Edward Le Quesne

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Edward Le Quesne

Edward Le Quesne (1882-1957) ran the Department of Labour during the German Occupation.

It was his idea to build a new road across a section of the island's north coast, the North Marine Drive in St John, to provide work for unemployed men who might otherwise have had to work for the Germans.

After the war he became president of the Public Health Committee, and was responsible for the building of the Nurses' Home at the General Hospital and Sandybrook Home for the elderly.

Evening Post obituary

Si monumentum requiris circumspice: If you want a memorial, look around. This is very true of Edward Le Quesne. A true Jerseyman, with most of the virtues, and few of the faults, inherent in those of Norman descent. A man of resolution, enterprise and charity, his work for the public will be commemorated for ages yet, in the form of the roads, buildings and other construction for which he was primarily responsible. His work and care in his public capacity for the aged, sick and pooor, will long be remembered. His sense of fair play and his staunch struggles for the rights of the working man won him the respect of all. The multitude of his private acts of kindness to those in trouble or need is beyond count. Only the recipients and some of his friends know the extent of his generosity and practical help.

It is his work during the Occupation - his stubborn resistance to enemy demands, his ingenuity in avoiding deportation of Jersey labour, that was perhaps his greatest achievement.

The Route du Nord stands a s a permanent memorial to the selfless devotion of this man.

Family

The eldest of eight children of Thomas Daniel Le Quesne and Laura Le Gros, Edward Le Quesne was born at 5 Burrard Street, St Helier. His father was a plumber and Centenier of St Helier.

Edward was educated at Mr Olliver's School in Charing Cross, Parlett's Collegiate in Victoria Crescent and the denominational college at Carerham, Surrey, with a view to entering the Congregational Ministry, which his father wished. He remained there only a short time and left to learn his trade as a plumber in London. He returned to the island and joined his father's business.

He served in the Royal Jersey Artillery, and was a keen sportsman. He opened a school of physical culture in the military gymnasium at Fort Regent in 1924 and by 1939 over 600 pupils attended regularly. More than 80 became gymnastic instructors in the armed services during World War 2.

Politics

He was elected a Deputy for St Helier No 2 district in 1925 and held the seat until he stood successfully for the new office of Senator in 1948.

During the Occupation he was a member of the Superior Council and as president of the Department of Labour Committee he introoduced a number of schemes to find work for those who would otherwise have been conscripted by the Germans.

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