Jersey Military Tours is passionate about military history, and offers tours covering Jersey’s unique military history which spans some 3000 years. As Jersey has been on a European military frontline for most of the last 800 years, there are also plenty of battles and confrontations here, as well as a number of occupations. We’re eager to tell you the tales about them!
Our history starts at least 3000 years ago when Bronze Age inhabitants built defensive positions to protect themselves from marauding invaders. Indeed, there may even have been earlier Stone Age defences!
The most significant militarisation (before the 20th century) started shortly after King John of England lost his continental lands in Normandy in 1204 to the French, which thrust the Channel Islands onto a frontline between England and France. War was waged on and off for more than 600 years and the Channel Islands were fortified against French attack to a much more significant extent than mainland England.
Video of some of the many military history sites in Jersey.
The English built castles and other fortifications and they garrisoned their troops here from the 13th century. Jersey also had a compulsory militia for all men between the ages of 16 and 60 who were trained to defend their island. The height of Jersey’s defences built by the British, with the largest garrison, was in the aftermath of the Battle of Jersey (1781) in the early part of the 19th century when there were more than 800 cannon mounted around the Island in over a hundred locations!
The Island’s most recent military history was during World War Two, when the Channel Islands were occupied by Nazi Germany. Many German bunkers and fortifications are permanent reminders, and of course, that period is still within living memory of some Islanders. The German Occupation therefore closes hundreds of years of military history, built layer upon layer around our island.
Jersey Military Tours are fully insured and registered modern luxury Public Service Vehicles – a 16-seater mini-coach and an 8-seater minibus, both equipped with digital media technology to enhance our tours.
Jersey Military Tours will take you on journeys back in time to all the different eras in Jersey’s military history around our beautiful and scenic home. We also have examples of the different weaponry from those different eras (some original and some replicas) which you can see and handle and so better understand Jersey’s military history.