George F. Le Feuvre

George Francis Le Feuvre, who wrote under the pen-names of George d'La Forge and Bouanhomme George, was a Jèrriais prose author born at La Forge, Millais, Saint Ouen, Jersey, on 29 September 1891 and died in San Antonio, Texas, on 27 October 1984.

He took his pen-name from the family forge where his father, also called George Le Feuvre, carried on his trade as blacksmith and with his wife, Florence Giffard brought up their family. George attended Mabel Mauger's dame school in Saint Ouen from the age of 6. It was there that he first started learning English and French. He moved on to St Ouen's Wesleyan School. The Le Feuvre family was separated in 1901 when George senior, Florence, and their two younger sons, Sidney and John, emigrated to Jersey's cod-fishing settlements at the Gaspé coast in Canada. George junior was left behind with his brother Frank and their grandparents, so that, should the ship be lost during the ocean crossing at least two boys would be left as survivors. In 1903, his grandfather died and the forge was sold. George went to live with his godparents in Saint Brelade, and attended La Moye School. George left school at age 14 to go to work in the offices of solicitor William Binet in Saint Helier. He continued working in the legal environment and was appointed Commis Vicomte for the Police and Petty Debts Court in 1914.

As a young man, he took part in amateur dramatic productions, including works by E. J. Luce.

He served as secretary to the Connétable of Saint Peter, and served in the North-West Battalion of the Royal Militia 1908-1915. In 1916 he enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery and saw action on the Western Front of the First World War. Although he devoted many pieces of writing to his proud memories of peacetime military service in the Militia, in contrast he avoided describing, except in passing, his experiences in the First World War in the battles of the Somme, Vimy Ridge, Messines Ridge and Cambrai.

In 1916 he married Marguerite Adrienne Jeanne Marie Forgeard, stepdaughter of a French army captain. They had one daughter, Reine, born in 1917. Marguerite died during the influenza pandemic, in March 1919. George never remarried, and remained a single man for the rest of his life.

Demobilised in 1919, and having no family ties remaining in Jersey, he decided to join the rest of his family in Canada. He had met his three brothers during the war, when he, Frank (who had signed up for the British Army) and his two other brothers (who had enlisted in Canada) were briefly reunited. The brothers had sworn to meet up again if they survived the war, and George had heard about their life in Canada and the brothers and sisters he had never seen who had been born there. He later explained to his readers that although he loved Jersey so much, the experience of meeting his brothers on the battlefield had inspired him to rejoin his family.

Unable to find a civil service post in Quebec, George joined the civil service in Ottawa. In 1922, in search of new opportunities, he moved to Detroit in the United States where he joined the Ford Motor Company, first as a nightwatchman. He worked his way up the administration at the Great Lakes Engineering Works. During the course of his employment he learned to fly.

In 1933 he was naturalised as a United States citizen. In 1936 he was appointed purchasing director for Ford's sites in Michigan and Ohio. After the end of the war, at the age of 55, he decided to take retirement in 1946 and travel.

This page was last edited on 22 June 2017, at 22:14.
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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