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With more than 70 years passed, they received very positive responses from islanders.

Wood carvings by soldiers in the German occupying forces were offered in eight lots and all sold well above expectations.

Some were discovered by the vendor in an oak and mahogany box in the loft of his parents’ home. Others came from local vendors who had heard of the sale.

“There are a number of serious collectors on the islands interested in Second World War items but this is the first time I can recall such carvings being sold,” said auctioneer James Bridges.

The box, measuring 8in wide, 5in deep, and 4½in high (20 x 13 x 11.5cm) was itself carved with rustic scenes of a garden, a coastal scene with a watchtower and fortifications and the names of 20 soldiers beneath the date Kriegsweihnacht 1944.

The carved words Wo Icvh Meine Sorgen Hatte (Where I had my worries) reveals the soldiers’ mood that Christmas. Estimated at £200-300, it sold at £2200.

The buyers were all from the islands including the Guernsey Museum, which until now had only one piece in its collection, and the private German Occupation Museum which, like the private La Vallette Underground Military Museum, already had a small group.

Love tokens

A lot comprising five carved daggerform love tokens sold at £2000 (estimate £200-300).

Each about 8-9in (19-14cm) long, they had terminals carved as naked females, male busts and one with the Guernsey Arms.

A pair of 6½in (16cm) high mahogany bookends each featured a German soldier sitting reading with one marked Sonnen Wende [Sunbathing] 1944. The pair, estimated at £200-300, sold at £1150.

Evidence that even the army, or at least the rankers, shared some of the privations of the islanders towards the end of the war was a 10 x 7in (26 x 18cm) oak platter.

It featured incised diamond line decoration to the rim and a carved inscription to the base Viel Hunger Wenig Brot (A Lot of Hunger, Little Bread), Ostern 1945 (Easter 1945).

The platter doubled the estimate to sell at £420.