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.
Dimensions: 234 x 156
Illustrations: 157 b/w and 66 colour photographs