Ships and Soldiers: A Military and Maritime History of the Island of Alderney

Author(s): Brian Bonnard

ISBN: 9781781550083
$18.00 $25.00
This book contains the more generally interesting parts of a 1,400 page MS which has taken over 25 years to research, in Channel Island and UK Record Offices, Archives, Museums and hundreds of published articles or brief items in newspapers and magazines. Much of the text and many of the illustrations have not been included in other publications.

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Alderney, a small island in the English Channel, lies only 9 miles from the Normandy coast. It was formerly linked to the Duchy when the Dukedom of Normandy was listed among the titles of the English Sovereign. After the Duchy was lost by King John in 1304, Alderney was raided for over three centuries by the French, who considered it to be a part of France. From the Middle Ages to the nineteenth century, a Militia of able-bodied men over the age of 16 was retained permanently to defend the island, and enhanced by garrisons of English troops at times of war.

From Elizabethan times to the beginning of the twentieth century, Alderney’s economy was based chiefly on building fortresses, smuggling and, up to 1830, legitimately preying on French, Spanish and American shipping under the Letters of Marque issued by the Crown. In Victorian times a huge harbour and impressive chain of forts was built by the English Government. During the Second World War, the Germans occupied Alderney and greatly added to the defences, this time against possible invasion from England.

Ships and Soldiers explores the fascinating history of this remote and highly contested outpost since the days of the Norman Conquest. Richly illustrated with over 220 pictures, it demonstrates why, although measuring only 3 miles squared, Alderney has always been a vital English domain.

BOOK ISBN 9781781550083
FORMAT 234 x 156 mm
BINDING Paperback
PAGES 352 pages
PUBLICATION DATE 15 September 2013
ILLUSTRATIONS 157 black-and-white and 66 colour photographs



Brian Bonnard is an extremely well-known author and has written several books on Alderney. He has made several appearances on Channel TV regarding local ecological and botanical matters. Brain was also a regular on BBC Radio Guernsey, where he gave talks on Alderney Natural History and historical matters. Brian lives on Alderney.