By Gilly Carr
George Du Pré was born in the parish of St Helier, Jersey, on 15 May 1910. At the time of the registration of islanders in January 1941, Du Pré was single, working as a farm hand, and living in St Helier. Between the start of the Occupation and his eventual deportation, he moved eight times, indicating a very unsettled existence, perhaps as he changed jobs.
Our knowledge of his life before the Occupation is confined to his earlier career as a private in the Royal Jersey Militia from 1935 to when he was discharged for medical reasons in June 1940.
Du Pré comes to our attention because, on 26 September 1942 he was put in prison. On 28 October 1942 he was sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment for embezzlement of petrol. Because he was tried by the court of the Field Command 515, we can assume that this was theft from the Germans. He was deported from Jersey to France on 18 November 1942 along with Alfred Le Calvez, Albert Marie, and Henry Rabet (all from Jersey), and Thomas Le Prevost and James Quick, both from Guernsey.
Our knowledge of what happened next to Du Pré is based only on records from French prisons. These show that he arrived at Coutances Prison on 19 November 1942; on 7 May 1943 he was transferred to Fort d’Hauteville Prison in Dijon, where he arrived on 8 May 1943 via La Santé Prison in Paris. His fellow deportees, Alfred Le Calvez, Albert Marie and Henry Rabet, arrived with him. On 5 July 1943, Le Calvez, Marie and Rabet were escorted with Du Pré from Fort d’Hauteville to Dijon Prison.
Meanwhile, back in Jersey, on 9 July 1943, the Attorney General announced in a letter to the Constable of St Helier that, as Du Pré’s prison sentence ended on 27 June 1943, he had already been released and transferred to an internment camp. This transfer, if it took place, would most likely have been to Saint-Denis Internment Camp in Paris, and could only have been temporary. Du Pré’s occupation registration card notes that he returned from France to Jersey on 25 August 1943 with his colleagues.
In 1959, George Du Pre applied for his War Medal on account of serving in the Royal Jersey Militia between 1939 and 1940.
The Frank Falla Archive would like to invite the family of George Du Pré to get in touch if they have more information about him to share.
George Du Pré, Occupation registration card and forms, Jersey Archives ref. St.H/5/629, 630, 631.
George Du Pré’s court records, Jersey Archives ref. D/Z/H6/4/66.
George Du Pré’s entry in the Political Prisoner Log Book, Jersey Archives ref. D/AG/B7/7.
George Du Pré’s records at Fort d’Hauteville Prison, Archives Départementales Côte d’Or, ref. 1409 W.
George Du Pré’s Royal Jersey Militia records, Jersey Archives ref. L/F/97/M22/446.