The book – called ‘Voices from the Occupation: Recollections of daily life under the Reich’ – was sponsored by Maillards Funeral Directors and created by Ms Byrne alongside illustrator Liz Wackett. The 55-page book includes a variety of Occupation memories from over 80 Islanders.
Throughout this month, 1,000 copies will be distributed for free to local schools, historical organisations and Occupation veterans. Additionally, 500 copies will be available for the public to purchase from the Co-op Grand Marché in St Helier and St Peter, Market Cards, the Jersey War Tunnels and online at pennybyrneauthor.com.
Ms Byrne said: ‘I was so excited when Maillards approached me to ask if I’d be interested in working on this project. It has been such an immense privilege to get to read so many extraordinary stories, quite a number of which had never been shared before.’
She added: ‘I hope people find it as fascinating to read as it has been to create.’
Julian De La Cour, the managing director at Maillards Funeral Directors, said: ‘We hear of such wonderful stories as we meet families so [we] all felt a strong need for these stories to be shared more widely. The book, which forms part of our “Celebrating Life” initiative, is a way to preserve them in a way that will educate and inform future generations and keep these stories alive.’
Proceeds from the copies sold will be put towards a community initiative operated by Malliards that funds ‘special wishes’ for local people.