By Gilly Carr
Harold John Dodd was born in Guernsey on 14 February 1889. We know little about his earlier life other than that he served as a private in the Guernsey Light Infantry in First World War, retiring in 1919.
At the start of the Occupation, Dodd worked as a greenhouse labourer and was single. He lived in the Forest Parish with his unmarried sister, Hilda Dodd. By 1942, at the time of the second registration of Islanders, Dodd was working as a grower for Timmer Ltd in the Forest.
Dodd comes to our attention because, on 18 September 1941, he was tried by the Tribunal of the Feldkommandantur 515. There are two charge sheets against his name for that date. The first records the offence of ‘curfew infringement’ and ‘insulting the German forces’. For the first offence he was sentenced to 14 days ‘detention in custody’ in Guernsey Prison; for the second he received a sentence of two months. On the second charge sheet, of the same date, the two charges listed are ‘curfew infringement’ (for which he received 14 days detention in custody), and a charge of ‘anti-German information’, for which he was given a sentence of eight months, to be served in Caen Prison. Quite whether this amounted to four charges in total, with sentences to be served concurrently, or whether one was a mistake, is unknown. Quite possibly the latter was the case, as records show that he spent just two months in Caen Prison. It was unusual to have been deported for a sentence of less than three months. Dodd was unlucky.
His first sentence, in Guernsey Prison, was supposed to have been from 1-15 October 1941 (although records from Guernsey Prison show that he remained behind bars until 19 October). He arrived in Caen Prison on 22 October 1941 and he was released on 15 December 1941, when he was free to return to Guernsey.
Dodd’s occupation registration card is stamped with the words ‘evacuated to Germany’. On 13 February 1943 he was deported, along with others who had served prison sentences and were deemed ‘troublemakers’, to Laufen Civilian Internment camp, an all-male camp. We know nothing about Dodd’s post-war life other than that he survived the war.
List of Admissions (Guernsey Prison), Guernsey Archives ref. HA/P/08-03.
Harold Dodd’s occupation registration card, Guernsey Archives.
Harold Dodd’s court charge sheet ref. CC 14-05/79 & 80.
Harold Dodd’s Caen prison records, Calvados Archives ref. 1664 w 34.