Ronald Staples

Date of birth 2 May 1924
Place of birth United Kingdom
Deported from Jersey
Deportation date 5 February 1942
Date of death 5 April 1949
Address when deported 41 Broad Street, St Helier

By Gilly Carr

Ronald Staples was born on 2 May 1924 in Lincoln. At the time of the registration of Islanders in January 1941, Staples was 16 years old. We do not know why or when he came to Jersey, but he was, at this point, without a job or means of supporting himself and lived in the General Hospital in St Helier, with ‘inmates’ looked after by the Poor Law Department.

Staples comes to our attention because he was arrested on 21 December 1941 and, on 7 January 1942, and by now living at 41 Broad Street in St Helier and working as a cinema operator, he was convicted by the Court of Field Command 515 for ‘serious larceny’ and given a sentence of 13 months’ imprisonment.

Staples was deported on 5 February 1942 and arrived at Caen Prison the following day, on 6 February. On 15 July 1942 he was transferred to Haut-Clos Prison in Troyes, where he arrived on 16 July. He didn’t stay here long; on 8 August 1942 he was moved on to Clairvaux Prison. Although his prison sentence was due to expire on 6 February 1943, his records show that on 3 March 1943 he was handed over to the Germans, the SD of Troyes.

Staples had the dubious honour of being both born in England and being previously convicted. Because of these two facts, he would inevitably have been on the September 1942 and / or February 1943 deportation lists. However, because he was in prison in France at this time, he escaped this fate. Although documents suggest that he left Clairvaux Prison on 3 March 1943, this is contradicted by other records, namely his prison list on the back of his identity card from Saint-Denis Internment Camp in Paris. This states that he was sent from Clairvaux prison to Chalons-sur-Marne Prison on 10 February 1943. From here he was sent to Compiegne on 1 May 1943 (although German record cards in The National Archives gives this date as 30 April 1943), although we cannot tell whether this was Compiegne prison or Compiegne internment and transit camp. The latter seems more likely because civilian internees and political prisoners passed through the camp (the German record card marks him as a political prisoner in Compiegne) and because his next destination was also a civilian internment camp. He was then moved to Saint Denis Internment Camp on 9 July 1943. During his stay in Saint Denis, from 23 July 1943 – 6 August 1943 and 20 August to 17 September he was sent to the Hopital Militaire du Val-de-Grace for ‘maladie de coeur’ then ‘cardiaque’ – he was having heart problems.

On 16 March 1944 he left Saint Denis for Laufen civilian internment camp; Ambrose Sherwill’s Laufen diary mentions an arrival of 12 men from Saint Denis on 17 March 1944. From Laufen, Staples moved to Spittal internment camp on 12 September 1944. There is an undated transfer list in the file of William Percival, British camp captain in Spittal, in which Staples is listed. He returned to Laufen camp on 21 January 1945.

Ronald Staples died in Lincoln in 1949; his cause of death was tuberculosis. It seems highly likely that his health was fatally weakened by his wartime experience, as so many prisoners who returned home after the war had TB.

The family of Ronald Staples are invited to get in touch with the Frank Falla Archive if they wish to share information about his story.



The Frank Falla Archive wishes to thank Geoff Cory for sending a copy of Staples’ ID card from St Denis Internment Camp, which helped to flesh out some of the dates for his journey; we also wish to thank Graham Smyth for assistance with the Spittal link.

Ronald Staples’ Occupation registration card, Jersey Archives ref. St/H/7/3834.

Ronald Staples’ Occupation registration form, Jersey Archives ref. St/H/7/3834 and 3835.

Ronald Staples’ record, political prisoner register copyright Jersey Archives ref. D/AG/B7/7.

Ronald Staples’ court records, copyright Jersey Archives ref. D/Z/H6/3/20.

Ronald Staples’ records from Caen Prison, Calvados Archives ref. 1664 w 33.

Ronald Staples’ records from Haut Clos Prison, Archives départementales de l’Aube, Troyes, France, ref. 1039 W 14.

Ronald Staples’ records from Clairvaux Prison, Archive Archives départementales de l’Aube, Troyes, France, ref. 1360 W 362.

William Percival file, The National Archives, London. KV 2/429/4

The National Archives file ref. FO 916/1133, internees in enemy territory.


  • Concentration camp
  • Forced labour camp
  • Internment camp
  • Prison
  • Other