a la perchoine is a community theatre event. It is a theatrical, musical and visual depiction of the evacuation of island schoolchildren prior to Guernsey’s occupation by troops from Nazi Germany in 1940. It was the brainchild of two teachers at St. Peter Port School: composer, Martin Cordall and the late John Loaring.
Accompanied by teachers and volunteers, around 4,700 pupils prepare to leave with a small case of belongings and a packed lunch. The journey by boat and train eventually takes them to holding centres in church halls and civic buildings where, one by one, they are offered homes with ‘aunties’ and ‘uncles’. The expectation of a swift repatriation is soon shattered and the children settle into a new routine, going to school and often meeting up with fellow evacuees from the Channel Islands. Red Cross messages occasionally provide news from home, but it is five long years before their island home is liberated and they can return to be reunited with loved ones.
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