By Gilly Carr
Francis John Le Flock was born on 26 June 1888 in the parish of St John, Jersey. We know little about his earlier life other than that he served in the infantry in the First World War, demobilising with the rank of Corporal on 28 February 1919.
At the time of the registration of islanders, Le Flock was living in Le Marais Cottage in Léoville, St Ouen with his wife, and working as an auxiliary postman.
Le Flock comes to our attention because, on 9 April 1943, he was sentenced by the Court of the Field Command 515 to eight months’ imprisonment for ‘failing to surrender a wireless set’. He was sentenced at the same time and for the same crime as Walter Gallichan, who appears elsewhere on this website. Gallichan was given a one-year sentence.
While Le Flock was in prison, he was prosecuted by the Royal Court on a charge of receiving stolen property in the form of two rabbits; the Germans were informed of this charge. His trial was arranged for 3 May 1943.
On 12 May 1943, Le Flock arrived at Troyes Haut-Clos Prison, having travelled from Saint-Lô Prison, where he was held for just over a week. All of those with whom he was deported also went to Saint-Lô as their first place of internment.
Le Flock stayed in Troyes until 14 January 1944, at which point he was transferred to Châlons-sur-Marne Prison. He should have been released on 26 December 1943, but it was not to be.
We do not know how long he stayed in Châlons-sur-Marne; it may only have been a brief sojourn. However, by 1944 Islanders serving sentences in France were not being systematically returned to the Channel Islands at the end of their sentence. They were, instead, commonly transferred to Saint-Denis Internment Camp just outside Paris. As the records from this camp have not yet been located, we cannot confirm whether Le Flock was sent here, but there is no record of his return to Jersey. On the contrary, a document in Jersey Archives indicates that on 12 October 1944, Francis Le Flock (who was by now in Woolwich in the UK) requested to return to Jersey. Such requests were not possible until after the liberation of the Island.
We might note that Jersey War Tunnels displays a small piece of information about Le Flock as collected in the form of oral testimony by former curator, Joe Mière. This states that Le Flock served his sentence ‘in prisons and camps on the Continent’. This information provides us with just a hint that our supposition about Le Flock’s final place of internment might be correct. We might also note that Arthur Dimery, with whom he was deported, was sent to the same series of prisons as Le Flock; he was also in Saint-Denis.
Francis Le Flock’s Occupation registration card, Jersey Archives ref. St. O/2/454.
Francis Le Flock’s Occupation registration form, Jersey Archives ref. St.O/2/455.
Francis Le Flock’s record, political prisoner register Jersey Archives ref. D/AG/B7/7.
Francis Le Flock’s court records, Jersey Archives ref. D/Z/H6/5/47.
Francis Le Flock’s records from Troyes Haut-Clos Prison, Archives Départementales de l’Aube, ref. 1039 W 16.
Request by Francis Le Flock to return to Jersey, Jersey Archives B/A/L42/9/185.