The Duke of Normandie
Following the Treaty of St Clair-sur-Epte in the 10th century, the islands were known as Les Isles des Normandes. In 1066, William Duke of Normandy conquered England at the Battle of Hastings and the islands became joined. Our own flag depicts the red cross of St George, superimposed with the Gold Cross of Normandy, giving the blend of England and Normandy.
William became known as William the Conqueror or William 1st of England.
Years later, in 1204, one of his successors, King John of England, lost Normandy and the islands chose to side with the English King, despite protestations from King Philippe of France, who had hoped the islands would return to their French heritage.
As a result, the islands were granted special privileges, including the right to be self-governing. Regrettably, the French wanted to take the islands back and started wars from 1204 until the middle of the 19th century, with Castle Cornet being built by the English Government in the 13th century to help protect the entrance to the safe natural anchorage.
As our Queen, Queen Elizabeth II is a direct descendant of William 1st of England or the former Duke of Normandy, whenever she comes to the island and is presented at Court, she is still referred to as “Queen Elizabeth, Duke of Normandy”
During the Second World War, half the population evacuated prior to the island being taken over by the German Occupying Forces. Many of the larger houses were requisitioned by the Germans for living accommodation. As a result, many buildings were damaged, ransacked or partially destroyed.
At the end of the war, returning evacuees or those who had lived through the Occupation, contacted the authorities at Hadsley House in Le Febvre Street to enquire whether they could be considered for the Channel Island Property Rehabilitation Scheme.
This scheme allowed islanders to receive compensation.
An application was made in respect of damage sustained to the hotel building during its occupation by German Occupying Forces for nearly five years. After the Liberation the property was requisitioned for the use of the British Military Authorities until October 1945. Some damage was also caused to the walls, windows etc of the building by bomb blasts during the Occupation.
A detailed inventory of furniture and effects had already been completed by German Occupying Forces in 1942. After the war, the owner, Mrs Isler, asked for a sum of £1509 compensation as she stated the property had suffered barrack damage to walls & ceilings with internal fittings having been removed and damaged, including the Ruberoid roof.
In the event, Mrs Isler was awarded £143 compensation.