Extraordinary news reached the island this week regarding gallantry medals awarded to Jersey Contingent members during August’s fighting around Ypres. Official announcements show that no fewer than seven members of the Contingent won the Military Medal for bravery on the same day and in the same action.
Peter Brisset, Frank Drouin, Edward Giffard, Henry Journeaux, John Luce, Harry Perks and Joseph Vickers all took part in the failed attempt to advance from Frezenberg on 16 August 1917 towards Zonnebeke. At least three of the men are known to be serving as signallers and won their awards for repairing telephone cables under heavy fire.
Jersey Contingent casualties were heavy on that day, with a number of men sadly killed in action. While the reports of deaths arrived in the island sooner, news of medals awarded for bravery during the fighting have just come through.
Ironically, in view of the sacrifice and bravery shown at Ypres, there are persistent rumours that what remains of the Jersey Contingent is likely to be dispersed shortly as its parent battalion faces disbandment. The men are understood to be very unhappy at the prospect and likely to protest to the island authorities.
A/C2/51/4 contains a letter from the Lieutenant Governor to the Bailiff acknowledging receipt of his letter which was enclosed with a petition from the Jersey Contingent against plans to disband the unit.