By Gilly Carr
Cyril Hockey was born on 22 August 1924 in Guernsey. At the time of the registration of Islanders in October 1940, Hockey was single and working as a labourer. At the time of the further registration of Islanders in December 1942, Hockey was working as a quarryman for the Organisation Todt, based at Hougue Ricart.
Hockey comes to our attention because, on 4 April 1944, he was given a 6 month sentence for theft. We might observe that he was sentenced on the same day for the same offence as George Ferbrache, indicating that the two men may have been involved together. Both were convicted by Army Tribunal in Guernsey. As we see in Hockey’s statement below, the story of his particular offence is very similar to Ferbrache’s, further cementing this hypothesis.
Frank Falla’s prison diary shows records that Hockey was deported on 12 May 1944. A record for Cyril Hockey exists among the prison records for Fort d’Hauteville Prison in Dijon. From this we can learn that he arrived at the prison from the Maison d’Arrêt in Dijon (Dijon Prison) on 15 May 1944.
The court that tried Hockey was not the usual Feldkommandantur 515 based in Jersey, nor the Nebenstelle 515 in Guernsey, but is listed as ‘24200 Gericht FP No. St. L 67/44’. According to registers of the German military post, this was the Feldgericht (military court) of the 319th Infantry Division of the German Army, which was the main German occupation force on the Islands. The reasons for Hockey having been sentenced by this military court rather than the standard Feldkommandantur remain unknown.
Cyril Hockey was due to be released on 10 October 1944. Instead, on 24 August 1944, he was transferred to Germany. In another document from Dijon Prison, also dated 24 August 1944, his name accompanies that of other Guernseymen being transferred to Germany: Harold Gallienne, George Ferbrache, Clifford Tostevin, and John Le Caer. Each of these men came together again in Marlag and Milag Nord Internment Camp the following month, but each had been sent via different places of internment. Cyril Hockey was sent to Giromagny Internment Camp with Clifford Tostevin and George Ferbrache.
In the mid-1960s, Cyril Hockey applied unsuccessfully for compensation for Nazi persecution. In his statement, he stated that he was imprisoned for:
… stealing from German stores and billets. I was sentenced to six months on the first charge of breaking into food stores and issuing food to a few people of old age and helping to keep ends up at home as well. After my deportment [sic] and during my imprisonment in France I had another trial by the Germans for stealing some rifles and ammunition. For this offence which they never proved, they sentenced me to 23 years imprisonment. In all I was a prisoner for 18 months moving from one place to another. I was first imprisoned in Guernsey and then I was taken to Dijon, from there I was next taken to Giromagny and thence into Germany. My last stage of internment was Westertimke where I was released and transported to England.
Marlag and Milag Nord Internment Camp was liberated on 28 April 1945 by the British and the former prisoners were able in due course to return to the UK and then to Guernsey.
The Frank Falla Archive welcomes further contact from the Hockey family, if they have any family stories, photos or documents to share about Cyril.
Cyril Hockey’s Occupation registration form, Island Archives, Guernsey.
Cyril Hockey’s 1942 registration form, Island Archives, Guernsey.
Cyril Hockey’s record for Fort d’Hauteville Prison, Dijon, Archives départementales de la Côte-d’Or, 1409 W 1-13, Régistre d’écrou Prison d’Hauteville.
Cyril Hockey’s record for Dijon Prison, Archives départementales de la Côte-d’Or, SHD-27P4.
Compensation claim for Nazi persecution, Cyril Hockey, TNA ref. FO 950/4880.