The Most Fortified Place on Earth | Guernsey Electricity

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The Most Fortified Place on Earth

Now one of the most peaceful places to live and work, Guernsey’s landscape is a fascinating tapestry of war history. So why are engineers relocating to this beautiful island?

Why might working minutes away from WWII bunkers, beaches, and Dark Sky islands be the right move for an engineer looking to relocate?

Now one of the most peaceful places to live and work, Guernsey’s landscape is a fascinating tapestry of war history. So why are engineers relocating to this beautiful island?

“Seeing your everyday decisions and work bring life to a community is the difference we believe Guernsey can offer experienced engineers” – Guernsey Electricity

Armed forces in Guernsey

Sergeant Major Robert Shaw of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) was part of Task Force 135, the British Military Contingent that liberated Guernsey from German Occupation in May 1945 as part of ‘Operation Nestegg.’

The site the tank landing ship (LST) offloaded supplies and troops on, is now one of Guernsey’s most popular sandy beaches and an after-work favourite for many locals. Today, Pembroke Bay remains flanked by a gigantic concrete anti-tank wall, built by forced labour under instruction by the German forces to prevent an amphibious attack by Allied forces.  

With the Normandy Beaches only around 100-miles away, defending occupied Guernsey became more crucial for German forces following the D Day Landings of 6 June, 1944.

Although no attack happened, Guernsey’s rich history still runs deep. And as part of Hitler’s Atlantic wall, military history and WWII enthusiasts can become immersed in a vibrant story many have yet to discover.

Engineering in Guernsey

Our modern-day REME now helps mark history once again as part of the sustainable energy transition. After 20 years in the Army and as part of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, our power plant’s mechanical engineering lead, Chris Ayres shares, why he chose to build a life in Guernsey.

“I enjoy Guernsey’s safe, friendly atmosphere. With small schools and great outdoor space, it’s the perfect environment for my children to grow. As I was born in Guernsey, I already knew it was a great place to live and work, and I wanted to provide stability for my family after leaving the military.”

Making the transition to civilian engineering

As a veteran, transitioning from army to civilian life can be both exciting and daunting.

Still in his first 12 months, Chris says the transition hasn’t been too challenging, and believes the military skills and ethos of discipline, precision, and planning equally apply to civilian engineering.

"I think being part of a close-knit, motivated team at Guernsey’s power plant definitely helps."

"In the military, I oversaw the repair, maintenance, logistic support, and procurement of British Army equipment, both in the UK and across the globe. Now at Guernsey Electricity, I love being part of the team relied upon to keep power flowing and the island running.”

Why people move to Guernsey

Quality of life is a go-to reason why people say they moved to Guernsey.

Far removed from burn-out city lifestyles, long commutes, and mass scale, Guernsey offers a peaceful, interesting environment for engineers to live and work. Imagine trading in that hectic rush-hour for a scenic coastal drive, or unwinding on a beautiful beach ten minutes after finishing work.

“Our smaller-scale engineering here in Guernsey means I’m not just a number that clocks-in. I’m more personally involved in everyday engineering and actually get to see those solutions implemented, which for me is very satisfying.”

Each year on 9 May, Guernsey celebrates the day British forces landed on our very own shores to liberate islanders from the German Occupation. And without the courage of those soldiers who stormed the beaches of Normandy eleven months earlier, we couldn’t celebrate this important day.

As the island’s supplier of energy, both today and during the occupation, we remember and respect the legacy of all those who gave us the freedom and choice to build a better, more just place to live.

Engineering Careers 

Could your skills, experience, and personality play a critical role in powering life?

We’re looking for talented engineers in search of a new challenge to join us.  

Visit our careers page to find out more.

Interested in Guernsey's WWII history?

By 1944, Guernsey’s coastline was covered in hundreds of reinforced bunkers, gun emplacements, and tunnels, transforming our homeland into one of the most fortified places on earth.

If you'd like to find out more, VisitGuernsey has more information on their WW2 History page

With thanks to VisitGuernsey for the information presented here about Guernsey’s liberation.