A BIRTHDAY AT ISLAND FARM

Below are pictures of a 50th birthday card given to a Pfarrer Gruber, the story of which is unclear.

Mysteries surrounding the card:

From the card it is easy to determine that the card was given to a Pfarrer Grber for his 50th birthday, but who he was can only be guessed. A Pfarrer is the equivalent of a vicar, but whether this man was a vicar allowed to come over from Germany to Britain to conduct services in German or whether he was himself a POW is unknown.

Although the card was signed by many POWs, it does not give any indication as to who the artist was.

There is a picture of a church on the inside cover of the card and for quite a while I thought this drawing was of Nolton Church in Bridgend. It is well known that many of the POWs attended church services at Nolton Church which is about 1 kilometre from the camp. However, on photographing Nolton Church, recently, I noticed that there are quite a few differences. Therefore, I can only say that:

a) Either the artist intended to draw Nolton church but was doing so from memory so had to guess features.
b) The drawing is a total fictitious church drawn from the artist's imagination
c) The drawing is of a church, perhaps back in the artist's homeland.

CLICK TO ENLARGE ANY PICTURE

Front Cover

 

Inside Cover

 

Modern Day Nolton Church included to allow comparison against drawing (left)

 

Middle Pages

On the middle pages of the card are many POW signatures. As these have been identified (not an easy task due to handwriting and the fact that the letters are written using old style german handwriting), they have been cropped from the original card and placed underneath the lead profile photos on each POW page.

Back Cover:

Top Reads:
"How troublesome your task has been in the year that has passed, you can be sure that in our sorrow and pain you gave us hope, strength and courage. Whoever is able to convey this to others God will give him further strengths in doing his blessed work.

To Vicar Gruber with thanks and best wishes for the forth coming year. v. Schlieben ,Gllt.
Bottom Reads:
Hearty wishes for your birthday! wish you Fritz Kunz Fritz Heuser

 

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