From letters and postcards arriving in the Island this week, it’s apparent that the Jersey Company has crossed the Channel to France. The news will confound those detractors who always insisted that the British Army will never permit this group of former militiamen to serve at the front.
Although the news is patchy, it appears that the volunteers disembarked at La Havre on 19 December. They then travelled by train to an unknown destination, believed to be close to the firing line.
Ever since the men left Jersey in March, there have been widely shared views that the Jersey Company was only fit for garrison duty rather than any fighting role. The considerable time spent training, in Ireland and then at Aldershot, helped fuel the speculation. While the men of the Jersey Company went to considerable lengths dispelling the rumours, it was one of the reasons for some men choosing not to join ‘Ours’, as the newspapers dubbed this small group of volunteers.
Now, it seems, those detractors will have to take back their words. The Jersey Company is in France and on its way to the front.