Francisco Font talking to the Channel Island Occupation Society [Jersey] about when he was arrested during the second world war in France and was sent to La Rochelle and then to Jersey with 1500 other Republican Spaniards. He had been living in exile in France since Franco had come to power. He was kept in various camps including at Fort Regent and Lager Immelmann. He was sent to Alderney in October 1943 with 5 other Spaniards including Pascual Pomar, because when at a camp in Gorey a Spainiard who was delivering bread threw a loaf of bread to him and german soldiers saw him hiding something and he said he'd stolen it. He was beaten up by German OT's and taken back to camp and was then taken to Fort Regent and then taken to Guernsey for 4 or 5 days and was then sent to Alderney. He was put in Lager Alderney No 2, remained in Alderney until 2 days after d-day when he was taken to Guernsey. He remembers being fed in Guernsey, with Raymond Falla trying to give them food but the germans made him throw it in and feed them like dogs. He was then taken to Jersey and was going to be transported to France but because of d-day remained in Jersey till the end of the war. He told the british authorities what heppened to them on liberation day at a joint British/Soviet enquiry at the British Hotel. Alderney asked for details of people being kept in a tunnel in the camp for 15 to 20 minutes, all Jewish prisoners. Describing atrocities whilst working at the harbour, saw Societ POWs working without shoes on, one russian was using paper bags on feet for shoes when a German SS shot him through the head. Remembers seeing a British bomber crashing near to Alderney but the german soldiers didn't find any surviving British soldiers. At Lager Sylt he saw a russian being hung for stealing bread. Describes their treatment and the occasion that a german soldier called everyone together for christmas and told them they had cards for christmas and then threw them on the fire. Lager Sylt-the different uniforms the prisoners wore. Talks of the food they had-'cabbage soup without cabbage'. Describes the amount of food they ate, the hours that they worked, the guards in the camp, the ordinary prisoners talking to those from Lager Sylt, conversations they had with other prisoners, russians jumping into the sea after rubbish had been thrown in to get food and then got beaten by guards. He never saw prisoners being thrown into the sea. Remembers a Chinese prisoner in the camp. He describes the huts in the camp and the conditions they lived in, the clothes that they wore, infestations of lice, illness in the camp and treatment. Remembering the doctors including Dr Dreyfus. He discusses the French women with the Germans but cannot remember them from a photograph that he was shown. He is asked about the escape of a prisoner from Lager Sylt and his eventual capture and death, volunteers from Belgium. Talks of being liberated in Jersey, then in September 1945 being taken to Guernsey by the British with the intention of being returned to France. He had met his future wife, Kathleen Fox, in Jersey and she came to Guernsey. They decided to get married in Guernsey but an application was refused. When they were liberated from Guernsey he asked his friends to answer his name at the roll call and hid for two days after they left and then presented himself to the authorities. Talked to Major Cotton who gave him money to send a telegram to Kathleen's father to ask permission to marry his daughter. He went to the Greffe in Guernsey to get married and got married after a week. He stayed in Guernsey until 1951 as Jersey authorities refused to let him come back and work in Jersey. In 1950 he became a British subject and was allowed to come to Jersey and has been in Jersey ever since. He still visits Alderney every year to pay tribute to the people who died and does not happy memories of his days in Alderney.

Reference: L/D/25/L/65

Copy of a photograph of a group of former slave workers, friends and officials on a pilgrimage to Alderney where the former were imprisoned during the Second World War. Includes from left to right, two unknown, a Russian, Francisco Font, unknown Russian and Russian officer, Norman Le Brocq and Mlle Yvonne Petrement, French Consul in Jersey.

Reference: L/F/64/A/21

Date: 1970 - 1975

Photographs of a tour of sites of former Occupation slave workers camps. Participants; Norman Le Brocq, Stella Perkins, John Bassett, Francisco Font, Vicenté Gasulla Solé and Len Perkins.

Reference: L/F/64/B/1

Date: 1970 - 1975

Jersey Evening Post Newpaper article : Spanish Republican forced worker, Francisco Font, meets his future wife in Jersey

Reference: US/1430

Date: May 6th 2015

JEP Article : 'What's Your Street's Occupation Story'. To mark the 75th anniversary of the Liberation, Jersey Archive staff are taking a look at the period when Jersey was freed from occupation. Linda Romeril, archives and collections director at Jersey Heritage, explores recently opened documents, including the Political Prisoners' Register, relating to Islanders and their stories.

Reference: US/1431

Date: January 17th 2020

Jersey Evening Post Newspaper article : 'A friendship forged deep underground' - During the Occupation, more than 16,000 people were brought to Jersey and forced to build German fortifications. Paula Thelwell discovers the story of two men and a family friendship.

Reference: US/1853

Date: May 21st 2022

JEP Newscutting: article about a concert commemorating the Spanish forced labourers during the Occupation, in particular Francisco Font - 18/04/2011

Reference: US/859

Date: 2011 - 2011

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