Operation Basalt – Commandos on Sark in association with Lt Col Reg Guille MBE

We are pleased to present this walking tour of Sark in association with Lieutenant Colonel Reg Guille MBE.

Lieutenant Colonel Guille (Reg) was born on Sark and left to join the British Army aged 15. Upon leaving the Army he had achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and had served two tours with the Commando Brigade.

Operation Basalt was a British commando raid on the island of Sark during the night 3rd – 4th October 1942. The operation would likely have been deemed a minor one in the long list of allied Special Forces raids that took place during World War Two.

…However – as we shall hear whilst on the tour, events that took place during the raid so enraged Hitler, who believed that two German troops who had already surrendered to the Commandos, were executed whilst their hands were bound.

Within days of the raid Hitler issued the now infamous “Commando Order” whereby any Commando who was caught during ensuing raids, were to be executed after capture.

The Tour

Reg will meet us at the top of the hill and walk us to the Hogs Back and then guide us through the routes the Commandos took upon landing and engaging with the German troops.

Whilst taking the tour Reg will talk us through the raid’s objectives, explain the background to its planning, the events that took place during the raid and its far reaching legacy.

The tour will also include details of Operation Hardtack 7.

A memorial stone was unveiled this week on the Hog’s back, the headland between Derrible and Dixcart Bays where the Commandos landed for Operation Basalt 75 years ago. The stone was revealed by John Appleyard, half brother of Major Geoffrey Appleyard who led the raid, and Lt Col Reg Guille who served as an Army Commando more recently. Three German soldiers were killed during the raid but one was taken prisoner and later gave valuable information to the British forces. Further events to commemorate the anniversary include a dinner and talk at Stocks and a walk to recreate the route the Commandos took from the Hog’s Back to Dixcart Hotel where they encountered the Germans.

Picture by Sue Daly

Points of Interest

Hog’s Back

On arrival we walk to the Hog’s Back – where the Commandos came ashore.

Operation Basalt

We hear about the raid during the tour and have the various locations pointed out to us.

Operation Basalt – Some of the personalities involved

We profile some of the personalities involved and discuss their lives during the war and after. These being combatants on both sides and also civilians.

Operation Hardtack 7

Operation Hardtack 7 was one of nine Hardtrack raids at points along the northern French coast and the Channel Islands.

Operation Hardtack 7 landed on Sark on Christmas night 1943 and also returned two nights later. We also hear about this operation objectives and its consequences.

Tour Information

When: Sunday, 8th July with a back-up date of 15th July if weather were to be poor on the 8th.

Meet: At Sark Shipping for departure in plenty of time to catch departing boat.

Time of boat departure: 10.00am from Guernsey

Time of boat return: 16.00pm from Sark

Tour Duration: The tour is expected to take approximately two hours.

Post-tour: there would be plenty of time to have a relaxed lunch in Stock’s Hotel which is with yards of the tours finish point. There is also time to explore otherwise prior to the return boat’s departure to Guernsey.

Lunch at Stock’s Hotel: should you wish to consider lunching at Stock’s a reservation is strongly advised. Contact Stock’s Hotel email: [email protected]

©Stocks Hotel

Additional Information

Terrain: Coastal paths, and meadows. Some walking on Sark’s “main” roads.

Clothing: suitable walking shoes and clothing suited to our sometimes changeable weather.

Graded: Ramble – some uneven surfaces and inclines.

Comfort Stops: Various en route.

Recommended: Please consider bringing a bottle of water.

Price: The tour price which includes return boat fare is £40.00 per person. Price includes boat fare.

Pre-Booking: is advisable to ensure a place on this unique tour.

Booking: To book this tour please go to the Availability tab or email: [email protected] or call / text Keith on 07781-127810


Guernsey Walking Tours recommend Eric Lee’s superb book Operation Basalt The British Raid on Sark and Hitler’s Commando Order. The book is widely available from all good book shops and on-line outlets. Image permission being sought.


Available departures

Contact us to enquire about this tour


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