My Channel Island Ancestry

My family history in the Channel Islands and beyond!


Leave a comment

Elsie Lilian Lozuet was born – 16 October 1907

Elsie Lilian Lozuet – I just love the beautiful blouse she is wearing with pearl buttons over her shoulders.

Elsie was the fifth daughter of John Lozuet and Clara Anna Mabey. With her the chance for the Lozuet surname to continue ended. Elsie was born in Jersey but spent most of her life in Birmingham, England. From here she wrote many letters to her sister Clara (my great grandmother). Within the letters you get a fascinating insight into their lives, including such comments as the following:

” …Thank you for the cake it was lovely the cakes over here are rotten.”

She even refers to my grandfather, her sister Clara’s son:

“… how’s kenny, still got his shop?’

These little details are great because they confirm the fact that my grandfather had a shop of which I was aware of. This then will help you to determine the date or thereabouts. She continues to say that she hopes Clara has got a nice lodger in, as it is better than being alone (so we now know this must have been after her husbands death in 1931).

In other letters (most addressed from Perry Bar, Birmingham) Elsie thanks Clara for the Calendar she has sent, the marg (margarine) and another cake. She is looking forward to the Spring and hopes they both have a nice summer like ‘last year’. She finishes in one letter saying the following:

“Well I’m afraid I’ve no news I never go anywhere but shopping….Elsie xxxx”

I love these snippets into their lives, it gives you the little treasures of information that archive records can’t give you. Here is her timeline:

1907 – Elsie Lilian Lozuet is born on the 16th October. Her parents were living at 3 Colomberie Cottages, St. Helier at the time.

1911 – Elsie is living with her family: her father John, a ‘foreman’, her mother Clara and siblings Clara, Ada, Violet and Mabel.

1931 – Elsie’s father dies. I wonder if she went back for his funeral?

1936 – Elsie marries Norman Norton of Birmingham.

1939 – Elsie gives birth to a son, Michael about 4 months before the start of World war 2.

1944 – Elsie’s husband Norman dies from Tuberculosis. Elsie is now bringing up a five year old on her own in the midst of a war.

1966 – Elsie dies in Birmingham.

I wonder if she ever returned to Jersey to see her sisters or if they ever travelled to see her?


2 Comments

British subjects are evacuated from Jersey to Germany

Sixty nine years ago today, on the 16th September 1942, many Jersey residents were evacuated and transferred to Germany. Last year I discovered that one of my relations was ‘Transported to Germany on 16. 9.42′. (source: Identity card). Violet May Davey was an older sister to my great grandfather George Davey. She was 49 years old when she was transported with her son and husband.

Violet Bryant (nee Davey)

At first I was a bit confused as to why she was transported there. I still don’t have the exact answer, but one theory is that she went because her husband Wilroy Joseph Bryant was English, and not Jersey. This made quite a difference during the 2nd World War. Wilroy’s and Violet’s oldest son went with them, he was 20 years old. There is a photo of him standing in a group of men  in the prisoner-of-war camp ‘Laufen’ (the photo is in the Jersey archives). There was a younger son who would have been 10 years old at the time, but I don’t know if he went with them as well. As you will see in the notice below, only men of the age 16 to 70 had to go. Maybe he was left behind with other family members. Below is an extract from the evening post on the 16th September 1942:

Notice put in The Evening Post on the 16th September 1942

Laufen was a castle in Germany that was initially used as a prisoner-of-war camp during the war. Then in 1942 it was reused as an internment for hundreds of men deported from Jersey and Guernsey in the Channel Islands, as well as some American civilians. It was an incredibly brave decision to go, although there really wasn’t much choice in the matter. Her husband and son had to leave. They were going into the unknown and leaving family and friends behind and noone knew for how long for.

What happened to Violet and her family after the war? At Christmas I went home to Jersey to visit family and do some more research on my family tree. On a visit to the archives there was a display of children’s family trees for a project at one of the islands secondary schools. I recognised one of the names on the tree. I had taught this young lady when she was 5 years old and to my amazement Violet Davey was on her tree! Violet was her great, great grandmother, who had survived the war.

Note: The Evening Post was founded in 1890. Now known as the Jersey Evening Post or J.E.P.

“From 1940 to 1945, the Channel Islands were occupied by the German armed forces, and although publication of the paper continued, it was produced under the supervision and strict censorship of the occupying forces”

(Source: http://www.thisisjersey.com/jersey-evening-post/history-of-the-jep/)


12 Comments

Summerland Factory

Summerland Factory staff photo – Grace is sitting in the front row 4th from the left.

At some point during my grandmothers teenage years she was employed at the Summerland Factory in Rouge Boullion, Jersey, Channel Islands. I know that according to her identity card , on the 16th January 1941, Grace was employed as a machinst.  Jersey was being occupied by the Germans at this point.

I haven’t been able to find out much about the factory, unfortunately. I did send the photo to the J.E.P. a few years ago in the hope that they would put it in their Temps Passe section. I never heard back from them, which is a shame and not the first time they have failed to reply. It is a shame on the grounds that I sent it when  two of my grandparents were still alive, and therefore so would have been more of their generation. It is possible quite a few locals might have written in to give some very useful feedback and memories. So, I use my blog, this website to share these resources with you.

On the website jersey.com there is a little section about the conditions of everyday life during the Occupation, here is an extract from their page about shopping and a mention of the Summerland factory:

Shopping hours were reduced to 10 am – 12.30 pm, and 2 pm – 4 pm, as goods became scarce. Textile shops were open only on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. They received limited supplies from France, the Summerland factory in Rouge Bouillon, and from local residents. Textile factories were re-opened to provide employment for local women, as well as supplying much needed raw materials.

So these women in the photo above would have had an awful lot of work on their hands. I do not know what work they did exactly although there is a possibilty they made the ‘Jerseys’ and the ‘Guernseys’ jumpers that were often seen worn on the local fishermen. I would love to hear from someone who is more knowledgeable than me in this area, so please fell free to contact me.

The fantastic thing about this photo is not only the image itself, but on the back my grandmother had written down everyone’s name!

My grandmother’s sister Barbara Rabet is also on the photo in the 2nd row, second from the left. I even think that Betty Boucherie that is in the photo is the sister of my other grandmother Edith Bouchere.

Here is a list of the names I could decipher:

Nina Steptowe

Muriel Windsor

Mary Frane

Freda Hutchings

Miss Mallet

Edna Druby

Miss Le Marquand

Mavis ?

Doris Holley

Bessy  ? Moyse

Betty Boucherie

Doreen White

Dorothy Wiverl ?

Jose L’affoley

Mrs Sleep

Emmie Hall

Evelyn de Gruchy

Barbara Rabet

Margaret Hunt

Jone Moyse

? Smith

Rhoda Smith

? Lane ?

Grace Rabet

Winnie Norman

Irene Bisson

Mrs Perchard

Joan Labou

Joan De La Cour

UPDATE: Since writing this post, I have since discovered that Sumerland Factory was opened next to Sacre Coeur Orphanage. According to islandwiki.org the factory would provide ‘lessons in housekeeping, sewing and knitting for the older girls in the orphange.’

I know that my grandmother lost her mother when she was only 9 years old and that at some point she and most of her siblings went into orphanages. I have not been able to find out which ones exactly or the dates but it makes sense that she is working for Sumerland Factory which is right next to Sacre Coeur Orphange.

Check out this photo, maybe your grandmother or another relation is in the photo somewhere?

Did they come from the Orphange too?

If so let me know, I would love to hear from you.


Leave a comment

Liberation Day

On the 9th May 1945 members of my family living in Jersey, Channel Islands, experienced something I have been fortunate enough never to have lived through. They were finally liberated from a five year occupation by the German Forces during World War 2. The mixture of feelings must have been incredible: happiness at being free, sadness for those who didn’t make it, anger that they had to endure such conditions in the first place. These are just to name a few…

During 6th form I was lucky enough to be part of a project at Hautlieu school where we made recordings of our Grandparents experiences through that time.  Unfortunately, I have not been able to get hold of a copy. Now that my grandfather has passed away I feel that it would be a great thing to have in my possesion and to be able to share his memories. (I will let you know if I manage to obtain the recording).

Something I was lucky enough to get hold of was a poster from a show held in Jersey in 1995. In the photo is a family member.

Henry Rabet amongst the celebratory crowd on Liberation Day in Jersey

On the left side of the poster is a young boy hanging off a moving vehicle. He is Henry Rabet my grandmother’s younger brother. I would love to know who’s caring hand  is holding onto Henry just to make sure he doesn’t fall off the vehicle and get trampled in the crowds. Henry is 17 years old and has been living under German occupation from the age of 12. It is likely that he would have had to learn some German in school, the cinema had German movies and money in the new form of the Reichmark had been introduced.

Relief must have been a huge emotion on this day, especially for those older generations like my Great grandfather George Davey. George had already been through World War 1 as a teenager and was lucky enough to get through World War 2.

If the Germans had been the victors of World War 2, I would be writing my blogs in German, the stories my grandparents would have passed down to me would have been quite different and the photo above would not have been taken. I would never want to experience war, but I admit I would love to have been their on Liberation day!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 36 other followers