By Gilly Carr
Jack Frederick Harry Walling was born in Horsham, Sussex, on 9 February 1918. We do not know why he came to Jersey but, given that at the time of registration of Islanders in January 1941, when he was 22 years old, he was married to Madeleine Walling née Dale (they had married in November 1939), and working as a shop assistant at Beghin’s shoe shop, he may well have come to Jersey to marry or for work, or simply to escape conscription.
Walling comes to our attention because, on 21 July 1944, he was sentenced to 9 months’ imprisonment by the tribunal of the troop court for ‘prohibited reception of wireless transmissions and dissemination of anti-German news’. The sentenced was requested to run from 24 July 1944 to 10 April 1945; further, it was requested that the sentence be executed in Jersey prison until he could be transferred elsewhere.
According to records in Jersey Archives, Walling was taken from the prison on 30 July 1944 to be transferred ‘to a prison on the continent’. While the previous deportation had (as far as we know) happened at the very end of June 1944, when Harold Le Druillenec, Louisa Gould and Frankie Le Villio were deported, one might normally imagine that Walling was not going anywhere other than Jersey because of the continuing liberation of France by Allied forces. It might also be observed that Walling’s name does not appear in Jersey’s political prisoner log book. As Walling’s name cannot be found in the records of the International Tracing Service, one might be inclined to imagine that Walling was not deported at all.
However, according to former political prisoner Joe Mière, who probably heard it from Walling himself, he was deported with other Jersey prisoners to St Malo. After a few days he was being taken to Rennes with four French prisoners, guarded by the German Feldgendarmerie. The bus ran into an American combat team which immediately opened fire. The Germans left the bus and the prisoners lay on the floor. All the Germans were killed and the prisoners, including Walling, were wounded.
Later, Walling was evacuated by air to England and then moved to the RAF hospital at Wroughton, Swindon. Jack returned to Jersey in 1945.
The family of Jack Walling are invited to get in touch with the Frank Falla Archive if they wish to share any further information about his story.
Jack Walling, Occupation registration card, Jersey Archives ref. St/H/7/7169.
Jack Walling, Occupation registration form, Jersey Archives ref. St/H/7/7170.
Jack Walling court records, Jersey Archives ref. D/Z/H6/7/117.
Miere, J. 2004. Never to be Forgotten. Jersey: Channel Islands Publishing.