The Book

Today, the British Channel Island of Jersey is best known for international finance, as home to the delightful Jersey Cow, and, perhaps for an older generation, as the haunt of that well-known eighties detective, Jim Bergerac. Many may also be aware of its traumatic occupation by German forces during the dark years of the Second World War. Yet twenty years earlier, another devastating war had struck the Island, affecting the lives and liberties of its people.

Central to this period is the virtually unknown story of the Jersey Company. In the early years of the First World War, some 326 'Jersey Pals' volunteered to leave their island and fight for King and country in a conflict beyond the comprehension of most. Feted as heroes, the young men of 'Ours' carried the pride and hopes of their community to the trenches of the Western Front. But the war was soon to have a devastating affect - both on the Jersey Company and their Island. Before long, lost in greater tragedy, the dwindling band of volunteers found themselves battling not only the enemy, but also waging a bitter struggle for continued recognition and support from home.

'Ours: The Jersey Pals in the First World War' is the stirring but ultimately tragic story of one small unit caught in the maelstrom of the First World War. At the time of publishing, it is unique as the first and only book on the subject of Jersey during this period. After more than ninety years, its appearance should serve to resurrect the memory of these brave men and widen the appreciation of the part played by one small island in this terrible conflict.









© Ian Ronayne 2012