The last ten days have been a whirlwind of activity as the Jersey Contingent made final preparations to leave the Island. This week the moment of departure finally came.
On the early morning of 2 March, the 230 volunteers gathered in the Royal Square along with hundreds of family, friends and well-wishers. Despite the imminent parting, there was a noticeably festive atmosphere, helped by the presence of a military band playing lively tunes. At 7.00am exactly, the men came to order and then marched smartly off the square led by their commanding officer, Major Walter Stocker.
With an Evening Post photographer taking pictures along the way, the men crossed the Weighbridge and went onto the New North Quay. There an official deputation waited, including the Lieutenant Governor, Bailiff and Dean. When each man stepped forward to board ship, the dignitaries shook his hand and wished him well.
As the SS Ibex pulled away from the quayside and slid across the water towards the pier heads the gathered crowds cheered and sung while gunfire salutes rang out from Fort Regent.
It was, everyone agreed, one of the most momentous days in Jersey’s history.