By Gilly Carr
William Patrick Healy was born on 27 August 1913 in Newcastle West, Co. Limerick, Ireland. We do not know when or why he arrived in Jersey but, like other Irishmen in the Island, he probably arrived before the Occupation to help with the potato harvest.
At the time of the registration of Islanders in January 1941, William Healy was married to Irishwoman Mary Ita Healy nee Moloney, living at 19 Pierson Road with his brother, Patrick Healy, and working as a labourer. He moved three times within St Helier before his deportation; his last address was 7 Waverley Place, Union Street.
Healy comes to our attention because, on 21 December 1943, he was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment by German forces for ‘serious military larceny in complicity with another’. It is likely that his accomplice was his brother, Patrick Healy, who was charged with him of the same crime. As the larceny was military in nature, it is clear that they had stolen from German forces.
Despite Healy’s charge sheet being given to the local authorities, neither his name nor that of his brother features in the prison records for Jersey prison.
We know almost nothing about what happened next to Healy. Our only further source of information comes from a local historian, the late Joe Mière. He recorded that the Healy brothers were ‘subsequently deported to France where William was incarcerated in St-Denis Prison [probably Internment Camp] before being moved to a German camp in 1944. He was eventually liberated on 15 June 1945.’
Some of this information was corroborated by Roger Harris, author of Islanders Deported, who noted that he saw, in an (un-noted) file at The National Archives, a reference to Healy’s brother William: ‘William P Healy, deported from Jersey January 1943 [which seems to be a typo for 1944]. Last heard of at St-Denis Internment Camp, France, in September 1944. Foreign Office note: Arrived from Paris 15 June 1945. Working for Americans and in touch with Irish Legation.’ We cannot say where else Healy might have been during the Occupation. It is possible that he was moved to Laufen Internment Camp, but the camp register of this camp has not yet been located.
The family of William Healy is invited to get in touch with the Frank Falla Archive if they wish to share further information about his story.
William Healy’s Occupation registration card, Jersey Archives ref. St/H/7003.
William Healy’s Occupation registration form, Jersey Archives ref. St/H/5/7004.
William Healy’s court records, Jersey Archives ref. D/Z/H6/7/2
Jersey War Tunnels, information displayed in café about William Healy.
Harris, R. Islanders Deported. Ilford: CISS.