3rd May 1942

An Occupation escape attempt goes wrong

Peter Hassall, Maurice Gould and Dennis Audrain hatched a plot to escape Jersey for the mainland with pictures and plans of the German defences. They couldn’t have chosen a worse night to set off. The wind was up and the sea was rough. It capsized their small boat and Dennis Audrain drowned.

Incriminating evidence

Hassall and Gould made it to shore but were captured by German soldiers. A failed escape attempt was serious enough, but to be caught with the incriminating papers in their possession was more problematic. According to the Jersey War Tunnels, they were sent to France, tortured by the Gestapo during a lengthy interrogation, then transferred, ultimately, to Hinzert, where the torture continued. Combined with poor living conditions and malnutrition, this would ultimately lead to Gould’s death – but not right away.

As reported by the Frank Falla Archive, Hassall and Gould’s families were not informed where they’d been sent or their ultimate fate under the Germans’ NN, or Nacht und Nebel decree, which was designed to psychologically torture relatives of the convicted.

Maurice Gould dies

The men were transferred again, this time to Wittlich, but Gould’s health had been seriously damaged by his ill-treatment. They were sent to work in a basket factory, and it was during this posting that Gould died of tuberculosis. He was buried in Wittlich cemetery and moved in 1973 to a military cemetery. However, this was not to be his final resting place. In May 1997, Gould’s body was exhumed, and his remains brought back to Jersey for re-burial in the Allied War Cemetery at Howard Davis Park.

Hassall survived his incarceration in the camps and was eventually liberated by allied forces.


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