Bertrand Goasdoue

Bertrand Francois Auguste Goasdoue was the first born son of Celestine and Yves Goasdoue,  born on 8 March 1921, at Les Prevosts farm.

Bertrand Goasdoue

Photo from German Occupation Identity Card, 1944

He was born and lived all his life at Les Prevosts. He had meningitis as a baby and this possibly affected him in later life, as he was subject to bad depressions (though Celestine also suffered depression, so perhaps it was really a genetic thing). He had only a rudimentary education at the local parish school.

Celestine with Bertrand, her first child


At some stage before the start of the war in 1939, Bertrand lost an eye playing with an air pistol, when the feather dart penetrated his eyeball. Paul recalls that he had a very nervous and intense nature, and was very intelligent. Paul remembers an occasion after the war, early one morning in the boys bedroom the alarm went off, Bertrand threw it through the closed window in a temper.

He worked on the family farm and when the second world war started he was not evacuated with the younger members of the family, but stayed with two next oldest brothers (George and Raymond) to manage the farm.

During the war some German tanks were manoeuvring in one of the farm fields, Bertrand was then about twenty. Being curious he opened the hatch of one tank and looked inside. He was arrested as a spy and imprisoned for 6 months. Celestine had to take him food in the Guernsey prison.

He once told Renee that he had never been with a girl, never had a holiday and got nothing out of life at all. By this time he had contracted TB and spent much of the time in the local sanitorium, until his death in 15 September 1947.

Diary extracts

In Celestine’s papers is a tiny diary (measuring only 6.5 x 3 cms), kept by Bertrand in 1946. Written in pencil, now faded. Bertrand is now 26, he is in the final stages of tuberculosis, and spends lots of time in the local Sanitorium ( name?).
Jan 1 This was the first peace time New Years day
Jan 2 this afternoon I am expecting the ambulance
Jan 3 the frame number of my Royal Enfield (bicycle) is 154581
Jan 8 during the afternoon travelled to town to consult doctor. The doctor advised me to remain in bed for 3 days.
Jan 12 During the afternoon rose from bed and went down to the kitchen for a few hours.
Jan 13 this morning got up to milk and attended to the cattle
Jan 15 Mother has gone to bed this afternoon . Her complaint being a headache.
Jan 18 this morning drew seven pounds and eight shillings from Midland Bank
Jan 21 Denise brought me a cake and Mother brought eggs ..
Jan 22 This morning went to town to be xrayed for suspected trouble in the left lung
Jan 23 Dr Fox will probably call this afternoon at four
Jan 26 This morning decided to shave myself, a feat I had not accomplished for nigh on 2 years.

Feb 6 he (Dr Fox) declared my condition had improved
Feb 7 The doctor called this afternoon and took my temperature and sounded the chest
Feb 8 last night slept well must have dropped to sleep before eleven o’clock
Feb 16 About noon my youngest brother Paul gave me a vase of spring flowers
Feb 17 Our catholica cahpel St Yves was opened yesterday
Feb 20 today sometime the St John’s Amblulance is coming to fetch me
Feb 21 I arrived here about four o’clock and am the only patient in the sanitorium

March 2 Ten days have elapsed since I came here and I think I have gained weight and I don’t cough as much as I used to
March 7 my brother Henri brought [illegible]
March 8 Today is the 25th anniversary of my birthday
March 9 This morning got a large map from Sister Butcher
March 10 Mother and Denise came in to visit me
March 12 I am in better condition now than when I arrived.
March 15 yesterday my sister Denise came to see me and Miss Mary B
March 16 Another patient was admitted this morning. He is aged 33
March 17 Mother and Paul came to see me
March 21 My sister Renee came to see me and brought [ ] cake and two oranges
March 23 This morning was wheeled on to the verandah for the first time since arriving
March 27 Fuzzeys man did not turn up to collect the radio
March 31 Dear mother came to see me this afternoon

April 6 Listened to the music hall at 8.30
April 13 Did not go onto the verandah on account of the wind and cold
April 17 A Mrs Alwin died early this morning
April 18 Denise and Mary paid me a visit. It was very kind of them to come
April 19 we had an excellent dinner consisting of pork, peas and potatoes and gravy
April 22 The doctor gave me permission to have four bottles of beer

May 25 Had a bath
May 30 Denise and Mary came. Denise brought beer and a bunch of flowers
June 1 Another patient was admitted this morning

then no diary entries until October 8
October 16 This morning was admitted into different ward
October 24 bottle of wine mother bought yesterday was a gift given by Mrs [Loun?]
October 25 we are expecting the doctor today will probably come this afternoon
October 26 owe Mr G Summer the sum of sixpence was short of cash and borrowed it for hair cut
October 27 this morning we made confession and received holy communion Father Sherlock officiated
October 29 Reverand Du[ ] paid us his weekly visit, spend most of his time in other wards
October 30 Last night dreamt of finding mother murdered in upstairs bedroom

Nov 2 Last monday morning was blanket bathed with nurse’s aid
Nov 3 Mr Winter[ ] wife and daughter were summoned to his bedside, his condition is no better
Nov 10 Father Sherlock called in to see how I was getting on and brought two papers
Nov 12 This afternoon carried on making scarf

Dec 24 BOXING DAY my sister Denise and her future husband paid a visit
Dec 25 Got a stocking with presents, one of the things was five shillings
Dec 27 I have now [ ] and some sort of blood on my [ ]
Dec 28 The sun is shining brightly just now, it has been doing so for an hour
Dec 30 My brother Raymond and his girl Mary Kelling came
Dec 31 Our neighbour from across the field came to see me

Sources : Source information for this page, is Celestine’s papers, and Paul’s reminiscences.

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