30th July 1913

Jersey bailiff who helped organise the St Malo evacuation is born

Sir Robert Hugh Le Masurier was born in Jersey and would rise to become the island’s bailiff – in which position he was one of the youngest ever holders of the office. However, he should be remembered not so much for finding success at such an age (he was 49), but instead for organising a flotilla of boats that helped save hundreds of Allied lives when they evacuated troops from the beaches of northern France in advance of the German arrival.

An inherited role

Robert Le Masurier was appointed deputy bailiff in 1961 but had only been in the role for six months before the Bailiff, Cecil Stanley Harrison, died in office, aged just 59. Being the next in the line of succession, Le Masurier was appointed to take over in April 1962 and become a powerful political force. In his new position, Le Masurier conveyed to the mainland government that Jersey had no interest in joining the European Economic Community, at a time when the United Kingdom was negotiating its own membership of the organisation. He served as bailiff until 1974, being knighted in 1966, while still in office, and was succeeded by Frank Ereaut.

Le Masurier died on 30 July 1996. A portrait of him, painted in 1974, was hung in the Royal Court House.


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