Farrar Papers

Scope and Content

This small collection contains the following: one b/w portrait photograph of James Farrar, n.d.; four drawings/paintings by Farrar, n.d.; manuscript field notes, c 1938; part of 1st edition dust-jacket of The Unreturning Spring (1950); pamphlet 'Prose and verse readings: BBC broadcasts to schools', containing short essay 'Training flight', 1957; letter from Alwyn Trubshaw to the Sutton and Cheam Advertiser, enclosing tribute article 'Poet Laureate of the RAF', 1967; bundle of manuscript notes on Farrar by Trubshaw [1950s]; bundle of correspondence between Alwyn Trubshaw and Christopher Palmer (editor of Spring Returning, 1986, which featured the poetry of Farrar), 1990.

Administrative / Biographical History

James Farrar (1923-1944), poet and airman, was born on 5 October 1923 at Woodford in Essex, the second son of a father who had served in the Royal Flying Corps in the First 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.

Conditions Governing Access

Usual EUL arrangements apply.

Other Finding Aids

A handlist is available.

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Charlotte Berry, Archivist, 2 November 2004, and encoded into EAD 3 June 2005.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual EUL restrictions apply.

Custodial History

Donated by the son of Alwyn Trubshaw, school teacher of David and James Farrar, in 2004.

Related Material

See also EUL MS 51: Farrar Papers, 1939-1944 for other literary papers of James Farrar.


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).