Louisa Gould

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A memorial to Louisa Gould opposite St Ouen's Parish Hall
Louisa Gould
Louisa Gould with her two sons

Louisa Gould (nee Le Druillenec) was imprisoned by the Germans during the Occupation, sent to France and then Germany, and eventually died in the gas chambers at Ravensbruck concentration camp.

Family

Born in St Ouen in October 1891, Mrs Gould was the daughter of Vincent Marie Le Druillenec and Sainte Francoise Sangan, She had five sisters and three brothers, among them Harold Le Druillenec, also deported to Germany, and Ivy Forster, who was sentenced along with her siblings but managed to fake ill health and stay in Jersey.

Louisa married Edward William Gould, son of Edward Richard Gould, of Janvrin Nurseries, St Helier, and they ran La Fontaine Stores at Millais, St Ouen together. Edward died in 1933, leaving his widow to bring up their sons Edward Richard and Ralph Harry, and keep running the family business. The boys both obtained Howard Leopold Davis scholarships and gained BA degrees at Exeter College, Oxford.

Mrs Gould refused to leave Jersey during the evacuation before the German Occupation, and Ralph continued his education in England while his brother served in the Navy.

He was killed in action when HMS Bonaventure was torpedoed off Alexandria in March 1941 and, when she was asked to harbour an escaped Russian slave worker, Feodor Burrij, Mrs Gould readily agreed, and looked after him for some 20 months.

Trial

However, she was denounced to the Germans and, although she had sufficient warning to allow Feodor Burrij to get away and move to St Helier, where he was looked after by a friend of the family, a Russian-English dictionary and Mrs Gould's illicit radio were found when her house was searched. She was tried along with her brother and sister, as well as Alice Gavey, who worked in the shop, and friends Dora Hacquoil and Berthe Pitolet, who had all been aware of the Russian's presence.

Louisa Gould received the longest sentence - two years' imprisonment, her brother and sister and Berthe Pitolet five months each, and the others shorter sentences which they were allowed to serve in Jersey. The others, with the exception of Ivy Forster, were taken by boat to St Malo, and Louisa Gould and Berthe Pitolet were then moved to Rennes. During an Allied bombing attack on the prison Berthe managed to escape, and was never recaptured, but Mrs Gould was less fortunate and was taken in a cattle truck to Germany.

By coincidence she passed through Belfort at the same time as her brother and were able to exchange greetings across railway lines before being separated again. Mrs Gould was taken to Ravensbruck where initially she gave English lessons to her companions, before falling ill and eventually being taken to the gas chamber in 1945.

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