The Jersey Peace Trail is a tour of St Helier from west to east through the heart of town. Discover stories of peace and social justice from Elizabeth Fry’s campaign for reform of the Island’s prison to the reconciliation process of the postwar years between Jersey and its German occupiers.


The Jersey Peace Trail is a tour of St Helier from west to east through the heart of town. Discover stories of peace and social justice from Elizabeth Fry’s campaign for reform of the Island’s prison to the reconciliation process of the postwar years between Jersey and its German occupiers.

This series of short films presented by young people from across the Island’s schools will introduce you to a number of sites with historic links to peace and social justice around St Helier.

 

7 West Park Avenue

1) 7 West Park Avenue

Dorothea Le Brocq hid her Jewish friend Hedwig Bercu in this terraced house for 18 months during the German Occupation. When the Island was liberated on 9 May 1945, Hewig was finally able to come out of hiding. Dorothea’s brave action almost certainly saved Hedwig’s life and in 2016 she was posthumously awarded the honour of Righteous Among the Nations by the State of Israel.

The Parade

2) The Parade

The Armistice marked the end of fighting on the Western Front but negotiations at the Paris Peace Conference continued for months. In July 1919, Peace Day was celebrated both nationally and locally to mark ‘this new era of peace’. Remembrance Day is commemorated each year at the Cenotaph with two minutes of silent reflection and prayer for those who have lost their lives in the service of their country in the two World Wars and subsequent conflicts.

York Street

3) York Street

The twinning of towns after WWII helped unite and heal a war-torn Europe. In 2002 the parish of St Helier was twinned with the German town of Bad Wurzach where English-born Islanders had been interned during the Occupation. This symbolised a long process of peace and reconciliation between the people of Jersey and their occupiers. In 2005 the pavement outside the Town Hall was inscribed with words of peace from former internee Michael Ginns to mark the 60th anniversary of the Liberation.

Charing Cross

4) Charing Cross

A prison was built on this site in 1687 but conditions became very poor and a new prison was built in Newgate Street in the early 1800s. Elizabeth Fry, the Quaker philanthropist and well-known prison reformer, came to the Island in the 1830s and made an inspection of the new prison. Her recommendations for more humane treatment of prisoners included the introduction of ‘useful employment’ for the inmates as well as a separate facility for female prisoners.

Broad Street

5) Broad Street

Pierre Le Sueur served many years as Constable of St Helier and dedicated his life to social reform and improving the living conditions of the poor. He oversaw major projects including the construction of an underground sewerage system, the widening of streets and the clearance of slums. His tireless work to transform St Helier earned him wide acclaim and this monument was erected after his premature death in 1853.

Liberation Square

6) Liberation Square

This monument to peace was unveiled in 1995 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Channel Islands being freed from five years of German Occupation. This was a time of great hardship and suffering when families were separated, food and medicine were in short supply and all kinds of civil liberties were curtailed.
The full story of the Occupation is told in the Occupation Tapestry Gallery..

Town Church

7) Town Church

This church is dedicated to Saint Helier who came to the Island in the 6th century looking for an isolated place he could devote his life to prayer. From his rocky shelter in the bay, Helier would warn of the approach of raiders so that the inhabitants could seek shelter until the danger passed. He was murdered by pirates in 555 AD and the site of his rock shelter, on the islet where Elizabeth Castle now stands, became a place of pilgrimage.

Church Street

8) Church Street

John Wesley visited the Island in 1787 to preach to the small community of Methodists. Stormy weather stranded him here and during his enforced stay he preached to growing numbers. The Island’s fervent embracing of Methodism caused disruption to the local militia force as Methodists refused to drill after church on a Sunday. It was eventually agreed that they could train on a weekday.

13 Royal Square

9) 13 Royal Square

Edward Voisin was Secretary of the Jersey Anti-Compulsory Militia League and campaigned against the militia draft on religious grounds. In 1886 his two sons were imprisoned for refusing to serve in the Militia. Quaker supporters in England petitioned the Home Secretary and they were finally exempted from military service as they would have been under English law. The family shared many of the pacifist ideals of the Quaker movement and became members of the local meeting house.

101 Halkett Place

10) 101 Halkett Place

Florence Rowe developed her business skills working in her father’s St Helier book shop and went on to marry Nottingham entrepreneur Jesse Boot of Boots the Chemist. The Boots never forgot their humble origins and worked to improve the wellbeing of their employees across the country. When they retired to Jersey they continued to make a positive impact on the lives of working people with gifts to the Island such as Coronation Park and sports facilities and workers’ cottages at FB Fields.

Wesley Grove Methodist Church

11) Wesley Grove Methodist Church

The founders of the Jersey Ladies College met at Wesley Grove in 1880 with the aim of providing an education for ‘the daughters of those of modest means’. Committee member William Smith was a passionate advocate for female education and sent his daughters to the school. A mixed race anti-slavery campaigner from Sierra Leone, Smith had moved to London and then to Jersey with his family in 1871. He was also a Methodist preacher.

Queen Street

12) 32 Queen Street

Ronald Podrow was born in London in 1926 and spent his childhood in Jersey. Like the majority of Jewish residents, the family decided to evacuate just before the arrival of German forces in the summer of 1940. In later life he moved to America and was inspired by a woman known as ‘Peace Pilgrim’, who abandoned personal possessions and walked over 25,000 miles for peace until her death in 1981. Styling himself ‘Peace Pilgrim II’, Podrow also began walking for peace.

Regent Road

13) 16 Regent Road

Jersey’s first woman doctor was born in St Helier in 1876. Lilian Grandin trained in London and then volunteered for a missionary expedition to China. She spent ten years helping the poor and needy in a remote region while also spreading the Christian faith. She spent WWI working in a London hospital but went back to China to continue her work as a doctor and missionary until her death from typhus in 1924.

Quaker Meeting House

14) Quaker Meeting House

The Society of Friends, or Quakers, began as a breakaway group from the Church of England and has a long history of promoting peace and social justice. Quakers played active roles in campaigning for prison reform and anti-slavery campaigns. Jersey Quakers were few in number and met in private houses until this modest one-storey Meeting House was opened in 1872. Weekly meetings continued until the German Occupation and after the war, Quakers like Clifford Du Feu were actively involved in the reconciliation process.

Greve d’Azette

15) Rocher des Proscrits, Greve d’Azette

In his work, the great French writer Victor Hugo considered many of the social and political issues of the 19th century. He was elected to the French parliament and gave many progressive speeches calling for universal suffrage, free education and the abolition of the death penalty. He also presided over the International Peace Congress held in Paris.
In 1851 Napoleon III seized power in France and Victor Hugo was one of many political exiles that sought refuge in Jersey during this turbulent time in Europe.

With thanks to
Channel Islands Lottery
Association of Jersey Charities
Societe Jersiaise Photographic Archive
Jersey Evening Post
ITV Channel Television
The Quaker Library
The Boots Archive
Beaulieu Convent School
Jersey College for Girls
Hautlieu School
Le Rocquier School
Victoria College
Jersey Society of Friends

 

supported by CI lottery and association of jersey charities