Prisoners

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As well as those imprisoned for acts of resistance or deported to German internment camps, many other islanders found themselves appearing before German courts for all manner of offences.

The stories of some of these are told separately on this site, but this page contains the stories of a number of 'offenders' who were subject to the severity of the German legal system.

Much of the information here has been obtained from the website of Jersey War Tunnels

Dennis Le Cuirot

Dennis Le Cuirot

Dennis Le Cuirot took part in demonstration at the Weighbridge on 16 September 1942 against the deportation of English-born islanders. He was arrested a few days later with many other protesters and tried on a charge of taking part in a public meeting and anti-German demonstration.

He was given a suspended sentence of a month in prison. In July 1944 Le Cuirot devised a novel scheme for escaping, having become aware of the frequent transit of French Organisation Todt workers from Alderney via Jersey to St Malo. He learned of when the ss Minotaur was due to sail; wearing old clothes and carrying a battered suitcase, He bluffed his way past gangway checks and boarded the vessel before it sailed for St Malo.

The boat was intercepted by Canadian motor torpedo boats, which sank most of its escorts. Badly damaged, the Minotaur beached at St. Servan where Le Cuirot was put into a camp with some Frenchmen. They all managed to escape and he made his way safely through the front to reach the American lines and freedom.

Belza Turner

Belza Turner

Belza Turner took part in demonstrations on 16 September 1942 against the German deportation of English-born islanders but she was not arrested. In September the following year she was sent to prison for ten days for spreading anti-German news. In September 1944 she attempted to escape from the island with a Dutchman, Sieber Koster, who had stolen a rubber dinghy from a German boat in St Helier Harbour. They were adrift for three days; driven by the tide back to Jersey, where the German police were waiting for them. Turner was sentenced to six months in prison, and released on 30 April 1945.

Douglas Le Marchand

Douglas Le Marchand

Douglas Le Marchand and his friends Michael Neil, Kenny Collins and George Le Marquand attempted to escape from Jersey to France on 10 October 1944. The weather was bad and their boat was blown into Anne Port, where they were spotted by the Germans who fired at them. Le Marchand was killed by a bullet that passed through the boat. His three companions were tried by a Military Court on 26 October with attempting to escape. Neil and Collins were sentenced to 10 months in prison and Le Marquand to a year. All three remained in custody until 7 May 1945.

Edward Ross

Edward Ross

In September 1942, moved by the plight of the Ukrainian slave workers, Edward Ross and his wife Nan, resolved to raise the workers spirits by passing on information about Russian progress on the Eastern front. They drew a crude map using information gleaned from outlawed BBC news broadcasts and during a trip to St Ouen’s bay to walk their dog, attempted to pass the information to a group working on the sea wall. They were challenged by German guards and arrested after a chase. During their initial imprisonment in the Gloucester Street prison, their house at David Place, St Helier, was searched and their radio discovered. Despite vigorous denials, the couple were found guilty of ‘consorting without authority with prisoners of war and distributing wireless news hostile to Germany’.

They were sentenced to six months imprisonment and moved to Coutances, in Normandy. Less then one month after the commencement of their sentence, they were separated and re-imprisoned. Nan was sent to the notorious hostage prison at Fort Romainville, from where many prisoners were transferred to Ravensbruck concentration camp. Eddie was sent to Maison d’Arret Prison, Compiégne, to the north of Paris. In total, Eddie and Nan served over one year in prison; their sentence finished on 27 March 1943 - in August of that year Nan requested a transfer to an English or American camp such as Vittel. During this time Eddie managed to smuggle out a letter to the Red Cross. As a result, they were reunited at Vittel the following November. They, and their new son Sheil, were liberated in September 1944.

Joe Miere

Joe Mière and Frank Le Pennec

Joe Miere and his friend Frank Le Pennec accidentally bumped into a German soldier in King Street on 19 October 1941. He demanded an apology but they claimed it was an accident; the German became increasingly angry and had both men arrested, although they were eventually let off with a warning. They took part in the patriotic demonstrations at South Hill against the deportation of British-born Channel Islanders to internment camps in Germany on 16 September 1942. They were released after two days with another warning. In November 1944 the two youngsters and their friend David Dawson fell under suspicion of stealing weapons, and illicit items were discovered in a search of the family homes. Miere was repeatedly beaten in order to achieve an admission of guilt, before being incarcerated in the Gloucester Street prison. The three youths were tried by a German Military Court at Avondale, Lower Kings Cliff, 0n 30 January 1945, on charges of ‘continual anti-German demonst6rations in company with others and insulting the German forces’.

Miere adds to the list ‘smearing tar swastikas on the properties of pro-German islanders’. They were each sentenced to 18 months imprisonment. Le Pennec managed to escape from prison in March 1945 with Donald Bell and Richard Williams and Miere and Dawson were released on 7 May 1945,

June Sinclair

June Sinclair

June Sinclair had moved to the island before the Occupation and had few attachments and family ties there. She was a half-Jewish orphan from London who lived next door to the Mière family in Midvale Road, St. Helier. She was quick tempered and did not suffer fools easily. Therefore, when she was molested by a German soldier at the hotel where she was employed, she retaliated rapidly by slapping his face, and it seems that the ensuing melee degenerated dangerously. Like many other women in occupied Europe, she was swept into the concentration camp system and ended her days in Ravensbrück, where she is presumed to have died in 1943, aged 20.

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