By Gilly Carr
Arthur Wilfred Quérée was born on 28 November 1909 in the parish of St Helier in Jersey. At the time of the registration of Islanders in January 1941, he was married to Florence Le Gresley, with whom he had a son (Roy Quérée, born in January 1940), and was living in St Ouen, where he worked as a stone dresser.
Arthur Quérée comes to our attention because, on 22 December 1941 he was sentenced with John Coutanche, Francis Ferrand, Michael McGrath and Maurice O’Connell, to four months’ imprisonment for receiving stolen goods.
Quérée was deported to France on 12 January 1942 and appears in the records of Caen Prison the following day, from 13 January 1942. His sentence was due to expire on 25 April 1942. As this was still early in the war, Quérée was fortunate to be released on that date and sent back to Jersey.
According to records in Jersey Archives, Quérée was recorded as having arrived safely back in the Island.
Because he now had a criminal conviction, Quérée was later deported to Biberach and then Wurzach Internment Camp in September 1942; he was sent away with his wife and two children: David Quérée, the youngest son, born in August 1941, was also now part of the family.
In an interview, the son of John Coutanche testified that, sadly, Arthur Quérée committed suicide after the war. This is repeated in Coutanche’s memoirs. Elsewhere it is recorded that Quérée was placed in an asylum while in Biberach. Perhaps a double deportation, a period in Caen Prison, and the guilt attached to causing his family to be deported too, was too much for him and his mental health collapsed. The trauma associated with imprisonment and internment is sometimes underestimated.
The family of Arthur Quérée are invited to get in touch with the Frank Falla Archive if they wish to share information about his story.
Arthur Quérée’s Occupation registration card, Jersey Archives ref. D/S/A/13/A769.
Arthur Quérée’s Occupation registration form, Jersey Archives ref. D/S/A/13/B769.
Arthur Quérée’s court records, Jersey Archives ref. D/Z/H6/3/10.
Arthur Quérée’s record in Jersey’s political prisoner log book, Jersey Archives ref. D/AG/B7/7
Arthur Quérée’s records from Caen Prison, Calvados Archives, registre d’ecrou, ref. 1664 w 33.
Interview with Richard Coutanche, 24 September 2014.
The Memories and Life of John Charles Coutanche, unpublished memoirs of John Coutanche, in private ownership.