Cherish your freedom – use your vote
TWO Islanders who risked their lives during the Second World War for the freedoms we take for granted are urging electors to get out and vote.
D-Day veteran Harry Fenn (93) and Bob Le Sueur (97), who helped escaped Russian slave workers during the Occupation, will be exercising their democratic right to decide who governs Jersey for the next four years as they have done for more than seven decades.
Mr Fenn was just 19 and in the thick of the action as a medic with the Royal Navy on 6 June 1944 when the Allies landed on the Normandy beaches.
‘I will be casting my vote today and everybody should be going out to do the same,’ he said. ‘People moan about the States but it is important to vote because otherwise what right have you got to moan if you don’t vote?’
Mr Le Sueur was also 19 when the Germans occupied Jersey and became part of resistance activities. After the Liberation he was active in the local social reform movement and has dedicated his life since to human rights issues worldwide. Although frail with age he will be voting at St Clement’s Parish Hall.
‘I lived through times in Jersey when we had no elections and in different parts of the world people have died struggling to obtain the vote,’ he said. ‘I become very impatient with people who complain about government but who do not bother to vote. If the result of the election is not to one’s liking there’s only one person to blame, and that is yourself if you did not vote.’
Mr Fenn also survived the bombing of Portsmouth, where his family lived after being evacuated from Jersey in June 1940. On one occasion they ran through the streets of the city as bombs fell, reaching the safety of an air raid shelter as one exploded close by.
Mr Fenn is the youngest of the Island’s five surviving D-Day veterans. A resident of St Brelade No 2 district, he lives an active life and is still driving. He will be casting his votes in the Deputies’ and Senatorial elections at Communicare.
He says people should appreciate the freedoms that he and millions of others fought for in the Second World War, especially as so many – including some of his friends – were killed.
‘The last thing we want is to live in a dictatorship,’ he said. ‘That is why we fought for freedom and democracy.’