By Gilly Carr
Robert Le Feuvre was born on 27 August 1865 in St Helier, Jersey. We know little about his earlier life other than that he was in the Royal Jersey Militia in the First World War, where he served in the rank of Private.
According to his Occupation registration form, he was married to Florence Le Feuvre née Pinel, and worked as a farmer. He lived at Halcyon House at Mont à l’Abbé in St Helier. We do not have his photograph because his registration card notes that he was ‘exempted from photographic requirements’ – perhaps on account of his age.
Le Feuvre comes to our attention because, on 10 December 1941, he was sentenced by the Court of the Field Command 515 to six months’ imprisonment for ‘insulting the German forces and offering resistance to Executive Officers’. This was reduced by proceedings of the Magistrate, dated 23 December 1941, to three months imprisonment. We do not know the reason for the reduction of sentence, but it was most likely to be connected to Le Feuvre’s important food-producing role in his occupation as farmer.
His sentence was due to begin on 23 December 1941 and end on 10 March 1942. However, while still in Jersey Prison, the Magistrates issued a further decree on 3 January 1942, stating that his sentence should be deferred from 10 January 1942 ‘until the end of hostilities, upon condition that the sentenced person does not allow himself to become the object of any disciplinary action by the German Forces in any way, and that he pays a fine of 500 Marks by 20 January 1942.’ Le Feuvre was duly discharged from prison.
However, just over a month later, Le Feuvre was once again before the Court of the Field Command 515. On 19 February 1942 he was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for ‘inflicting dangerous bodily injuries’ by assault. We know little more about this case, other than that he was deported to France on 24 March 1942. Because the German forces tried Le Feuvre, we can perhaps assume that he had not assaulted another Jersey man, but perhaps a forced labourer or even a German soldier or member of the Organisation Todt who had tried to steal from his farm. This, however, is purely hypothesis.
Just before he was deported, he wrote his will while in Jersey Prison, witnessed by the prison Governor and a warder. On 25 March 1942, aged 77, Robert Le Feuvre arrived at Caen Prison. He stayed in the prison until 15 July 1942, at which point he was transferred to Haut Clos Prison in Troyes. He next appears in the prison records for Clairvaux Prison on 1 September 1942.
Fortunately for Le Feuvre, on 31 May 1943 another decree stated that his sentence was once again deferred until the end of hostilities from 18 June 1943 because of his advanced age.
Robert Le Feuvre returned safely to Jersey. However, we do not know what impact his prison experience had upon his health; he died on 7 March 1952, aged 87.
Robert Le Feuvre’s Occupation registration card, Jersey Archives ref. D/S/A/4/A4138.
Robert Le Feuvre’s Occupation registration form, Jersey Archives ref. D/S/A/4/B4138
Political prisoner log book, Jersey Archives ref. D/AG/B7/7
Robert Le Feuvre’s court records, Jersey Archives ref. D/Z/H6/3/2
Robert Le Feuvre’s prison records from Caen Prison, Calvados Archives ref. 1664 w 34.
Robert Le Feuvre’s records from Clairvaux Prison, Archives Departementales de l’Aube, ref. 1360 W362.