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 Grüber 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
Modern Day Nolton Church included to allow comparison against drawing (left)
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.
To Vicar Gruber with thanks and best wishes for the forth coming year.
v. Schlieben ,Gllt.
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