By Gilly Carr
Harold Ira Gallienne was born on 23 March 1899 in Guernsey. As a young man he served in the Royal Guernsey Militia as a private, which he noted on the registration form that he left on 3 September 1916, aged 17; however, it seems perhaps more likely that either he joined at this age, or else he was invalided out at this time.
At the time of the registration of Islanders in October 1940, Gallienne worked as a bus driver. He was single, 41 years old, and lived in Torteval. By December 1942, when he filled in a second registration form, he was now working in a greenhouse carrying out ground work in the neighbouring parish of St Peter in the Wood (St Pierre du Bois). A lack of fuel meant that many people no longer rode in buses but travelled by horse drawn carts once again.
Gallienne comes to our attention because, on 14 March 1944, he was sentenced by the tribunal of Feldkommandantur 515 (indicating that he had been sent to Jersey for his trial) to 6 months’ imprisonment for ‘abusing the Occupying Authority’. The authorities in Guernsey were told of this conviction on 4 April 1944. Although there is no record of Gallienne in Guernsey Prison, Frank Falla records his presence and deportation on 19 April 1944 in his prison diary. He also refers to Gallienne as ‘Smiter Gallienne’, a reference to his offence, which we can probably decode as striking a German soldier.
According to Falla, Gallienne was deported with Harry Dean to Saint-Lô Prison. Most sentences here seemed to be around a week in length if a prisoner was going to be moved elsewhere. He then arrived at Fort d’Hauteville Prison in Dijon on 2 May 1944.
Although he was due to be released on 19 October 1944, Gallienne was transferred away from this prison on 24 August 1944, no doubt because of the approaching Allies. He was transferred first, and temporarily, to the Maison d’Arrêt in Dijon and then transferred to Germany the same day. A list survives from Dijon prison noting those to be transferred to Germany that day. Accompanying Gallienne from Guernsey was George Ferbrache, Cyril Hockey, John Le Caer, and Clifford Tostevin.
We might be entirely without knowledge about the fate of these men but, in a letter written from the internment camp of Marlag and Milag Nord in September 1944, Guernseyman Ernest Le Prevost noted that he was in the camp with Harold Gallienne, Jack Le Caer, Clifford Tostevin, Cyril Hockey, and George Ferbrache. The full complement of Guernseymen had been sent together to this camp. As Le Prevost also left Dijon on 24 August to spend a week in Fort Hatry Prison before being sent to Marlag and Milag Nord, it is entirely possible that Harold Gallienne followed this trajectory, but we have no proof of this.
The men were liberated on 28 April 1945 by the British. We know that Ernest Le Prevost, at least, was able to return to Guernsey by late July 1945. It seems likely that the other men returned to the Island too, if that was their wish.
The Frank Falla Archive welcomes contact from the Gallienne family, if they have any family stories, photos or documents to share about Harold.
Harold Gallienne’s Occupation registration form, Island Archives, Guernsey.
1942 registration form for Harold Gallienne, Island Archives, Guernsey.
Harold Gallienne’s charge sheet, copyright Island Archives, Guernsey, ref. CC14-05/328
Harold Gallienne’s record for Fort d’Hauteville Prison, Dijon, copyright Archives départementales de la Côte-d’Or, 1409 W 1-13, Régistre d’écrou Prison d’Hauteville.
Prison and post-war letters of Ernest Le Prevost, in the possession of his family.