Homecoming Day in Alderney is marked every year to commemorate the return to Alderney of the first group of Islanders after WW2, following the mass evacuation of 1940. It is an important day in Alderney’s history with 2015 celebrating the 70th Anniversary of Homecoming Day.
Unlike the other Channel Islands, just about everyone left Alderney when ships arrived offering help, thus allowing the Nazis to do as they wished with the island. On Hitler’s personal instructions it was turned into a land battleship, a key bulwark of the Atlantic Wall. Four concentration camps (the only ones ever built on British soil) housed thousands of slave labourers from all over Europe (including the Channel Islands) who, in conditions of appalling deprivation, converted the island’s picturesque Victorian forts into a Speer-inspired nightmare.
This year’s anniversary will be celebrated with many events, but in the afternoon, Home-comers are invited to attend a special screening of our film ‘Alderney – The Homecoming’ at the Alderney Cinema at 2.30pm. There will be readings by the children of St Anne’s School and a performance of the award-winning ‘Alderney’ song, from the Alderney Voices. Charlie will host a Q&A session following the film, after which, all are invited to the Georgian House for a get-together, with tea and cake. There will be a second showing of the film at 4.30pm. The film was funded by a successful Crowdfunder campaign and will be followed by ‘a prequel’ looking at the events of the evacuation itself.