In early January 1945, the Soviet Red Army invaded Nazi-occupied Poland, sending the Germans into a retreat. On January 17, the Soviets captured Warsaw, which was about three hundred miles from Stalag Luft IV in Gross Tychow, Pomerania (now Tychowo, Poland). George Edwin Farrar, Wilfred Frank Miller, and Harry Allen Liniger were all prisoners of the Germans and were all held at Stalag Luft IV.
On January 18, the Farrar family had received their son’s first letter home from prison camp. He had written it on October 24, 1944. I’ll re-publish his letter here. George Edwin Farrar wrote:
Dearest Mother: I find it rather hard to write even a letter as small as this. Of course, we can’t say much, but are being treated O.K. We have plenty books and I spend most of my time reading. I hope you will have plenty chicken when I get there. I think I could eat a couple all alone. I guess Gene is doing good in school by now. Tell him to study hard, and make good grades. How is Martha getting along with her new job. I hope she likes it. I’ll bet by now she is having a hard time with her boyfriends. I wish you would send me some candy. Be sure it is something that will keep until it gets here, because it is a long trip. I’ll make up for these letters when I get home. Love to all, George
The next day, Raleigh Mae Farrar wrote back to her son:
January 19, 1945
My Dear Boy,
We were so happy to get your letter yesterday. Do write as often as possible for its so good to hear from you.
I mailed you a box and sent in order for cigaretts. If you need clothes let me know. I can send them. Things here at home are just about the same. Dad doesn’t improve. Gene is taller than I now, and is doing good in school. Gene and I will start our garden and chickens soon. Dot and kids are doing pretty good. Demmey will go to first grade, so Dot feels like he is really growing up. Beverly is as pretty as ever. She had flu and its taking a long time to get rid of it. I will be on the look out for some good candy and as I know now what I can send, I will be ready when my next labels come. I do hope you get the box. We all love you and hope and pray you will get along good. I will try to send some books.
Be good and write.
Lots and Lots of Love,
Raleigh Mae Farrar’s letter would never be received by her son in Stalag Luft IV. By the time it would arrive, Stalag Luft IV was empty of prisoners. The letter was marked “RETURNED TO SENDER By Direction of the War Department. Undeliverable as Addressed.” The date she got the letter back is unknown.
- Dad was Carroll Johnson Farrar, Sr. He was very ill and bedridden.
- Martha was Martha Ann Farrar, the Farrar’s seventh child and seventeen years old.
- Gene was Harold Eugene Farrar, the Farrar’s youngest son and only thirteen years old.
- Dot was Dorothy Gertrude Farrar, the Farrar’s fourth child. In January 1945, Dot had been married for eight years to Hugh Dimmock Cobb and had five children, two of them twins. She would eventually follow in her mother’s footsteps and have nine children of her own. “Demmey” was Dot’s first child, son Hugh Dimmock Cobb, Jr.
- Beverly is Beverly Marie Farrar, the youngest of the Farrar’s nine children, and the only one still living. Beverly shared her mother’s birthdate and turned eight in January of 1945, the same day her mother turned fifty-five.
© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2014