30th November 2017

Royal Guernsey Light Infantry memorial was unveiled

Dignitaries from Guernsey and France gathered in the French town of Masnieres on 30 November 2017 to honour the RGLI. The Royal Guernsey Light Infantry suffered heavy losses in the town during the First World War.

Speaking at the event, Lieutenant-Governor Vice Admiral Sir Ian Corder reminded those in attendance that Guernsey lost 1470 men fighting in the Great War – around 5% of the island’s total population, or one in twenty.

Masnieres

Masnieres saw some of the fiercest fighting during the 1917 Battle of Cambrai, a decisive battle of the First World War in which the RGLI was heavily involved. British forces took the town and held it for several days before withdrawing under heavy fire. In the meantime, they had severely disrupted German supply lines. The battle is commemorated in a tableau at the Royal Guernsey Light Infantry museum at Castle Cornet.

The town is the site of a British cemetery containing the bodies of 147 British, 19 New Zealand and 59 German soldiers. Soldiers from New Foundland are also remembered with a separate memorial.

The RGLI memorial was carved from a one-ton piece of Guernsey granite and sits on another piece of equal weight. It is positioned beneath a Guernsey flag, which will be replaced annually by a flag that has spent the previous 12 months hanging in Town Church.

An inscription carved on the upright stone and inlaid with gold reads,

The Royal Guernsey Light Infantry, despite great losses, held this position between 30th November and 2nd December 1917. This stone was brought from their island home in recognition of their bravery and sacrifice. Also honouring the men who remain buried or missing near this place. Diex aix.

 

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Other events that occured in November

Car plane air crash caused airport fireball 1st
A hospital worker stood accused of murder 2nd
Sark’s vineyards were vandalised 3rd
The original Torteval church was consecrated 4th
Sibyl Beaumont married Robert Hathaway 5th
The papers were excited by a Guernsey execution 6th
The States agrees to pay the Bailiff 7th
States of Guernsey hired its first independent vet
The Little Theatre was reprieved… for a while 8th
Guernsey was declared free of cholera 9th
Guernsey optician Specsavers was founded 10th
The court considered a Guernsey porn dealer’s testimony 11th
Guernsey Yacht Club was founded 12th
Guernsey aimed for equal adoption rights 13th
Jethou’s tenant fell off his own cliff 14th
Dad’s Army actor John le Mesurier died 15th
A Guernsey recruit regretted signing up 16th
Horticultural painter William Caparne was born 17th
German forces confiscated Guernsey’s radios 18th
A plane crashed on Crevichon 19th
Sark featured in the music charts 20th
Guernsey recruits caused concern in Parliament 21st
First Guernsey competitor took part in Miss World 22nd
A Lancaster bomber crashed on Sark 23rd
Sark women get the right to inherit 24th
Spanish flu arrived on Guernsey 25th
Guernsey held its first full marathon 26th
Admiral Thomas Le Marchant Gosselin died 27th
HMS Boreas sank at Hanois 28th
Radio station Contact 94 went off the air 29th
Royal Guernsey Light Infantry memorial was unveiled 30th