ROSEVILLE STREET, ALBERT GUSTAVE BEDANE (1893 - 1980)
Albert Gustave Bedane was a Frenchman who came to Jersey shortly after his birth in 1893. He served in the Hampshire Regiment between 1917 and 1920 and rose to the rank of Sergeant in the Jersey Militia. He became a naturalised British Subject in 1921.
Albert Bedane hid Mary Erica Richardson for nearly two years from June 1943. Francis Le Sueur was also hidden by Bedane in 1944. Later he testified: 'Mr Bedane not only helped me for two weeks but sheltered a Dutch Jewess for 2½ years and he must have known during all that time that he would be shot if caught'. As well as Francis Le Sueur and Mrs Richardson, he hid an escaped French prisoner of war and a number of Russian forced workers. He never sought to derive any material benefit from his humanitarianism and was well aware of the risks involved in hiding escapees. When asked why he had risked his life he said, 'I had a few nightmares occasionally but I thought that if I was going to be killed I would rather be killed for a sheep than a lamb anyway'.
The plaque reads:- "ALBERT GUSTAVE BEDANE 1893 - 1980 Lived here during the German Occupation sheltering many escapees. For hiding a Jewish woman he was honoured by the State of Israel as 'Righteous among the Nations'
The picture above shows Mr Bedane's house as it would have been during the war and was taken from what appears to be part of a letterhead used by Mr Bedane for his business as a physiotherapist.
The location shot below shows the site of the house in Roseville Street in which Albert Bedane sheltered a number of people during the Occupation. Mr Bedane died in 1980. In 1965 he was presented with a gold watch by the Russian Government in recognition of his efforts to save escaped Russian forced workers but it was to be twenty years after his death before he received his greatest honour. In 1999 an application was made for his posthumous recognition by the State of Israel. This application, jointly made by the Holocaust Education Trust and the Jersey Jewish Congregation, was endorsed by Professor David Cesarani, Director of the Wiener Library and Lord Jakobovits, the late Chief Rabbi. On 4 January 2000, after the matter had been considered by an Israeli Supreme Court judge, Albert Bedane was duly recognised and his name is now inscribed in the Avenue of the Righteous Gentiles at the Yad Vashem memorial in Jerusalem as 'Righteous among the Nations', Israel's highest Holocaust honour. The medal was presented to his grandson in London and thanks to the family's kindness and generosity, it is now on permanent display at the Maritime Museum.
Albert Bedane remains the only British subject recognised as Righteous Among the Nations for an act of heroism carried out on British soil, an unique honour for the Island of Jersey.
The idea for this plaque came from blue badge guide Sue Hardy, was funded by the Jersey Heritage trust and organised by the Vingtaine de la Ville