Jersey widow shares how husband was forced to work in Alderney slave camp under German Occupation

  • ITV Channel's Alex Spiceley meets Gordon Prigent's widow Iris to hear about his experience during the Occupation. Picture courtesy of Jersey Heritage

The widow of a Jersey man forced to work in an Alderney slave camp during the Occupation has been sharing details of his experience.

Iris Prigent says her late husband Gordon struggled to open up about his past - he was just a teenager when he refused to work for German soldiers and was sent to a concentration camp.

She explains: "When we got married he never told me that he'd been in a concentration camp, I didn't know, he kept it to himself.

"Then one night he was having a nightmare and I said to him, 'Can you tell me?'. He said, 'I don't want to' and I said, 'Gordon, I think you've got to'."

Iris Prigent and her late husband Gordon. Credit: Jersey Heritage

Gordon was sent there alongside another islander, Walter Gallichan, where what they experienced impacted their lives.

Chris Addy from Jersey Heritage describes it: "The harsh working conditions and the brutality they experienced had really long-term effects on both men, particularly Walter who spent 30 years in St Saviours Hospital afterwards."

Iris wants Gordon's experience and that of others during the Occupation not to be forgotten.

She says: "I think it should be remembered, what happened to a lot of the Channel Islanders, not just Gordon - all the others sent from Guernsey as well - it should be on record so everybody knows what happened."

Gordon will be remembered through a stone placed in Hope Street, St Helier where he grew up - part of a project by Jersey Heritage to ensure islanders from the Occupation are memorialised forever.

There are plans to engrave 35 Stolpersteine or stumble stones across Jersey and Guernsey with the names and memories of victims and survivors of Nazism.

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