HMS Tyne helps Guernsey mark Liberation Day 75 years on

Royal Navy patrol ship HMS Tyne will perform a ceremonial sail past of Guernsey on Saturday to celebrate 75 years since the island’s liberation.

The Portsmouth-based warship, which has been safeguarding home waters recently keeping an eye on Russian vessels and helping to save the life of a diver, is spending this week training junior warfare officers to navigate in the challenging waters around the Channel Islands.

Tyne will spend Friday anchored off Sark with the ship bedecked in flags from bow to stern. She’ll blast her siren in celebration at 3pm – when Churchill addressed the nation in 1945 – and shine her searchlight in concert with other Royal Navy warships at home and abroad for five minutes from 9.30pm, signifying the end of the blackout 75 years ago.

On Saturday she’s due to sail past the pier heads at St Peter Port at 10am, flying her Battle Ensign – an oversized White Ensign to make the ship stand out.

The Royal Navy, led by HMS Bulldog – which had played a key role in the Battle of the Atlantic by seizing an Enigma coding machine back in 1941 – arrived in the Channel Islands to take the surrender of German forces.

Later on May 9 1945, sailors from Bulldog went ashore in St Peter Port, while HMS Beagle landed a party in St Helier to raise the Union Flag in Jersey and end Nazi rule there. The islands mark May 9, rather than VE Day, as a national day.

We are delighted to be able to play a small part in Guernsey’s 75th anniversary commemorations of liberation – we know how important this day is to islanders. The Channel Islands were the only part of the British Isles occupied by the Nazis – liberation day to its inhabitants for them means freedom and an end to five years of tyranny.

Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander Richard Skelton

As on the mainland, commemorations marking the end of World War 2 have been disrupted and curtailed by the COVID pandemic, replaced largely by a series of virtual events.

As a result, Tyne’s Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander Richard Skelton said it was important the Royal Navy participated in commemorative events three quarters of a century later.

“We are delighted to be able to play a small part in Guernsey’s 75th anniversary commemorations of liberation – we know how important this day is to islanders,” he added.

“The Channel Islands were the only part of the British Isles occupied by the Nazis – liberation day to its inhabitants for them means freedom and an end to five years of tyranny.”

You can find out more about events in Guernsey and watch the sail past via www.liberationday.gg

After her appearance off St Peter Port, Tyne will return to Portsmouth.