Happy Release

Happy Release.”  On May 14th 1945 Donald Journeaux presented an entertainment extravaganza at the Forum.  In our German Occupation collection is a programme signed by the cast.  In his book “Raise the White Flag” Donald tells us:-


“The day of the opening performance of our Liberation revue, ‘Happy Release’, was fraught with difficulty….. The fact that we had only been able to have one run-through on stage was really quite a worry.... it needed speeding up because of lack of stage rehearsals, but the following performances met my expectations.  The red, white & blue fabric which had been saved since the beginning of the Occupation was very much in evidence in the costumes representing the Allied Forces….. The very patriotic British finale was highlighted by the singing of “Rose of England”, the final speech from Noel Coward’s ‘Cavalcade’ and the emotional rendition of the National Anthem, being sung on stage for the first time in five years.  The applause was stupendous.  During the entire week of performances we received masses of compliments, including words of congratulation from the manager of the Ivor Novello musicals and war correspondent H.C. Shephard, as well as people I did not know including various members of the Forces…  Later on we were very happy to hand over the sizeable profits to the British Red Cross….  Everyone was happy and enjoyed it all, but for Irene [my wife] and myself it was also a little sad.  We had lived through this Occupation with a closeness to all these young people, but now it was over.  We would soon have to say goodbye and turn the page to the next chapter.”

From humble beginnings as a farmer, and member of the Green Room Club, Donald Journeaux left the island to follow a career in choreography for television musicals, and dancing in London.  He then went to Hollywood to star in a number of TV series including “The Twilight Zone” (1959), “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”(1965), “Mission: Impossible” (1966), and also played the role of a witch in film “the Brotherhood of Satan”(1971).  He died in London in 1997 aged 87. 

He is the author of a book “Raise the White Flag – a life in occupied Jersey”. 

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