Explore The Church
Pericles once said: “What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” He was right, but monuments have played a part in remembering the dead since time immemorial. Here we offer you a selection of some of the more notable of the monuments in St Clement. You may like to see them for yourself as you experience the beauty and peace of our well-cared for churchyard.
A fugitive Catholic priest
Père Glemée, a French Catholic priest, died and was buried in 1796 age 36. He had been vicaire (curate) of the church of Plélan le Petit in the diocese of St Malo, a few kilometres west of Dinan, but fled to Jersey from the French Revolution.
The 76th Regiment of Foot
Our burial registers record an unusually large number of deaths in 1807 and 1808: 41 and 54 respectively compared to an average of 17 per annum. The 76th Regiment of Foot had arrived in Jersey in 1807 for garrison duty, having just completed a tour of duty in India. They had been fighting in the Second Anglo-Maratha War (1803–1805) between the British East India Company and the Maratha Empire in India. The number of deaths among the local population was unchanged, so it seems that the troops had contracted some terrible diseases while in India. Men from all ranks were dying, including their wives and children. The Rector, Rev David Hocquard, must have found it hard to cope with so much suffering and death. The 76th left Jersey for Spain in 1808 to take part in the Peninsular War, where they went on to serve with distinction.
A tragedy at Havre des Pas
Thomas and Elizabeth Beale (neé Chevalier), their daughter Harriet; Elizabeth’s daughter by her first marriage Rachelle Jane Romeril, and Thomas Fergusson were lodging in a house in Havre des Pas which burned to the ground in February 1831. Tragically, they all lost their lives and were buried in two graves in the ancien cimetière on the 24th February of that year.
A poetic epitaph
Byron Webber was born in Stockton on Tees in 1838 and died in St Helier on 26th March 1913. He was a journalist, editor, author, poet and cricketer and he had been working in Jersey. He and his wife Marie Adele (10th November 1843 – 23rd January 1913) were buried in the New Part (16/1) and their memorial (a tall cross on three bases, not far from the church gates) bears the words of a poem he wrote:
Of such God’s household angels are
To lead in love aright;
The other hand. Home’s steadfast star
In all the glooms of night;
To shine again beyond the bar
In everlasting Light.
A tragic escape attempt
During the Occupation years (1940 -1945), many attempts were made by Islanders to escape in small boats via France and then on to England. Their aim was freedom to help with the war effort against Germany. Some attempts were successful, most were not. It was an extremely dangerous undertaking as the island was heavily fortified and one can only pay tribute to those who had the courage to attempt to escape.
On the evening of 10th October 1944, four young men, meeting for the first time, made their way to the east side of the Island. They were Douglas (19), Michael (17), George (18) and Ken (18). In a spirit of determination and with youth on their side, they set off in their small boat. When they rounded Gorey, their engine failed and they were forced to paddle their way back to Anne Port Beach between 5.00 and 6.00am on the 11th October. Unfortunately, they were spotted by a German patrol on the headland above the bay, who fired shots at them. The young men stood up in the boat to surrender with their arms in the air but the German soldiers opened fire again. Despite taking cover in the boat, Douglas was shot dead. The soldiers came down to the beach and made the other three young men carry Douglas’s body up to the top of the beach. All three were taken to Newgate Prison in St Helier where they remained until Liberation on 9th May 1945. There was an inquest by the German authorities and two days later, a short early-morning funeral service was held at St Thomas’ Catholic Church with a later burial at St Clement Churchyard.
Douglas’ parents, Charles Gules and Marie Albertine Le Marchand, came from France and worked on farms in the St Clement area. After the Occupation, Douglas’ two younger brothers continued to live in the Island and Martyn, who was 10 years old at the time, has vivid memories of this traumatic event and the affect it had on his family. One can only wonder what Douglas might have done with his life had he lived as he had always had an ambition to join the Royal Navy.
On 6th May 2018, the Rev Tracy le Couteur Bromley held a short service of prayer at Douglas’s grave (in the New Part, 101/3), when wreaths were laid by his two brothers, and Michael Neil, who was one of the young men in the boat with Douglas in 1944. How blessed are those who survived those Occupation years and achieved the liberty that those four young people were striving for.
A life in film
William A Rose, the film critic and Oscar winner, moved to Jersey in 1964 and died in February 1987. He is buried in the New Churchyard (BB10)
An outstanding scout
Kenneth Fauçon was born in 1928 and lived from the age of two until his untimely death in 1951 in Brig-y-Don, the children’s home in St Clement. He was born with a severe deformity and was immobilized on a spinal carriage until he was 13. Nevertheless, he was one of the first to enrol in the 18th (Brig-y-Don) Scout Troop, becoming a Patrol Leader in 1940 and starting a Cub Group at St Nicholas Church, where he was a Sunday School teacher. This group later become the 2nd Grève d’Azette Scout Group.
Kenneth was awarded the scouting movement’s greatest honour in 1949: the ‘Cornwell Badge’, for “his endurance in the face of great suffering and for his heroism in standing up to the treatment which he has been undergoing for a number of years, and also for his continued devotion to the Scout Movement and his work for Scouting despite his physical handicap and great suffering”. Following his death, a wooden hall was erected in his memory in Plat Douet Road to house the 2nd Grève d’Azette Scout Group. This was subsequently replaced with a permanent building, today known as the Kenneth Fauçon Memorial Hall.
He was buried in the New Part of the churchyard (182/2) and his headstone bears the symbol which is the Scout Woodcraft sign for “home”.