By Gilly Carr
Patrick Joseph McCloskey was born in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, on 2 December 1913. We know very little about his case, such as when and why he came to Jersey, although, like other Irishmen, he probably arrived just before the occupation began to work on the potato harvest as a seasonal worker.
At the start of the occupation he was living in St Helier and unmarried. Unusually, his occupation registration documents are missing so no photo of him survives. We know little about his activities during the occupation, except that he worked as a driver. However, Jersey court records show that on 20 November 1943 he was sentenced by the Court of the Field Command to six months’ imprisonment and ‘RM 1000 fine or 1 day’s imprisonment for each RM 25 [40 days] … for receiving stolen articles, and black market activities’. Jersey’s political prisoner logbook shows that he was deported on 2 December 1943; this record notes, erroneously, that his sentence was a 12 month one. He was convicted and deported with Arthur Clarke.
McCloskey arrived in Fort de Villeneuve Saint-Georges on the outskirts of Paris on 1 March 1944 from Clairvaux Prison. These records indicate that he was due to be released on 9 April 1944. What actually happened to him next is unknown, except that the prison notes indicate that he was handed over to the SD (the Sicherheitsdienst or security service) in Paris on 8 April 1944 and taken to Fresnes Prison. A letter of 1 June 1944 written by him whilst in Saint-Denis civilian internment camp in Paris to friend William Healy has recently come to light, showing that he was very likely moved here until the prison was liberated in August 1944. This is interesting as Healy was also thought to be in Saint-Denis, but this letter suggests that he was moved to another prison.
We know that McCloskey survived the war and died in July 1986 aged 72 in Manchester.
Court records relating to Patrick Joseph McCloskey, Jersey Archives ref. D/Z/H6/6/181.
Records relating to Patrick Joseph McCloskey from Fort de Villeneuve St Georges Prison. Villeneuve, Archives de Val de Marne ref. reportoire 500W-9 & 500W-3.
Political prisoner logbook, Jersey Archives ref. D/AG/B7/1.