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WW II Brings German Prisoners to Ladyglen Farm

Posted 8/30/2021

Sister Boniface tells about German prisoners working at Ladyglen farm

Turkey Farm at Nazareth HallTurkey Farm at Nazareth Hall With Hitler on the rampage in Europe, Americans were conscious of the imminence of the war which became a reality with the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. The stark reality of war was brought home to individual nuns who lost brothers and relatives.

World War II became a reality to the Ursulines Community also when German prisoners of war, residing at Camp Perry, came to work at the Ladyglen farm under the supervision of Sister Boniface.

The following story was shared with Sister Lelia by Sister Boniface.

When the word came to Ladyglen that prisoners of war were available to help with the farm work, Mother Pulcheria and I went to Camp Perry in Oak Harbor, where the prisoners resided, to talk with the commanding officer. It took one whole day to make arrangements, which included transportation to and from Oak Harbor. Seven men and one homesick 16 year old boy were to work on the farm for six weeks.

Because Ladyglen had only one farm hand -- the others being conscripted -- and one truck, we found the trip to Oak Harbor too time consuming, so Mother Pulcheria suggested that we go to Bowling Green to tell our story to the CO and to make other arrangements, if possible. The officers there were helpful, respectful and cordial. Surprisingly, the next thing we knew, the men were transferred to Bowling Green, where we picked them up each day at eight and returned them at four o’clock.

The first morning our man, Jim, said the prisoners did not speak a single word during the trip from Bowling Green to the farm. They got out of the truck quietly and stared at us.  I talked to the officers for a while and then, then looked the men over, shook hands and greeted each --- in German. Well, the miracles a common language can perform! The men smiled and gradually relaxed.

More of the story next month!


The material quoted here is taken from A Tree in the Valley by Sr. Lelia Mahoney.