book is an attempt to distil and preserve some of those important experiences in way which will work to educate and inform future generations.
We are aiming to raise £5,000 through book sales for our Celebrating Life initiative: ‘Maillards Make a Wish’ which will fund wishes for those over 60.
Thank you for your support.
Julian De La Cour
On behalf of Maillards Funeral Directors