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



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


Catches up on activities and expresses gloom over President Roosevelt's death. Talks of Malcolm's bike and censorship of his letters. Writes about Malcolm when he was young. Catches up with family news,




Temporal Coverage



Five page handwritten letter and envelope


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[censored stamps]
[postage stamp]
Miss D. Weeks.
37 Hawthorne Rd.
Bunkers Hill
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[censor stamp]
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Box 29.
My dear Doris,
Here it is, practically the end of the week & your sea mail letter of Feb. 12th not answered yet. So here goes & I’ll not leave it till it is finished. Have been exceedingly busy today so, having a lot to do I got a move on so have a few minutes to spare. Tonight is the big Red X ball. But we don’t go, just send along our “door money” & some eats Made 6 dozen sausage rolls this morning & bye & bye soon as I’ve had some lunch, am going to a neighbour’s to cut sandwiches. Quite a gloom has been cast over everything by President Roosevelt’s death. It is a tragedy but one can find it in one’s heart to thank God it isn’t Churchill! Regarding Malcolm’s bike, I have not had any communication from the Air board with the exception of the letter at Christmas time, asking what I would like them to do with it. Undoubtedly they are a lot muddlers, & the time (& red tape) wasted is scandalous. Malcolm had told us about the snow, & the clearing of the runways but never mentioned the little brush-up
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he had with Bud over it. He was always most careful when writing, as he reckoned he did not intend the censor to get to work on it with his razor blade & quite often, if he did mention any little thing he was in doubt about he’d write “I hope the censor lets this thro’ – or words to that effect – then at the end of his letter “Cheerio censor”!
You asked me to tell you something of the Malcolm you did not know Doris. Well, really, there is little to tell. Life for him had only just begun. At school he was always smart, & anything he undertook to do, was done thoroughly. He was, when 16 in a shop & how he loathed it! dressed up behind a counter when he could be in greasy overalls driving a tractor, ect ect [sic].
We allowed him to leave & he was in his element on the farm, driving the tractor & shearing sheep ect [sic]. A greater opportunity came his way when about 18 & he went to the Sth. east on a big property, but all his pals were joining up, & numerous were the letters that came begging our consent to allow him to join up. At last he came home & weedled a reluctant “Yes” from his dad. He used to say to me, “Now
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don't be worrying, will you Mops. It will be 2 years before I see action”. How quickly those two years went! Malcolm was always the same happy laughing kid. I’ve snapshots of him when he was but a little chap & practically right thro his short life, & one day soon, when I can bring myself to do so, I am putting them in an album. He loved everything small – puppies, kittens, chicks, & even babies! Across the road from us is a sheep station & I never failed, for as long as I can remember, to tell him, when writing of the appearance of the first wee lambs, & even from England, he wrote so excitedly in reply to this bit of news. Any day now the first lambs will appear & ever & anon I find myself at the kitchen window looking for them, & in a way I’m rather dreading their coming. I know I’m going to have a weep.
- Doris is now established at the hostel at Undalya; we took her down the other night, & three of the girls were in residence – the matron, sub matron & Welfare officer – they are all young & of course are called by their Christian name by all the [deleted] all [/deleted] girls – all except the W.O, Miss Jean Scott – she has
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has always been “Scotty” to the girls. The train was due in less than an hour, bringing the other 18 girls so there was great rushing round, a big fire blazed in the kitchen stove & the kettles were all singing a welcome. Miss Scott showed us thro the hostel & it is beautiful. The rooms are large, there are several bedrooms, Doris claimed one with three beds for herself & two friends – Barbara & Diana. The largest bedroom contains 6 beds, 6 dressing tables, 6 chairs & three wardrobes so you can judge at the size.
Big French windows open out on the veranda from these bedrooms. The dining room is furnished like a Café – there are several small tables, each seating 5 or 6 girls & as they go in “gangs” so these “gangs” must sit at the one table! The sitting room is large, & contains a huge table, where the girls may sit & write or play table tennis ect [sic]. There’s a lovely big fireplace, & a big bay window complete with roomy window seat makes it an ideal room for the girls to spend their few leisure minutes. Now they have a gardening craze & sent to me for some seedlings. Just how long the craze will last remains to be seen. Doris & Barbara are
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coming out for the weekend.
We had Doris & Margaret over Easter & my sister Hazel & hubby & the two boys motored over for the day. The girls didn’t get up Sunday morning till 10.30 & looked quite crestfallen. Marg. Said “we would have got up hours ago, but we were [underlined] sure [/underlined] we’d get breakfast in bed” I reminded them it was April 1st. When I went to bed that night I just couldn’t get in, & found they’d got a bit of their own back by “short sheeting” the bed. Had a letter from Mrs Gryst during the week, she said Bruce is reporting daily to Depot, just waiting from day to day to see what will turn up. Well, I really must stop now Doris, get around & have a good time, won’t you. Don’t be too sad, it is not what Malcolm would want, & I have grieved enough & shed tears enough for us both. They say time is a great healer, but it must be a dreadfully long time, as the ache in my heart today is just the same as it was 9 months ago. We never will forget Malcolm & it is almost impossible to beleive [sic] that never more will we hear that happy laugh. Not in this world, that is, but we’ll meet again someday.
Our fondest love, M Payne xxxxx



Malcolm Payne, “Letter from Mrs Payne, mother of Flight Sergeant Malcolm Payne, to Doris Weeks,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed March 1, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/10619.