This private site is a memorial to François Marie Scornet. A brave French man who together with fifteen friends, answered the call, of General Charles De Gaulle's broadcast on the 17th June 1940.
Their attempt to escape France by a small boat was extremely daring and ended in tragedy as they mistook the coast of Guernsey for the Isle of Wight and ran up the beach straight into the arms of the German occupying Forces singing the French National Anthem La Marseillaise.
Taken to Jersey the German Headquarters of the Channel Islands he was tried in the presence of his Parents and taking full responsibility for his friends he was executed at St. Ouens Manor on the 17th of March 1941 . His friends had their sentences of death commuted and spent the remainder of the war in German concentration camps.
After the war they continued to honour their friend who had saved them and attended his annual memorial for years. The Roman Catholic Priest Per Marie having asked to take his place was denied the opportunity and recalled François last words:
"Vive France-Vive Dieu!" ("Long Live France - Long Live God")
He is believed to be the only person shot by a German firing squad on British Soil during the second world war and his sacrifice, saved the lives of his colleagues, who were also initially sentenced to death for their part of this remarkable patriotic exploit.
It is the intention of this website to commemorate and honour François and his sacrifice, so that the world at large may have access to this small piece of our history. It is now, a little known episode, that is fading beyond living memory. There are in fact different accounts in respect of detail of timings and the like, of the events that took place.
Much has been handed down by word of mouth and translated back and forth from French into Jersey French and again into English. It is hoped that any errors or omissions will be corrected as and when they are identified.
Where there are differences in accounts, we have endeavoured to keep both versions until such time as we are corrected. The differences in many senses are small in any case and the majority of the events re-countered here are accurate and non fictional.
It is our intention to continue to add to the historical content of this remarkable act of bravery and to keep alive the memory of François Scornet, in what has become an integral piece of our islands history and we welcome any contribution to this aim.
Another of the aims of this project, is to help with the fundraising necessary to finance a commemorative statue of François. To learn more about the statue and how you can help with this aim please follow this link.