John F Hanley

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Jack Renouf Novel Series

John Hanley grew up in Jersey surrounded by the ruins of the WW2 German Occupation. His mother lived through it and every adult he knew had a story to tell. His passion in the 1960s was swimming and water polo and he virtually lived at the JSC swimming pool during the summer months. He was fascinated by the war and often wondered what it would have been like if he had been nineteen in 1939 and not 1965 and off to war instead of drama school in London.  After retirement, he tried to find out and started writing this series which chronicles the lives, loves, and losses of four friends; Jack, Saul, Caroline, and Rachel — three of whom are eventually recruited into S.O.E. (Special Operations Executive) devised by Churchill to "set Europe ablaze".  In the first four books, they have fought in France, Portugal, Spain, Jersey, and now Ireland. 

The next set of orders will take them to America for the fifth in the planned ten book series. 

First

July 1939

Second

June 1940

Third

September 1940

Fourth

July 1941

Introduction

Jersey - July 1939 – population 50,000

Largest of the Channel Islands at forty-five square miles lies ten miles from France and 100 miles from England. Extensively fortified to resist French invasion, it has been a British Crown Possession for over 800 years. Its climate is ideal for agriculture and produces thousands of tons of early potatoes for the British market each year. Sheltered in the bay of St Malo, caressed by the Gulf Stream, it enjoys an even more benign tax regime. It has become a haven for the wealthy some of whom will sell their souls for money.

Channel Islands from satellite

Channel Islands from satellite

Les Ecrehous reef between Jersey and France

Les Ecrehous reef between Jersey and France

Jersey from the air

Jersey from the air

Les Ecrehous Low tide

Les Ecrehous Low tide

Les Ecrehous at high tide

Les Ecrehous at high tide

St Catherine's with Les Ecrehous and France in the background

St Catherine's with Les Ecrehous and France in the background

Surprise attack 28th June 1940

Surprise attack 28th June 1940

Bombing of St Helier Harbour

Bombing of St Helier Harbour

Jersey - German issued driving licence

Jersey - German issued driving licence

German fortifications Jersey 1940-1945

German fortifications Jersey 1940-1945

Re-enactment German coastal artillery firing

Re-enactment German coastal artillery firing

1781 Battle of Jersey - British garrison defeat French invaders

1781 Battle of Jersey - British garrison defeat French invaders

Victoria College view from Fort Regent

Victoria College view from Fort Regent

Victoria College re-enactment

Victoria College re-enactment

John Hanley - Press launch with water polo match in background

John Hanley - Press launch with water polo match in background

Jersey - July 1939 – population 50,000

Largest of the Channel Islands at forty-five square miles lies ten miles from France and 100 miles from England. Extensively fortified to resist French invasion, it has been a British Crown Possession for over 800 years. Its climate is ideal for agriculture and produces thousands of tons of early potatoes for the British market each year. Sheltered in the bay of St Malo, caressed by the Gulf Stream, it enjoys an even more benign tax regime. It has become a haven for the wealthy some of whom will sell their souls for money.

Channel Islands from satellite

Les Ecrehous reef between Jersey and France

Jersey from the air

Les Ecrehous Low tide

Les Ecrehous at high tide

St Catherine's with Les Ecrehous and France in the background

Surprise attack 28th June 1940

Bombing of St Helier Harbour

Jersey - German issued driving licence

German fortifications Jersey 1940-1945

Re-enactment German coastal artillery firing

1781 Battle of Jersey - British garrison defeat French invaders

Victoria College view from Fort Regent

Victoria College re-enactment

John Hanley - Press launch with water polo match in background