Thomas Michael Daly

Date of birth 15 October 1921
Place of birth Ireland
Deported from Jersey
Deportation date 30 June 1941
Address when deported 13 St Marks Road, St Helier

By Gilly Carr

This entry was supplemented by information from Daly’s daughter.

Thomas Michael Daly was born in County Longford, Ireland on 15 October 1921. He came to Jersey with a group of friends, all looking for work, when he was 18 years old. He became trapped in the island by the arrival of German occupying forces as he was in hospital with a ruptured appendix.

Although Daly arrived in the island as a single man, he married Kathleen Barry on 10 February 1944 after meeting her at a church dance the year before.

Daly comes to our attention through some notes written on his occupation registration card: ‘reported leaving for Germany 30.6.41. Reported returned from Germany 24.1.43’. He was once of the Irish men who voluntarily left Jersey to work in Germany.

On 22 December 1943 his name appears in the political prisoner log book as having been charged with theft. He was let out of Jersey jail on 8 January 1944; perhaps his sentence included time already served.

On 10 June 1944, Daly was once again in trouble with the Germans. He was convicted by troop court to five months’ imprisonment for ‘receiving stolen articles’.

Daly’s daughter writes that he was:

arrested in connection with the theft of a large amount of alcohol from German stores. He said he was innocent of this particular crime, but knew the culprits. He would not give them any names. Even my pregnant mother was taken down to the Geheime Feldpolizei headquarters, Silvertide, at Havre de Pas for questioning. She was told she would never see him again. He was deported on 30 June 1944, with 10 or 12 others, including Harold Le Druillenec, to a prison in St Malo, then on to Camp Marguerite, an annexe of Jacques-Cartier Prison in Rennes. With the allies ever closer, they were marched across country to a train stopped in woodland heading for Germany. The train moved slowly. About an hour later he saw an opening in the roof of the train where it was damaged. He decided he would make a run for it as it was now dark. He squeezed through and jumped into the woods. He did not know if any others followed. He came across a small farmhouse, where  he slept the night on the kitchen floor. It was a miracle he had survived the jump uninjured. He moved before dawn to others who would help him, eventually reaching the Americans.

He told them his story, and asked for help getting to England as Jersey was still occupied. In the meantime they gave him a job as motor cycle courier. He eventually got back to England where he was fed and given some clothes, and a small amount of money by the Women’s Voluntary Service (WVS). When the authorities heard his story there was much excitement, as he could supply them with much information about Jersey. He spent some time being interviewed at the Ministry of Defence. They gave him a job and accommodation. He worked doing repairs to Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, and many other famous properties in war-torn London. After the liberation in late May, my mother and I (a small baby) were among the first to leave Jersey.  There was even a mention of our names in the JEP. I think someone must have pulled some strings. We left London in 1949 to return to Jersey. My father died of cancer in 2006. He loved Jersey, he said it had given him a very good life. He saw many harrowing things during his imprisonment, and whilst on the run in France.”


The Frank Falla Archive would like to thank Daly’s daughter, Heather Craydon, for giving her father’s story.

Thomas Daly’s occupation registration card photo, Jersey Archives ref. D/S/A/14/A97.

Thomas Daly’s occupation registration card, Jersey Archives ref D/S/A/14/A97.

Thomas Daly’s charge sheet, Jersey Archives ref. D/Z/H6/7/97.



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