By Gilly Carr
Dora Everdell Ferbrache was born on 18 March 1916 in Jersey. At the time of the registration of Islanders in January 1941, Dora was single and living at ‘Chez Nous’, Ouaisné, St Brelade. She had two children, Graeme (born 1936) and David (born 1939), but both were living in Westaway Crèche in St Helier at this time. This is because Dora was unable to look after them, but we do not know how much choice she had in the matter of putting them into this institution. Dora was a domestic servant and may not have been able to afford to keep them or find childcare for them.
Dora comes to our attention because, on 6 June 1941, she was sentenced by the court of Feldkommandantur 515 to 3 months’ imprisonment for ‘participating in serious larceny’. She was sentenced on the same day and for the same offence as Gladys Bewhay née Sangan, also a domestic servant; the two women lived at the same address and Gladys received a longer sentence. It seems that the two women were, in the eyes of the occupiers, partners in crime. That Dora had to resort to crime underscores her poverty. We don’t know what she stole, but we might hazard a guess that Dora wanted money so she could afford to have her children back with her.
Dora was deported on 27 July 1941, on the same time as sisters Kathleen Norman and Lilian Kinnard, who had been sentenced for V-sign offences. The three women were all sent to Caen Prison. Xavier de Guillebon from Guernsey arrived at the prison on the same day; he too had been convicted of V-sign offences, and may well have been on the deportation boat with the women.
Dora arrived at Caen Prison on 28 July 1941. She was due to be released on 26 October 1941, and a notice of her liberation was duly inscribed into the prison register on 25 October. However, this was scored through and a note scrawled above which stated that this was annulled by the German authorities. It is not quite clear whether her liberation or her sentence was annulled, but quite possibly the latter.
We do not know, then, precisely when Dora was released, but her Occupation registration card records that on 31 October 1941 she moved to St Saviour, indicating a timely release and return back to the Island.
We do not know what happened to Dora later in or after the Occupation. The Frank Falla Archive invites members of the Ferbrache family, or Dora’s sons, to get in touch if they have documents, stories or photos to share.
Dora Ferbrache’s Occupation registration card, Jersey Archives ref. St.H/5/1452.
Dora Ferbrache’s Occupation registration form, Jersey Archives ref. St.H/5/1454.
Dora Ferbrache’s court records, Jersey Archives ref. D/Z/H6/2/17.
Dora Ferbrache’s prison records from Caen, Calvados Archives ref. 1664 w 34.