Hedley's diary - 7

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Hedley's Liberation Diary

30 July - 11 August 1945

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Hedley Clement's post-war diary is a work of fiction, based on reports in the pages of the Evening Post in the days, weeks and months following Jersey's liberation from German Occupation on 9 Mary 1945. Researched by Marion Falle and written by Mike Bisson, this diary will gradually build into the most detailed history ever produced of the time. It will chart the island's return to normality after the dark days of occupation

July 1945

Monday 30th

  • The debate over who had the most difficult times during the past five years - those who evacuated to Britain or the people who remained in their Island homes - continues in the correspondence columns of the paper. But does this really get us anywhere, does it serve any useful purpose to indulge in all this recrimination? Whether one was living in Jersey under the Huns, or over in Britain during the blitzes, life was certainly not pleasant, and both sections of Jersey folk had troubles and difficulties with which to contend. Now that we are coming together again (and we are all Jersey people, wherever we have spent the last five years) can't we do so in the right spirit, cease the carping criticism which so many are indulging in and do our best to restore to our little Island the prosperity it enjoyed in the past?
I have remarked more than once in my journal that the returning evacuees are not always finding their homes intact and their furniture waiting for them as they left it. Five years is a long time, and when for that five years an enemy military force has occupied a place once can hardly expect to fine one’s property in anything approaching the condition one left it. The Islanders who stayed behind had many problems of their own. So please look at things in a reasonable manner, make the necessary allowances and settle down each to do his or her bit in the making of a happy, united community.
Bad Wurzach internment camp
  • And there's yet another group, of course – those who made the decision to stay in Jersey, even though it was their adopted home, and were then rudely uprooted and sent to German internment camps. I sympathise with the anonymous 'Returned Deportee' who has had a letter published in the paper, but I cannot understand his (or her) demand to know who was responsible for sending them away. There's no point looking to cast the blame here. It was the Germans who made this decision, and thankfully they are now gone. The writer of the letter asks how their family are to be compensated for the physical and mental suffering they endured in Germany and claims that those Jersey people who remained behind think they have been away on holiday, and don't know what it is like to be shut up behind barbed wire for three years.
As I say, I have some sympathy for the writer, but haven't we all been shut up behind barbed wire, for five years? We have all, wherever we have been living, just endured the worst and most widespread conflict the world has ever known, and while it is human nature to think that our own plight has been worse than that of others, how can distinctions be made? What does 'Returned Deportee' think of those who left before occupation became a threat, and have fought and died so that we can now all claim to be free?
It's not just an issue of compensation. The children, particularly, who were deported with their parents, have lost out on three years proper education. No doubt efforts were made to continue their schooling in the camps but now they are back they find themselves way behind their compatriots who remained behind and were able to continue with their schooling. Will anything be done to help them? I have heard it suggested that a year or two in one of the private schools, at the expense of the States, might be one answer. I'm not at all sure that this would work, but something has to be done. They can't just be dropped back into their previous schools and be expected to keep up with their former colleagues.
  • Young Morice Williams, a Jersey boy who was at school with our Helier, and evacuated to England with his parents in 1940, has been making quite a name for himself as a schoolboy boxer in the West of England. Only 14 years of age, he has won the junior championships of Somerset, Wilts and Dorset. This is what one of the district newspapers recently had to say about him: 'Morice Williams, the Bath amateur boxer, is returning to Jersey after five years in England. During the past year he has taken part in many contests in the West of England with remarkable success, winning the junior championships of Somerset, Wilts and Dorset. Arthur Rogers (the Bath Club instructor) says he feels sure Williams will make a name for himself in the boxing world. He is already in touch with Angus McGregor (the Scottish lightweight), who will shortly be back in Jersey, and has promised to take Williams into his club on his return to the Island.’ Morice is the son of the well-known crane-driver on the harbour before to the Occupation, and is apprently ready and willing to meet in the ring any other Jersey boy under 16 years of age and seven stone.
  • One of the servicemen who have been able to get back to the island on leave, Wing-Commander Barry Sutton of Flight Command, is making a name for himself as an author. The eldest son of William Sutton, of La Motte Street, he arrived on leave on Saturday. While convalescing from wounds received in the Battle of Britain, he wrote a book The Day of the Pilot, and later, while in Burma, managed to write another This Other War.
  • More commodities which we have had to do without for so long are now arriving, but it's all getting so complicated. Coal and coke fuel will be available from merchants next month, but you have to study your fuel ration books carefully because they are marked with one of nine codes – AA, AB, AE, AF, AG, AH, BA, BB and BC. Coupons marked A, B, D and F entitle the holder to a hundredweight of coal, while those lucky enough the have C or D will get 2 cwt. But you don't just turn up at the merchant with your coupons. You have to apply to the Fuel Control Office to turn the coupons into Supply Orders. If you have got 'D' on your coupon you can have 4 gallons of paraffin instead of coal, but whatever your choice, Fuel Control secretary Bill Rattenbury, father of Doris' friend Joyce, is warning that the ration for domestic heating should be kept for the winter. Apparently we are about to get new fuel ration cards, but have been warned to keep the old ones, which might still be needed. Bill and his fellow civil servants must be having a whale of a time.
  • And those who are leaving for England are being advised of the simple process which will enable them to get rations there. Simple, just hand over the Jersey ration book to get an English one. Well, not exactly. First get back any coupons which have been handed to retailers for safe keeping, then surrender the ration book and all its pages to the Food Control Office, who will give a receipt to produce to the Food Office at their destination, which will issue an English ration book.
Am I the only one who finds it frustrating to see adverts for things we can't yet buy? ...

Tuesday 31st

  • I remarked a week or two back that as the mailboats started running again, they were more than half empty because of the 'red tape' involved in getting permits to travel. They are still not full when they arrive, and not always occupied by those who really deserve to have seats. People are getting more and more frustrated by the current restrictions on travel to the island and are understandably bitter that those with no obvious connection to the island are travelling for short stays while Servicemen and deportees can't get on the boats.
The EP has taken up the cudgels and has an explanation of why the boats are arriving half empty when people are stranded on the South Coast, not allowed to travel. It's because Guernsey's quota is considerably larger than ours, because twice as many people evacuated from the sister island as from here. My simple mind has the answer to these problems – find more boats. The Navy must have plenty it doesn't need for the purposes for which they were built, and if evacuees could make the crossing in coal boats and other like vessels in 1940, they'd surely be happy now to come back in something a tad short of luxurious.
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  • What were we listening to when we brought the wireless out from its secret hiding place over the past five years? It was the Allied Expeditionary Forces programme on the BBC, and sadly it came to an end on Saturday, with a fitting tribute from General Eisenhower. This is the station which ‘came through’ on our crystal sets so perfectly and was the main source of war news which we heard ‘every hour on the hour’ and which was circulated so freely underground. The programmes were light, many complained that they devoted too much time to jazz, but one has to remember that the station was in existence for our fighting forces and afforded them a relief from the bloody business of battle. Even so, how many of us have not spent an enjoyable half-hour with Tommy Handley or ‘Navy Mixture’? To make way for the BBC’s peacetime programme AEFP has passed on. With the regret of one bidding adieu to a good friend may I pay my tribute to the organisation producing the programme which was instrumental in keeping the Channel Islands in good heart.

August 1945

Wednesday 1st

  • For some days considerable interest has been evinced in town at the preparations for the reopening of Woolworth’s store in King Street. There was a great deal of work to be done, including complete reconstruction of counters, but the job has been expeditiously carried through and this morning the popular store reopened its doors to the public. A queue, the majority of whom were women, had been formed early and no sooner was business commenced than the hundred-and-one articles of every kind were being transferred from the counters to the bags and baskets of the customers.
  • Smart work by the police was responsible for the recapture of a young man who escaped from the Prison in Gloucester Street yesterday afternoon. Ronald Hector Macguire, aged 31, tasted freedom for only 40 mintues. It was in January last year that he was sentenced to five years penal servitude for stealing a calf and killing it in an inhumane manner. He was caught by Corporal Fred Davis, and Detective Constable Ben Shenton. Macguire had been working in the yard at the back of the prison; seizing the opportune moment when he was not under observation, he climbed the high wall and jumped over the other side to liberty. Those looking for him must have had a good idea where he would head, and heading for Millbrook they found Macguire sunning himself on the beach. Well done lads.
  • Servicemen who were allowed home on leave during the conflict, would naturally go home. But those whose home is Jersey did not have that opportunity. They were forced to find somewhere else to stay, and for many who found themselves in London, that was the Channel Islands Centre, established in 1941 by a Mr Vibert. If he is to carry on he must be assisted financially, so it is up to the people of Jersey to help by sending him a small contribution. Soldiers, sailors and airmen from Jersey have played their part in the fight which led to victory and the Liberation of the Channel Islands. Now it’s up to the people to show their appreciation by helping to support their club. It is not always possible to be able to find accommodation in London for only a day or two, but as long as funds are available the Channel Islands Centre will be available to Jerseymen. Soon our brave Servicemen will have completed the task of defeating the Japanese, but until the day when they are able to return to their homes, the Channel Islands Centre is vitally important for the welfare of Jerseymen on leave for a few hours in London.
... and here's another one. Please stop reminding us of what's not yet available ...

Thursday 2nd

  • Having swallowed a quantity of soldering fluid, Francis Huby, aged 2½ , the son of our friends Jean Emmanuel and Rose Huby, of La Chaumiere, Haut du Marais, St Ouen, was admitted to the General Hospital about 7 o’clock last evening in a rather serious condition and received immediate attention from Dr Averell Darling. The police were called about 6 o’clock and the ambulance brought the child into town without delay. His condition is not considered serious, and this is no doubt due to the prompt action of all concerned.
  • I've never been that interested in politics. We rarely get the chance to vote out here in the sticks, where there is usually a single candidate for Constable or Deputy, but I sense that things are about to change with elections scheduled for later in the year and my mate Jack and I headed for the Town Hall last night for the Jersey Democratic Movement's public meeting, at which the leaders announced the party’s programme. After their president Herbert Baal had opened the meeting John Stirling began by explaining that the first objective was to change the make-up of the States Assembly. He praised the original members of the party who were bold enough to work for the Movement during the Occupation, despite the many dangers. At present there was considerable unrest in regard to local conditions and generally speaking the people were groping in the dark. The solution to the problem was democracy. Do Jersey people want democracy? The world had decided that it wanted democracy, but apparently not so in Jersey or Guernsey as far as the authorities were concerned. Here the people had not the right to choose their own government, they had to do as they were told. How long would they put up with it?
The public did not appear to understand just what democracy meant. Democracy was a form of government vested in the people. It had sprung up in different countries and had developed in different ways. It was a form of government in which the people were the deciding factors. It was something which Jersey had never known. There was nothing in their Movement’s programme to suggest that they should come under British rule, but if sufficient of them should think that desirable it would be brought forward under a referendum and the majority would decide. They, as a Movement, made no recommendations one way or another. He described the State as a festering sore in the back of the Jersey people. The Prime Minister had said that all liberated people should have the right to choose their own form of government and they, as a people, demanded that right.
And, surprise, surprise, the Evening Post, which has never been that radical in its thinking, has welcomed the reforms put forward by the JDM. With fairly good grace … …the newspaper is claiming that they thought of them first. They say that there is a 'definite sign of the awakening of public interest in the manner in which the Island is governed. This is all to the good, and we welcomed the stirring of Jerseymen and Jersey women from the political apathy which has been a distinctive trait of islanders for so many years.' But let's wait and see who they actually support when polling day arrives.
  • About six pounds of bread was found on the beach at Havre des Pas this morning, presumably placed there for feeding the gulls. Such a waste of food cannot be too strongly condemned.
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  • A shocking incident occurred last evening at St Aubin’s Fort, when Private Moore, 23rd RASC of the Liberation Forces, received grave injury as the result of an explosion. The first intimation that something unusual had happened was when, at about 7 pm, a loud explosion was distinctly heard in the old capital. At first it was thought that it might be connected with the official destruction of munitions, but soon after a young woman, Kathleen Robin, who lives near the Wesleyan Chapel, Bulwarks, who had accompanied a young soldier to the fort, came rushing along the causeway in great distress and reported that her friend had been seriously injured and requesting that assistance be sent.
Centenier Hans Morrison, of St Brelade, who was told of the accident, went to the fort and there met the military authorities. They found Private Moore in a very grave condition; his right hand had been blown off, he had serious injuries to his face and neck; one of his legs was severely fractured, and his left arm was badly lacerated. He was bleeding profusely but was receiving first aid from Miss O’Neill, who acted with commendable promptitude and skill. He was taken with all speed to the Military Hospital (Girls’ College), where he now lies in a critical condition. The cause of the accident is unknown. Miss Robin, when spoken to later, stated that young Moore was not actually with her at the time of the accident. He had taken a stroll to another part of the fort. When she heard the explosion she rushed round to see what had happened and was horrified to find her soldier friend in a pool of blood, with his hand blown off and the other injuries as described. Her first thought was to rush for help. She is unable to throw any light on the cause of the accident. The military authorities are conducting an enquiry.
And it was not long before it was learnt that Private Moore had died. He passed away from shock after the amputation of his arm and leg. He was a married man, from Liverpool. Arrangements were made for his wife to fly to Jersey from London and she arrived yesterday evening, sadly just in time to say goodbye.
  • I'm so sad for our friends John and Alice Norman of 5 Ann Street. They have received news of the death in England, while on active service, of their eldest son, Petty Officer Albert John Norman. Albert, after having served in the Navy throughout the last war, was recalled from the Reserve in 1939. After having served in Germany early this year he returned to England in June. He was only ill for six weeks and then passed away. He leaves a widow, two sons serving in the Royal Navy and Fleet Air Arm, and three daughters. We're not quite sure what 'active service' in England after the end of the war means, but how sad that our friends' son could come through two major wars and die 'back home' in this way.

Friday 3rd

  • Two young boys drifted a considerable distance out to sea on a heavy float at St Brelade’s Bay on Wednesday afternoon. Fortunately their cries for help were heard by Rex Kirby and Ernest Lamy – both members of the Aces Dance Band – who immediately swam out to render aid. To add to their difficulties, the paddles had been swept away and the float had to be manhandled to the shore. After well over half an hour’s strenuous effort against the pull of the outgoing tide, float and grateful occupants were brought safely ashore.
  • Having completed a sentence of 18 months imprisonment for the theft of two cows from La Valleuse, the property of Mr J de la Haye, John Philip Le Druillenec was liberated yesterday. His liberty was short-lived, however, for he was rearrested later in the day by Centenier J de G Le Brun, of St Helier, and handed over to Centenier H E Le Rossignol of St Brelade, in connection with the robbery of silver plate belonging to Mr William Whigham, of Lucero, Route Orange, some time ago. The plate was traced to the establishment of Mr Luigi Forte, Colomberie, and identified by the owner. Investigations by Detective Constable Ben Shenton and the Centeniers resulted in the arrest of the man.
Our lifeboat, the Howard D, remained in the island during the Occupation but was crewed by Germans
  • Six members of the crew of the St Peter Port, Guernsey lifeboat, are being rewarded by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution with grants of £4 3s each for braving an air attack on 29 June 1940 while going to fetch the St Helier lifeboat. Both were to be evacuated to England. Three German planes machine-gunned the Guernsey boat and killed the coxswain’s son, but she completed her journey, although returning alone, as the Jersey authorities wished to keep our boat. Both lifeboats eventually fell into German hands. The pension granted to the widow of the killed lifeboatman has been increased by the Institution to the amount paid to the widow of a serviceman killed in action.
  • Whatever red tape they face before getting on the mailboat, by the time they set foot on our shore, returning islanders are almost universally grateful. And some have come from some way distant. Eric Walker, who arrived earlier this week, was full of praise for the kindness and consideration shown to him and his fellow passengers upon landing. 'We were met by ladies of the Red Cross, who helped us with the children. Then there was the friendly spirit of the police and officials, who did their utmost to make the landing arrangements easy, and last of all a thank you to those friends who put their cars at our disposal. We have just returned from the Bahamas, a journey which altogether has taken about four months. Everywhere we have received the utmost kindness from all concerned: Bahamians, Americans, Canadians and now the British in England and Jersey. Thank you for a splendid welcome home. It will be a wonderful world if this good spirit of comradeship and helpfulness can be translated by us all into the normal relationships of our everyday life,' said Eric.
... and another. Do we really want to be told how courageous we have been, accompanied by the news that we can't yet buy Rennies and Radox? ...
  • I'm bewildered by the latest announcement by the Controller of Textile and Footwear – where do they come up with these titles? Bear with me! Apparently traders whose pre-war business included mattress renovating and repairing have been notified that an allocation of utility ticking for the above purposes will shortly be available. Those wishing to participate should apply in writing to the controller, giving the approximate square yardage of ticking used in the renovating and repairing of mattresses during the year ending 31 December 1939. Are they really expected to remember? Utility ticking, whatever that is, can only be obtained from wholesale suppliers against Key Certificates, which are issued every quarter by the Board of Trade direct to the traders concerned on the basis of the 1939 usage. In case you were wondering about Non-Utility ticking, it is subject to coupons but is in very short supply. If, however, traders can place firm orders for non-Utility ticking, but have no coupon bank account, an application for a coupon flat should be made to the controller. Well, now we know.
  • There seem to be as many controls now as there were before the Hun departed. The Department of Transport and Communication has announced that until further notice, the hire charge for 2-3 ton lorries (with drivers) working under the direction of the Department will be 5s 6d per hour.

Saturday 4th

  • And now for some good news. Beryl du Feu, sister of Doris' friend Mavis Le Montais, of Homeleigh, St Peter, has won a prize in a beauty contest for war workers in Rochdale, Lancashire. Beryl, who won a set of silver spoons, came second. She left the Island in 1939 and now lives in Rochdale.
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  • We may have been on the same side for the past few years, but we need to keep an eye on the French. Our fishermen friends tell us that their flag has been hoisted again on the Minquiers, and it seems likely that this group of rocks off our south coast is once again to become a subject for discussion. When the States tug arrived off Maitre Ile yesterday morning, the crew were astonished to see the French flag flying from the top of what appeared to be a newly-erected flagpole. Going ashore they discovered that the pole had been recently erected and a good job had been made of it, for it was cemented in, and the date of erection - Aout 1945 - neatly worked in the concrete. The Union Jack was still flying bravely from another pole at the other end of the isle where it had been hoisted about two months ago, in a short ceremony attended by the Bailiff, when he formally retook possession of the island in the name of Great Britain. The latest incident recalls the occasion in July 16 years ago when a well-known French banker brought workmen to the Maitre Ile and there commenced the construction of a house. The French flag was also hoisted on a flagpost. Representations were made to the British Government and, through diplomatic channels, to France with the result that work on the house ceased, the French flag was hauled down, the Union Jack was hoisted. We really need to get this sorted out sooner rather than later. The Minquiers are no more French than La Rocque and the Royal Square, whatever they think, and they really need putting in their place.
  • Prompt action on the part of Wilfred Gale, general foremen of Southern Railways, saved the life of a horse which was one of a batch being loaded on to the ss Haselmere on the Albert Pier yesterday afternoon. The horse took fright and fell on its back across the land-tie. Laying there with legs in the air, it looked as if the animal was going to plunge over the side at any moment, but Mr Gale, taking in the situation at a glance, rushed forward and managed at some risk to himself to pull the animal back to safety. He made light of the incident, saying that it was all in a day’s work, but he certainly is to be commended on his prompt and plucky action.
  • With everything else that has happened in the intervening months, are we really bothered that three irishmen, Michael James O’Reilly, John William Reidy and Denis Cummins, were making use of illicit stills at various places in St Helier back in April? The Solicitor-General clearly is, and despite suggestions that the law under which the men were charged is no longer in force, they were fined £5 each by the Royal Court for this dastardly crime.
  • For the first time since the outbreak of war in 1939 an all-day cricket match is to be played at the FB Fields on Monday, when a team representing Island clubs oppose an XI chosen from the Liberating Forces. Play will commence at 11 o’clock and lunch will be taken at 1.30, followed by a short tea interval at 4.30. If no decision has been taken, stumps will be drawn at 6.30 unless a close finish seems imminent. Why don't they ensure a finish by playing 20 overs each. Perhaps there is a future for such a format, which would leave more time for tea.

Tuesday 7th

  • Our neighbour Bert is fed up of having anti-air landing poles and wires in his field, but now he has been told that he can get rid of them if he wants to. All these obstacles have been examined by the Royal Engineers and explosive charges have been removed where they existed. There are the usual bureaucatric string attached, of course. Farmers who do remove the poles have to advise OC 259 Field Company RE of the fact in writing, giving the exact location and number of poles removed. They can keep the poles if they can find a use for them, but otherwise they have to be stacked ready for the RE to collect. Firewood springs to mind.
And whether they are wanted for firewood, or something else, hundreds of applications have been made to buy German huts. Applicants are now notified that their offers are being retained pending decisions which have to be taken by a higher military authority and that when these decisions are made known, a further announcement will be made accordingly. Which Field Marshal is going to occupy his time with decisions about the future of these huts?
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... Well done Le Riches! At least you've got something tempting to offer us
  • Yesterday, for the first time in six years, we all enjoyed a real summer Bank Holiday, a holiday without all manner of restrictions, a holiday when we were able to roam about where we wanted. It was good to see the bays, each with their quota of happy folk, cars, buses, motor cycles and cycles all helping to convey families to and from the beaches and beauty spots. It was a real liberation holiday, without a sign of the green-coated figures who loomed so large in our life for the last five years. Khaki there was in plenty, the khaki of the fathers, sons and brothers on leave enjoying a wonderful time with their reunited families and the khaki of the boys who came to us in the early days of May, our liberating forces. The sun shone, tempered by a wind which was just a shade too cool, but in sheltered spots conditions were ideal. It was a grand August holiday, even if those not in uniform were still sporting 1930s fashions rather than the latest styles yet to reach our shores.
  • A cool breeze, sunshine, crowds of happy people, decoration and music – this was the scene in St John’s School playground where the parish social committee held a fete in aid of the Island fund for the Red Cross. The Rector, the Rev Raymond Hornby, was chairman and in introducing Dr Henry Shone, he spoke of the wonderful work for the Red Cross which the latter had done in the Island and thanked him for coming out to St John. Dr Shone told of the work which had been done at the workroom in Colomberie and the work parties in the country parishes, the men’s section making splints, crutches etc, before the Occupation, and then all that the Red Cross meant to us during nearly five years of weary occupation – the Red Cross messages, though brief, which brought comfort to many, the food parcels and the flour which came at the very darkest hour. It was now in our power to show our appreciation to the Red Cross by helping to raise funds for that wonderful cause.

Wednesday 8th

  • There are some interesting references to church life in the Channel Islands during the Occupation in the Winchester Diocesan Leaflet, as reported in the Southern Daily Echo. In St Helier the number of weekly communicants more than quadrupled; St Mark's Church, which seats 1,200, was again and again filled to capacity; those who have been prepared for confirmation have included many adults. The Germans did not interfere with church services. They made use of the churches for their own services, but not at times which would have caused inconvenience to the local congregations.
  • His many friends of the Jersey Swimming Club will be pleased to know that Sgt Dick Bates of the RAF is still going strong. Flying from North Africa recently to represent his station in the RAF swimming and diving championships, which were held at the Stadio Nazionale, Rome, he placed second in the 5-metre diving competition. He send his regards to old friends.

Thursday 9th

  • In brilliant sunshine five batteries of the Royal Regiment of Artillery, forming part of the Liberation Force which arrived three months ago, paraded at the Weighbridge this morning for the purposes of being addressed by Brigadier A E Snow, in command of the Channel Islands Liberating Forces. The 600 officers, warrant officers, ncos and men, under the command of Colonel WPA Robinson, were drawn up immediately in front of the small circular platform, erected the previous day, on the ‘island’ of the Weighbridge. Promptly at 8 am, Brigadier Snow arrived and stepped on to the platform to be received with the general salute. The Brigadier, in a 15-minute speech, said he thought that today was a good opportunity to say ‘thank you’ and ‘goodbye’ although he did not know exactly when they would be moving. He then gave a summary of the events leading up to the Liberation of the Island and emphasised that in all these operations, from first to last, they had done splendidly and with magnificent spirit.

Saturday 11th

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  • On 29 August 1943, two years ago within a few days, Jack Soyer, in business at First Tower as a wood merchant, was sentenced by the German military authorities to 12 months imprisonment for having been caught with a wireless receiving set and for passing on news. The Germans caught him after he was shopped by an informer. Three months of the sentence was served in the Jersey prison and then Soyer was taken to France to serve the remainder. Up to the time of the invasion of Normandy he managed to get messages through to his family, but from then communication ceased. Since the Liberation of the Island, relatives had tried hard to get news of the missing man, and today Mrs Soyer and Mrs Satchwell (Soyer’s sister) received a letter confirming his death.
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Jack escaped from his German gaolers and was fighting with French comrades in Brehat when he lost his life as the Americans arrived. His funeral was attended by the whole of the local population and paid for by public subscription, and his grave is tended and cared for by all his friends there. So we now know that Jack escaped from prison before dying a glorious death, which is of some consolation to his family, who know who shopped him to the Germans. Jack was 42 and leaves his widow, three children, and his parents and sister.
  • I hear that AB Leonard John Richardson has been awarded the DSM for his part in the sinking of a U-boat in February this year. Richardson was serving in the sloop, HMS Amethyst, which attacked the U-boat, bringing to the surface a German leather jacket, helmet and gloves, three tins of German egg powder, several German books and navigation notes in German. He wins his award for ‘courage, outstanding skill and promptness of action.’
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