Farrar Papers

Scope and Content

The collection includes in one volume a manuscript and typescript collation of Farrar's work by the poet himself, together with loose manuscripts, including eleven letters, some pages from his diary, two typescripts, an account his his remarkable dream of 4 July 1944, and other miscellaneous manuscripts. Also there are copies of the RAF annual for 1952, which is dedicated to his memory, Poetry Review 1959, which carries an article on Farrar by Henry Williamson, and a BBC Broadcast anthology for schools, which includes a piece of prose by Farrar. The RAF annual contains a photograph of James Farrar, and the collation contains several press cuttings and related papers concerning his life and death.

Administrative / Biographical History

James Farrar was born on 5th October 1923 at Woodford in Essex, the second son of a father who had served in the Royal Flying Corps in the 1st World War. He matriculated at fourteen years of age, and soon after began to write poetry and prose. Despite his youth, his work was of an exceptional maturity and skill. Tragically, he was killed in a RAF Mosquito aircraft trying to destroy a V1 flying bomb at the end of July 1944. He was twenty years of age. His work was later discovered by Henry Williamson, who published an edition of the works in 1950, with the title, The Unreturning Spring.


The papers have not been systematically arranged yet.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for consultation

Acquisition Information

The papers were given to the Library in 1970.

Other Finding Aids

A handlist is available.

Alternative Form Available

None known

Conditions Governing Use

Usual EUL arrangements apply

Related Material

See Henry Williamson, 'The Unreturning Spring: James Farrar 1923-1944' in Poetry Review, volume 1, no.2 (1959), 90-93.


In addition to the collection edited by Williamson, The Unreturning Spring, mentioned above (the second edition of which was published by Chatto&Windus in 1968), there is a selection of Farrar's poetry edited and introduced by Christopher Palmer, Spring returning (Autolycus Press, 1986).