The 1940–45 German occupation of the Channel Islands was accompanied by a gradual deterioration in food availability and culminated in a nine-month siege with severe food shortages after supplies from France were cut off following the liberation of Normandy in 1944. The aim of this study was to compare the growth rates of schoolchildren resident on one of the Channel Islands (Jersey) with children growing up on mainland Britain. Secondary analyses were conducted on published data describing the growth of approximately 3,500 schoolchildren resident on Jersey throughout the occupation, 10,000–15,000 London schoolchildren, and about 5,000 children evacuated from mainland cities to ‘‘residential camp schools’’ in rural areas. A comparison of age- and sex-adjusted average annual growth rates between 1940 and 1943 confirmed that 81/2–121/2-year-old children on Jersey gained 28.2–33.1% less weight and 23.6–26.5% less height per year than children on the mainland. Because food shortages on Jersey intensified after 1943 (when the mid-occupation growth measurements had been recorded), growth rates toward the end of the occupation (in 1944 and early 1945) are likely to have been even worse than those observed between 1940 and 1943. As such, these analyses provide a somewhat conservative estimate of the decline in childhood growth rates that occurred on Jersey during the 1940–45 German occupation.
Ellison, George T. H. and Kelly, Michelle
"Growth of Jersey Schoolchildren During the 1940–1945 German Occupation: Comparison with Schoolchildren on Mainland Britain,"
6, Article 3.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/humbiol/vol77/iss6/3