By Gilly Carr
Patrick Quinn was born on 27 June 1918 in Mallow, County Cork, in Ireland. We do not know when he arrived in Jersey but it is possible that he came to help with the potato harvest and was trapped by the arrival of German occupying forces.
By the start of the Occupation, Quinn describes himself as married. At the time that he comes to our attention in 1942, he was living at 2 Devon Cottages in St Helier and worked as a labourer. He had one child: Patrick Joseph Quinn, born in St Helier in April 1940, and who was registered on 4 September 1941 as living in Westaway Creche, a home for young children whose families could not afford to keep them or who did not want them. At this point in time, Quinn himself was in prison which would have caused financial hardship to his partner trying to support a child. This offence, whatever its nature, did not result in Quinn’s name being entered in Jersey’s political prisoner logbook, indicating that it was what was either referred to as a ‘civil offence’ rather than one that broke the rules of the occupiers, or that – like a number of others – the local authorities were not notified of his deportation.
As no woman of approximately his age or with the surname Quinn lived at the same address as Patrick Quinn, we might suggest that he was separated from the mother of his child. It seems unlikely that she would have evacuated without her new baby before the Germans arrived.
Quinn comes to our attention because, on 20 May 1942 he was put in prison again. On 28 May 1942, aged 23, he was convicted by court martial to a sentence of three years and three months penal servitude for ‘serious larceny’. He was convicted at the same time and for the same offence as Gordon Green and Paul Gourdan. The three men and Richard Riches (also convicted on 28 May 1942), were all deported on 14 June 1942.
Quinn next appears (like Paul Gourdan and Gordon Green) in the records of Fort de Villeneuve-Saint-Georges Prison, on the outskirts of Paris, on 16 July 1942. His prison number was 3218. Like Gourdan, he was transferred to Germany on 7 August 1942. It is worth noting that Richard Riches was separated from the group; he was sent to Fort d’Hautville Prison in Dijon on 16 July, arriving there from Caen Prison. It seems extremely likely that all four men were in Caen Prison first. This is made all the more certain by the fact that the group of 16 deported Guernsey policemen, who were in the same deportation vessel as the four Jerseymen, were all sent to Caen Prison before being sent to Villeneuve. We can thus be almost certain about Quinn’s movements before Villeneuve.
In order to find out the next stages in Quinn’s journey into Germany, we must turn to the records of the International Tracing Service – our last source relating to Quinn and available for consultation. These show that he was in Kaisheim Prison from 9 May 1944 to 20 April 1945. He was also put on a forced march to Landsberg Prison after this, and was liberated by American troops on 30 April 1945.
Where was Quinn before Kaisheim? We might note that two other Channel Islanders also arrived in Kaisheim on 9 May 1944: Philip Ozard and Jack Harper, who had previously been in the brutal Neuoffingen Forced Labour Camp. Like Quinn, they had left Villeneuve on 7 August 1942 and reached Neuoffingen that same month. It seems likely that Quinn shared these men’s journeys after France. If so, he was in Landsberg, Augsburg and Karlsruhe Prisons in quick succession, although without independent evidence of this, we cannot state this as fact.
As he lived to be liberated by American troops at the end of the war, we must assume that he returned to the UK. As for whether he returned to Jersey, Jersey Archives holds the grant of probate of Bridget Sullivan, widow of Patrick Quinn, living at 18 Regent Road in St Helier in January 1975.
The Frank Falla archive invites Patrick Joseph Quinn to get in contact if he knows any more about his father’s story.
Patrick Quinn, Occupation registration card and forms, Jersey Archives ref. St.H/7/11301, 11302, 11303.
Patrick Quin’s court records, Jersey Archives ref. D/Z/H6/3/73.
Patrick Quinn’s entry in the logbook for Jersey Political Prisoners, Jersey Archives ref. D/AG/B7/7.
Record of Patrick Quinn (Kaisheim), International Tracing Service, Wiener Library, ref. 11494036/0/1
Record of Patrick Quinn (Kaisheim), International Tracing Service, Wiener Library, ref. 11367225
Record of Patrick Quinn (Landsberg), International Tracing Service, Wiener Library, ref. 11495013/1.
Record of Patrick Quinn, Fort de Villeneuve Saint Georges Prison, Archives Val de Marne, ref. 500W 3 and 500W 8.