Letter from Mrs M. L. Payne, mother of Flight Sergeant Malcolm Payne, to Doris Weeks



Letter from Mrs M. L. Payne, mother of Flight Sergeant Malcolm Payne, to Doris Weeks


Writes of common grief even after five months. Talks of photograph of Malcolm and his delight at first seeing snow. Catches up with other family news. Says she is writing letters and knitting for civilian relief in England. Mentions meting a lady who knew Lincoln well. Mentions casualty of another acquaintance. Encourages Doris to continue writing.




Temporal Coverage



Four page handwritten letter


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Box 29.
Sth. Aust.
[underlined] 4.12.44 [/underlined]
My dear Doris,
Replying to your lovely letter of Oct 3rd. I was so very pleased to receive it – you say you wept over my letter – we both shed tears over yours – it seemed to bring our darling so near to us. Almost five months have gone by since we lost him - & we grieve just as much today as we did during those first dreadful weeks. We shouldn’t I know, he would not want it so, & he himself was such a brave little chap but he was so very dear to us. Often now I fancy I hear him laughing - indeed I have awoke with a start many times thinking I heard his voice. Yes, we received his lovely photo – personally we preferred him without the moustache – it aged him rather but it’s a lovely photo. His photos all stand on the radio – the coloured enlargement he had taken when he was A.C.II – It is very like him – so boyish & his lips are parted in a half grin, one can almost swear
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he is just about to say something – “Hooey!” for instance! Then there’s the one from London & the one we love a lot of Bud, Don, Allan, & Malcolm. Did you see that one?
Malcolm wrote us that he was “horribly excited – no kidding” – on seeing his first snow fall – he had never actually seen it fall before. Indeed I have only seen three falls of snow, then of course it didn’t last very long. We love the winter evenings, too, tho personally I hate the cold. Then too I dread the summer so what have you! Malcolm used to write amusing accounts of the “beaut pink & white complexion he had acquired in England. He was always so brown at home & revelled in the hot weather when he’d dress in shorts & sandals & become browner than brown.
We have just received a telegram from Keith, advising of his transfer to Queensland, so he’s a long way from home now. I sent your snaps to him, & returning them he wrote “Doris sounds a swell kid to me, & I think I’ll drop her a line myself.” We have had a houseful of visitors over the
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week end but peace & quiet reigns once more; so am sitting down to some solid work – answering correspondence – I have piles of letters here beside me waiting to be answered & knitting crying out to be done. We are knitting for the civilian relief in England at present. Recently I met a lady who knows Lincoln well & we had quite an interesting chat. Her sister married a Watervale resident (our local M.P.) about 20 years ago, both being towards middle age, & this lady whom I mentioned as knowing Lincoln so well, came out with her sister & has lived with her ever since. They are both such dears. Their home town is Sheffield. Miss Warren told me that years ago her two young brothers were apprenticed to an engineering firm in Lincoln. She told me an amusing incident of how she was one day confronted in the fields as she thought by some “huge bulls”, to find to her relief they were separated by a ditch or dyke. She’s quite a character, really, but is much loved.
Did you get in touch with Peggy Tagget? Allans [sic] nephew was killed in air crash in Wales in Aug. last year – he was 9 months
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older than Malcolm & his mother is a week older than me. Its very tragic really.
By the way Doris, none of your letters have been cencored [sic], which rather surprised me. Please write just when ever you feel like unburdening your mind – your letters are very much looked for. Our lot is hard, but my heart just aches for you young folk, so cruelly parted when life held so much for you. Did I ever mention that Peggy T. has a book in which she writes a letter to Allan every day? Poor little thing.
We all send our love to you, Doris. Nineteen forty four will be just making an exit, may forty five be much brighter for all you brave souls in those far, war torn parts.
Fondest love
Yours very sincerely
M.L. Payne.
[underlined] P.S [/underlined] Isn’t this a cute little chap? It’s our native (Koala) bear & they live entirely on the very young baby gum leaves.



M L Payne, “Letter from Mrs M. L. Payne, mother of Flight Sergeant Malcolm Payne, to Doris Weeks,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 20, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/10614.

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