7th October 1891

Occupation resister Louisa Gould is born

“I have to do something for another woman’s son,” said Louisa Gould. She spoke the words, which were carved into a memorial stone that was unveiled at St Ouen in 1995, when sheltering a Russian slave worker who had escaped from German forces on Jersey.

Grocery store keeper Gould had hidden Fyodr Polycarpovitch Buryi for a year and a half, at a time when the penalty for doing so was severe. He had been a slave labourer at the Lager Immelmann forced labour camp in St Peter. Born in Siberia in 1919, Buryi, who was nicknamed Bill by the islanders who sheltered him, was a pilot who’d been shot down behind enemy lines. He had attempted to escape twice and, on 23 September 1942, finally made it out of the camp where he was being held.

Buryi was helped by several locals before he came across Louisa, who gave him a home. She had recently learned that her own son, Edward, had been killed in action in the Mediterranean and felt that helping Bill might prevent another mother from going through the pain that she experienced. She was right: her actions helped him to survive the war.

She and the others who helped keep Buryi safe were betrayed by a neighbour, who reported Louisa to the authorities. However, she had notice of the fact that trouble was brewing, and Buryi was sent to stay with her sister for a few days, in advance of the German raid on Louisa’s home. Naturally, they failed to find Buryi, but did uncover evidence that suggested he’d been there, including a gift tag and a Russian dictionary.

Louisa Gould’s arrest and trial

Gould was arrested and tried. Upon conviction, not only of hiding Buryi but also of possessing a forbidden radio set, she was sent to Ravensbuck concentration camp. The letter from the Attorney General to the Constable of St Helier detailing the outcome of Louisa’s trial said that she had been “sentenced to a total of two years’ imprisonment for failing to surrender a wireless receiving apparatus, prohibited reception of wireless transmissions and abetting breach of the working peace and unauthorised removal.”

Louisa never returned to the island. She was gassed on 13 February 1945. Her story was made into a film called Another Mother’s Son, which was released in 2017, starring Jenny Seagrove and former Boyzone singer Ronan Keating. Louisa’s brother, Harold Le Druillenec was also arrested, and sent to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp for having known of Buryi presence and listened to Louisa’s radio. He survived the war and returned to Jersey.


FREE Jersey history newsletter

Don't miss our weekly update on Jersey's fascinating history. We promise never to sell your data to anyone else, and there's a super-easy unsubscribe link on the bottom of each email so you can leave whenever you want.



Other events that occured in October