By Gilly Carr
Frank William Jolliffe was born on 21 December 1900 in King’s Norton just outside Birmingham, England; at least, this was the date of birth he stated on his Occupation registration card. His birth certificate is dated 21 December 1904. We do not know when or why he came to Jersey, but his step-son suggests that, because Jolliffe’s father was a jeweller, the family moved for tax reasons. In any case, they came to Jersey when Jolliffe was still young as his occupation registration card indicates that he attended the local public school, Victoria College, where he was in the Officers’ Training Corps.
At the time of the registration of Islanders in January 1941, Jolliffe was working as a ship’s engineer, newly married to Maud Sullivan, and living in Stopford Road in St Helier. It is worth noting that, when Frank Jolliffe and Maud married in 1939, she was a 46 year old widow and he (so he claimed) was 40. It is possible that he falsified his date of birth at this time so as to reduce the age gap with his wife. In any case, Jolliffe, Maud and Maud’s son Bruce evacuated for England in October 1939, just a month after the marriage. They left behind in Jersey Maud’s two adult children, Owen and Joan.
The family moved to Perry Barr, Birmingham, and Maud and Jolliffe started work in the ICI factory, manufacturing guns, rifles, shells and bullets. However, Jolliffe headed back to Jersey in May 1940 to bring his mother, step-son and step-daughter to England, but they didn’t want to come as they were told that Jersey would not be occupied. This proved to be false information, and the family members were caught in the Island after the arrival of German forces.
During the Occupation, Jolliffe worked as a ship’s engineer. He worked on a tug-boat, towing barges between Jersey, Guernsey and France, which was dangerous work. From July 1941 to March 1942 he was based in Guernsey with this work. His stepson, Bruce, told the Frank Falla Archive that Jolliffe was also a smuggler on the black market and was informed on to the Germans for stealing petrol which he was selling to Jersey farmers. Jolliffe thus comes to our attention because, on 23 June 1943, he was sentenced by the Court of the Field Command 515 to four months’ imprisonment for ‘serious larceny’. He was then deported on 13 July 1943 with another Islander, Clifford Querée.
Jolliffe was sent first to Saint-Lô Prison for a few days. On 19 July 1943, he and another Islander, John Moignard, were moved to Troyes Hauts-Clos Prison. Although Jolliffe’s date of release was scheduled for 11 November 1943, on 15 November he was transferred to Châlons-sur-Marne Prison.
It seems that Jolliffe was sent, soon after the expiry of his sentence, to St Denis internment camp for British citizens. This was an extremely common pathway at this time for Britons coming out of French prisons or caught in French territory. The evidence for this step in Jolliffe’s journey comes from a postcard he sent to a friend (living in the same town as his mother) in the UK in January 1944 from the camp. He is listed on the postcard as prisoner 2260, and the image on the front shows the hospital of Val-de-Grace. This image may have been chosen because it was the only postcard available to Jolliffe, or else he might have been sending a coded message to a friend in the UK that he was ill. Such ill-health would not be a surprise after six moths in the French prison system.
According to Roger Harris, author of Islanders Deported, Frank Jolliffe was transferred to Laufen Internment Camp, although we do not know whether this is based on unstated archival evidence or guesswork. On 20 February 1945, he was transferred to Spittal Drau Internment Camp. From here he would have been repatriated to the UK in June 1945.
After the war, Jolliffe returned to Birmingham. Bruce remembers him arriving in an American uniform – the uniform of his liberators. Jolliffe split up with Maud, and moved to Henley-in-Arden with his mother. Maud and Bruce returned to Jersey in 1949, where Bruce now lives.
The Frank Falla Archive would like to thank Bruce Doré for getting in touch about his step-father, and David Owen for making contact about the postcard from St Denis .
Frank Jolliffe’s Occupation registration card, Jersey Archives ref. G/3/565.
Frank Jolliffe’s Occupation registration form, Jersey Archives ref. G/3/566 and 567.
Frank Jolliffe’s record, political prisoner register copyright Jersey Archives ref. D/AG/B7/7.
Frank Jolliffe’s court records, copyright Jersey Archives ref. D/Z/H6/6/87.
Frank Jolliffe’s from from Troyes Hauts-Clos, copyright Archives Départementales de l’Aube, Troyes, France, ref. 1039 w 16.