By Gilly Carr
John Henry Moignard was born on 18 March 1921 in St Helier, Jersey. We know very little about his earlier life but, at the time of the registration of Islanders in January 1941, Moignard was single, working as a motor mechanic, and living Bel Royal in St Lawrence, Jersey. He is said to have provided assistance to Denis Vibert, a young man known for his escape from Jersey in September 1941. Moignard is believed to have prepared the outboard motor and arranged transport of Vibert’s boat to the garage and then to the beach.
However, Moignard comes to the attention of the Frank Falla Archive because, on 31 May 1943 he was convicted by the Court of Field Command 515 to six months’ imprisonment for ‘failing to surrender a wireless set, wireless parts and a camera’. This was quite a serious conviction.
Moignard was deported initially on 12 July 1943 to Saint-Lô Prison for a few days, before moving on 19 July 1943 to Troyes Haut-Clos Prison, where his sentence was due to expire on 3 December 1943. To Moignard’s great good fortune, he was indeed liberated that day, according to his prison records.
Our knowledge about the stage in Moignard’s journey comes from Joe Mière, a local historian and former political prisoner from Jersey who died in 2006 and collected stories about other former political prisoners. His records state that Moignard ‘returned to Jersey before December 1943’. According to Mière, Moignard had previously argued that he was in possession of a radio and parts because he was repairing it for a German soldier. Whether or not this was believed is unknown, but he was lucky to return to the Island. Had he been deported a year later, he would have been lucky to survive the war.
The family of John Moignard are invited to get in touch with the Frank Falla Archive if they wish to share any further information about his story.
John Moignard’s Occupation registration card, copyright Jersey Archives ref. St/L/4/663
John Moignard’s Occupation registration form, Jersey Archives ref. St/L/4/664.
Reverse of John Moignard’s Occupation registration form, Jersey Archives ref. St/L/4/665.
John Moignard’s record, political prisoner register Jersey Archives ref. D/AG/B7/7.
John Moignard’s court records, Jersey Archives ref. D/Z/H6/6/69.
John Moignard’s records from Troyes Haut-Clos, Archives Départementales de l’Aube, Troyes, France, ref. 1039 w 16.
Statement about John Moignard, Jersey War Tunnels Café.