ORD, Robert Douglas
1898-1978 (e.m. 1924)

Born on 18 November 1898 at Guisborough, Yorkshire, Ord served in the British army during the First World War, was taken prisoner and eventually escaped. Much of his time in prison camp was spent improving his German and learning Russian. He trained for the Wesleyan ministry at Didsbury College. The circuits in which he served included the Guernsey (English) Circuit (1938-1948). During the period of German occupation (1940-1945) he kept a diary which he hid under the floorboards of the choir stalls in his Brock Road church in St. Peter Port. An academic historian, Pau Sanders, has described Ord’s unpublished diary (now deposited in the island’s Priaulx Library) as ‘arguably the most significant document to have emerged from the Channel Islands’ Occupation’. A shrewd observer and commentator, Ord chronicles at length the rigours of daily life and the challenges involved in exercising Christian ministry under enemy occupation. As the only island clergyman fluent in German, Ord had frequent dealings with the occupying forces (including subversive contact with disaffected elements), and German soldiers sometimes attended his church services. He died at Farnham on 28 February 1978.

  • Paul Sanders, The British Channel Islands under German Occupation 1940-1945 (2005)
  • David M. Chapman, Chapel and Swastika: Methodism in the Channel Islands during the German Occupation 1940-1945 (2009)

Entry written by: DMC
Category: Person
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