Marjorie Ozanne

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Marjorie Ozanne (1897-1973) wrote stories in Guernesiais, published in the Guernsey Evening Press between 1949 and 1965. Some earlier pieces can be found in La Gazette de Guernesey in the 1920s.

Miss Ozanne will be remembered for starting the first Bird hospital in the world and for her extremely valuable Guernsey-French stories and poems.

Miss Ozanne was born in 1897, the daughter of a verger at Vale Church. When he was ill she used to take on his responsibilities, including grave digging, and it was in the churchyard that she developed her lifelong love of birds. After the First World War she trainedas a teacher in England, returning after her parents' death to teach in Guernsey. Her world-famous bird hospital was first established at Les Cordeliers in the Grange, where she lived with her companion Nell Littlefield. To pay for the birds' feed she used to make shell animals and sell them at the market. During the German Occupation she carried on with the bird hospital and a German officer often helped with food. After the Occupation Miss Ozanne gave up teaching and moved to Bon Air, Les Adams, L'Eree, where she continued to run the bird hospital until her death in 1973. "The hospital became internationally known after the Occupation ended and it was perhaps the first of its kind in the world" ([1]).

Miss Ozanne had spoken Guernsey-French since her childhood and for many years wrote poems, sketches and humorous plays. Some of these were performed at the Eiseddford (Guernsey) and others published in the Guernsey Evening Press. "Miss Ozanne is the most important Guernsey French writer of the last century and on a par with the two principle Guernsey-French writers, George Metiviere and Denys Corbet" (Ken Hill, 1989).

Ken Hill, a Guernsey man, translated her works and put the Guernsey-French alongside the English translations. He commented that it was important to retain the original language as, in the 20th Century onwards, the puns and double entendres that she used do not work ([2]).

Miss Ozanne died at the Town Hall hospital, where she had been a patient for some time. She had no close relations so she was buried in an unmarked grave at the Vale church next to her parents and sister. Her grave was discovered in 1988 and the Societe Guernesiaise organised a headstone on the grave. A headstone unveiling ceremony (1989) was held which was attended by friends, former students, the GSPCA, RSPB and various sections of La Societe Guernesiaise ([3]).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Guernsey Press, 1989
  2. ^ Guernsey Press 1989
  3. ^ Guernsey Press, 1989