Homecoming Day in Alderney Date in the current year: December 15, 2018

Homecoming Day in Alderney December 15 is celebrated as Homecoming Day on the island of Alderney. This is an official observance dedicated to the return of the evacuated population of Alderney after the end of the German occupation.

Alderney is the northernmost of the inhabited Channel Islands. It is part of one of the three British Crown dependencies, the Bailiwick of Guernsey. However, Alderney has its own flag, coat of arms and even parliament named the States of Alderney. The island also has its own observances such as Homecoming Day.

The Channel Islands were the only part of the British Isles to be occupied by Nazi German forces during the Second World War. Following the defeat of the Allied forces in the Battle of France, the British government decided that the Channel Islands didn’t have any strategic importance so there was no need to spend resources on their defense.

In June 1940, mass evacuation of civilians from the Channel Islands began. About 2,000 people were evacuated from Alderney in 10 days, with only a handful of islanders remaining. German troops occupied the island on July 2, 1940. The occupation of Alderney lasted until July 16, 1945 (although Germany capitulated on May 8, 1945, it took a week more for the German troops in Alderney to surrender).

Since Alderney had no official local population to be liberated, there is no Liberation Day on the island. Instead, Alderney celebrates Homecoming Day to commemorate the return of the evacuated population. The first shipload of evacuated citizens returned on December 15, 1945.

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Homecoming Day in Alderney, observance, holidays in Alderney, holidays in Guernsey