Recent reports of flashing lights above Grève d’Azette Beach threw suspicions on a couple renting a seaside hut there. While the Jeffs have lived in Jersey for many years, Mrs Jeffs is German-born, and therefore deemed an enemy alien under wartime Defence of the Realm regulations.
Mr Jeffs is well known in the island, having lived here nearly 40 years and been the long-serving manager of the Jersey Gas Light Company. Following doctor’s advice, the couple rented a beachside hut at Grève d’Azette to help Mrs Jeffs recover from illness.
Suggestions that signalling to an unknown accomplice may have been taking place prompted the authorities to investigate the couple’s activities. While earlier reports of enemy U-boats operating off Jersey coasts have subsided, suspicion that spies are at large in the island remain.
The couple strongly refuted claims of wrongdoing, however, with Mr Jeffs stating he had been in the hut working to make the building inhabitable, using an oil lamp for illumination after dark.
After considering the investigation’s findings, the Lieutenant Governor now accepts there was no malicious intent, but also warned against anyone in the area showing lights in wartime.
A/E/8/2 contains details on investigations into enemy aliens still living in Jersey in 1918.