As news of another massive German offensive in France reaches Jersey, the Lieutenant Governor is taking significant steps to increase the number of soldiers available in the island. In the States this week, he asked approval to form a new unit from men unfit to serve at the front, but capable of defensive duties at home.
Proposing the new unit, termed the Island Defence Force, General Wilson explained it will supplement the men available to him should Jersey come under enemy attack or in the event of civil unrest. It would consist of men already exempted military service, and therefore not affect army recruitment. With expectations of six hours service per month, Island Defence Force members would still be able to carry out their day-to-day civilian work.
Amid overwhelming support for the proposals, some States Members did question the timing. It was understood that Britain was in the process of revising its Military Service Act, which may mean the conscription of men above the present ceiling of 41-years-old. Following assurances that establishing the new unit would not affect any potential changes in local conscription, members agreed the proposals without hesitation.
A/C2/52/1 contains letters from the Law Officers to the Lieutenant Governor about the proposed new force and between the Lieutenant Governor and Home Office on the same subject.