​​Grave of Maurice Gould, Jersey Allied War Cemetery (CWGC)​





​​Deeply frustrated by their captivity, 152 men and women are known to have escaped from Jersey during the German Occupation, with 106 of them leaving for France after D-Day. Inspired by the valiant single-handed escape of 22-year-old Denis Vibert in September 1941, in an 8ft dinghy, Maurice Gould attempted to escape to England on 3 May 1942, with friends Dennis Audrain and Peter Hassall.

​​The three teenagers ignored warnings about the hazards involved with the escape but, as Peter later acknowledged, were ‘too arrogant and pumped up to pay any heed’.

Leaving from the south-east of the Island, after less than 400 yards from shore, their 12ft dinghy capsized. They had removed their life jackets to row and, despite Peter’s best efforts to save him, Dennis - who couldn’t swim – drowned in the rough water. When Maurice and Peter returned to shore, they were caught by the German Harbour Police and beaten.

The two men were deported to France, sent first to Fresnes prison, near Paris, where they were tortured by the Gestapo, who didn’t believe that they were not assisted by British agents in Jersey. They were later moved to Hinzert concentration camp in Germany, and taken later to Wittlich prison. By this time Maurice’s health had been irreparably damaged and he had contracted tuberculosis. Maurice died in Peter’s arms on 1 October 1943.

Miraculously, Peter survived the war and, determined to heed Maurice’s final request to ‘bring me back home’, petitioned the States of Jersey for their assistance. With the help of the Royal British Legion and many others, Maurice’s remains were eventually transferred from Germany and interred in Jersey’s Allied War Cemetery on 3 May 1997.

A detailed account of these events can be read in ‘The Ultimate Sacrifice’ by Paul Sanders.


​Howard Davis Park, 6 St. Clement’s Rd. St Helier, Jersey​