By Gilly Carr
Stanley Du Frocq Lihou was born on 5 September 1899 in Guernsey. As a young man he served in the First Battalion of the Guernsey Light Infantry during the First World War, from which he demobilised in May 1919 with the rank of Private.
At the time of the registration of Islanders in October 1940, Lihou was married to Amy May Lihou née Brehaut and the couple had three children, Doris, Richard and Blanche. Lihou worked as a grower or greenhouse worker.
Stanley Lihou comes to our attention because of the unusual wealth of paperwork that his case provoked, now stored in Jersey Archives. From these we learn that Lihou had been put in Guernsey prison on 31 December 1941 by the German police, accused of slaughtering cattle for sale on the black market. Three other men were put in prison at around the same time: Edgar Guille, Walter Nicolle and Hedley Le Tissier, all accused of similar offences; they had probably been working together. It was expected that they would be tried by the civil court and they was due to be defended by Advocate Martel of Martel and Le Pelley Advocates. Both the civil court and the Germans had decreed against black market activity by this time.
The Germans decided to try the men by military court in Jersey, and so the four men were deported to that Island. Advocate Martel wrote on 11 January 1942 to Duret Aubin, the Attorney General of Jersey, to ask that the men might be defended in court by a Jersey advocate. In this correspondence we learn that Lihou had been caught trying to sell beef to a German soldier. In his letter, Martel reveals that he had planned to cite Article 43 of the Annex to the Hague Convention to argue that the men should be tried by the civil court. He quoted the relevant part to Aubin as ‘The ordinary courts of justice and the laws they administer should be suspended only when the refusal of the judges and magistrates to act …’ [rest of letter missing but the line is believed to finish ‘or they have fled’]
Three days later, a rather frantic Martel wrote again to Duret Aubin saying that the men would be sent to Jersey on 15 January 1942, and asking once again that they might be represented in court. He added that the men were prepared to pay a fine rather than be deported.
Duret Aubin replied to say that the men were being tried on 16 January 1942 and would be defended by Advocate Valpy, who was informed that the men had infringed an order of the Military Commander in France relating to trade in rationed foodstuffs and forage dated 9 April 1941. On 20 January, Duret Aubin wrote again to say that these were the first military prosecutions in Jersey for black market offences, although the Royal Court had charged three men the previous year of these offences, and they had been fined. He added that because the four men had admitted the facts of the case, Advocate Valpy had only been able to plead in mitigation of sentence, and the men had been sentenced to terms of imprisonment.
Thus, on 16 January 1942, Stanley Lihou was sentenced by the Court of the Field Command 515 to 12 months imprisonment and a 3,000 RM fine for ‘infringing the orders prohibiting traffic in rationed foodstuffs. In the case of non-payment of fine, 60 days’ additional imprisonment will be served.’
Stanley Lihou was kept in prison in Jersey until 24 March 1942, on which date he was deported to France. He was sent first to Caen Prison, where he arrived the following day, on 25 March. On 15 July 1942 he was transferred to Fort d’Hauteville Prison in Dijon. He later wrote that he was transferred between the prisons ‘in handcuffs and chains’. The records of this prison showed that he arrived the following day, on 16 July 1942. He was supposed to be held at this prison until 16 March 1943, but on 16 December 1942 his prison record was marked to say that his sentence was suspended and that he was being transferred to Granville to be repatriated to Guernsey. This suspension can be explained by a document found for sale online, perhaps among those stolen from Jersey in the 1990s. This document was directed to Mrs Amy Lihou and stated that the judge of the court of Feldkommandantur 515 had allowed the sentence against her husband to be suspended until the end of the war.
However, because Stanley Lihou had been imprisoned, once he returned home, he, Amy Lihou and their daughter Doris were deported on 16 February 1943. While Amy and 11 year old Doris were sent to Compiegne Transit and Internment Camp followed by Biberach Internment Camp, Stanley was deported to Laufen Internment Camp, but some 6 months later was allowed to transfer to Biberach to join his family. All survived the experience to return to Guernsey after their liberation.
Although Stanley Lihou applied for compensation in the mid-1960s, he was turned down, as were all Islanders who had been imprisoned only in French prisons or internment camps.
Stanley Lihou’s Occupation registration form, Island Archives, Guernsey.
Stanley Lihou’s 1942 registration form, Island Archives, Guernsey.
Stanley Lihou’s charge sheet, copyright Island Archives, Guernsey, ref. CC14-05/119.
Correspondence surrounding the case against Stanley Lihou and his court charge sheets, Jersey Archives ref. D/Z/H6/3/23.
Stanley Lihou’s entry, political prisoner log book, Jersey Archives ref. D/AG/B7/7
Stanley Lihou’s prison record, Caen Prison, Calvados Archives ref. 1664 w 34.
Stanley Lihou’s record for Fort d’Hauteville Prison, Dijon, Archives départementales de la Côte-d’Or, 1409 W 1-13, Régistre d’écrou Prison d’Hauteville.
Stanley Lihou’s record for Dijon Prison, Archives départementales de la Côte-d’Or, SHD-27P4.
Compensation claim for Nazi persecution, Stanley Lihou, TNA ref. FO 950/5153.