11th May 1949

A liberation celebration ended in disaster

Celebration turned to tragedy at Vazon on 11 May 1949.

Twenty-year-old David Bougourd, who was secretary of the Guernsey Motor Cycle and Car Club was killed when racing there. The race had been put on to celebrate the Guernsey’s liberation four years earlier.

The Birmingham Daily Gazette described Bougard as one of Guernsey’s leading motorists.

Its report on the tragedy, published the following day, put him in an MG Midget, which turned over during a 10-lap handicap race. He was taken to hospital but died two hours later.

Island-wide commemoration

The race was part of a larger celebration taking place all over the island. It included a cavalcade on the east coast. Guernsey continues to hold a cavalcade as part of its annual liberation commemoration.

According to the Northern Daily Mail, which made no mention of the death,

Guernsey … celebrated Liberation Day with services of thanksgiving, motor cycle and car racing on the sands, road, athletic and cycling events, a fancy dress cavalcade, and an evening water carnival and fireworks display.

Sand racing at Vazon

Sand racing still takes place on Guernsey, often at Vazon, under the auspices of the Guernsey Motor Cycle and Car Club of which Bougard was secretary.


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