By Gilly Carr
Philip James McCallen was born in Barnsley, Yorkshire, on 7 June 1901. He was married, but no record can be found of his wife in Jersey during the Occupation, indicating that she had perhaps evacuated. McCallen indicated on his Occupation registration form that the couple had no children, but his French prison records state that they had one child. Further, it is worth adding that on all court records and prison records, McCallen’s surname is spelled McCallan, even though his registration card and form spells his surname as McCallen.
At the time he comes to our attention, McCallen lived at 8 Grand Union Road and worked as a motor driver and, later, as an engineer. On 16 June 1942 he was court martialled and sentenced to one year and six months’ imprisonment for ‘fraud and embezzlement.’ The document in Jersey Archives which states this describes his address as ‘Silvertide, First Tower, St Helier’. While the name of ‘Silvertide’ struck fear into the hearts of most inhabitants of Jersey, the Geheime Feldpolizei or GFP had their headquarters in a house of the same name in a different part of St Helier – in Havre de Pas. This means that the ‘Silvertide’ where McCallen lived was a different place, even though this address is not provided on his Occupation registration card or form. The Jersey political prisoner log book states that McCallen was deported under escort on 1 July 1942, along with Gordon Brehaut, a Guernseyman who had been sentenced in Jersey, and Alfred Baker from Sark.
A second document in Jersey Archives states that the Attorney General was informed on 27 September 1943 that, in a decree dated 29 June 1943, McCallen’s sentence was ‘deferred until the end of hostilities’ and that, ‘upon his release on 15 September 1943, was interned.’ Where, then, was McCallen between 1 July 1942 and 15 September 1943, and where was he interned? To answer this question, we must turn to the French archives.
These show that, like Gordon Brehaut with whom he was deported, McCallen arrived at Troyes Hauts-Clos Prison on 16 July 1942 from Caen Prison, indicating that he spent his first fortnight of captivity at the latter prison. On 8 August 1942, both he and Brehaut were transferred to Clairvaux Prison, and from here McCallen was sent alone to Châlons sur Marne Prison on 30 September 1943.
Finally, the statement that McCallen was ‘interned’ upon his release strongly suggests that he was sent to Saint-Denis Internment Camp, in common with other islanders whose sentences ended at this stage in the war. This is also a suggested location for Gordon Brehaut, although without the survival of the register of Saint-Denis, we cannot conclusively state that either man was there. However, the likelihood is very high.
Philip McCallen’s occupation registration form and card, Jersey Archives Archives ref. St.H/6/4730, 471 and 4732.
Philip McCallen’s court records, Jersey Archives ref. D/Z/H6/3/81.
Philip McCallen’s entry, Jersey’s political prisoner log book, Jersey Archives ref. D/AG/B7/7.
Philip McCallen’s records at Troyes Hauts-Clos Prison and Clairvaux Prison, Archives Départementales de l’Aube, Troyes, ref. 1039W14 & 1360W362.