An Admiralty decision to restrict the travel of women and children on cross-Channel routes is causing many islanders considerable disruption. In recent weeks, there have been numerous special exemption appeals, some of which the Chief Passport Officer in London accepted, some of which he turned down.
The travel restriction affects vessels passing through designated ‘danger zones’ in which the risk of submarine attack is considered high. These include the English Channel. No women or children under 16 are permitted to travel through these zones, except those serving in a war-related capacity such as a VAD nurse or ammunition worker. The Admiralty is prepared to make exceptions, in the case of someone visiting a wounded family member for example. Other requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Among those granted a passport for England was Mrs Morley whose 87-year-old father is in failing health. Among those turned down was a Mrs Sauvey, who arrived in the island expecting to find her husband posted here by the army, but instead has now learned he is remaining in the UK. Given that she has already received one permission to cross the Channel, another passport cannot be issued.
A/E/8/17 contains extensive documents on the 1918 sea travel restrictions imposed on islanders, including appeals for exemption.