Letter from Douglas Hudson in internee camp in Le Kef, Tunisia, to his parents



Letter from Douglas Hudson in internee camp in Le Kef, Tunisia, to his parents


Writes that he has received correspondence from home and from pen friends. States he cannot write to the latter as he is only allowed two letters a month. Explains that he cannot say a great deal in letters and that politics are taboo. Explains about life in camp and that the internees do not have freedom of the country but are confined a single walk a day with chaperone. Writes about his health and food available.



Temporal Coverage



Two page typewritten letter


IBCC Digital Archive


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755052 Sgt. Chef J.D. Hudson.
Camp de Sejour Surveille,
Le Kef. Tunisie. Afrique du Nord.
My Dear Mother & Dad,
Since I wrote to you last, i.e. a fortnight ago, I have received three letters from you dated 12th, 16th and 25th December and the day before yesterday i.e. 5th Feb. I received your cable of the 3rd reading “Mother Dad Both well. Send their love” I am very pleased indeed to receive this news, especially the cable which is so up to date, and has done remarkably well to get through in two days. I have also received a letter each since I last wrote to you from Miss Law, Hildred, Dorothy Pell, E.W.T. and John.
I cannot write to any of them because I am only permitted to write two letters per month and four p.cs. Nowadays I cannot obtain plain p.cs. so am temporarily reduced to two letters per month only. I shall do my utmost to get the p.cs. again and I know that you will understand.
There is no need for me to say how glad I am to know that you are both keeping well. I hope Dad is O.K. and I expect he is when you are able to house a guest, which I think is very kind and considerate of you. Give her my love if she is still with you when this letter arrives.
Yes I was thinking about you all Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day and Mothers Birthday, but of course I am always doing that. It was very kind of Jaffes to send £2. I very much appreciate it.
Since the mail began I have received 28 letters from England and your cable. Sixteen letters have been from you, so that is not too bad. I wish I could write to you more often, but as I am in safety you need not worry.
[page break]
You realise only too well I cannot say a great deal in my letters but one of these days I shall have plenty to tell you both when I am back in England. I am not stagnant yet even if my wings are temporarily clipped and am still proud to say I come from England.
Politics in letters are taboo, I expect, so I will Tell you a bit about the weather here instead. A few days have been warm enough for sun-bathing, but this morning we had snow again and the weather is Aprilish in England. It varies terrifically. The sun is hot but we still get the cold west winds and at night it is quite cold. For an English [deleted] [indecipherable word] [/deleted] person under normal conditions the weather would be ideal and I am very weather beaten and look well and as I told you before weigh 10 stones 6 lbs. Our food is better and I think we have contacted Air Ministry now and in consequence get a rather better money allowance, which of course does not represent anything approaching our normal pay. We spend everything on food, wood and cigarettes. Drink practically nothing else but black coffee, and red wine at about 3 1/2d a litre = nearly 1 1/2 pints. The beer (bottled only) is poison and we [inserted] would [/inserted] not touch it with a barge pole.
From the letters I have received it appears that several people think we have the freedom of the country. Perhaps you could explain that we are confined to the camp and only allowed a walk a day with as I told you before a “chaperon”. We can knock holes in a football in the camp yard, but that is not exactly come and go as you please.
During my stay here I am trying to get as strong as I can. Physically I feel better than when I left England. I get the French newspaper every day and believe what I want to believe in it. I have quite a good idea of what is going on however and my congratulations go out to all those who I know deserve them. Just to think what I have missed. I eat a lot of oranges here. It is the season now and I get about four a day for the equivalent of 2d Living here is cheap but of course so much is rationed. I am sending this letter by Air Mail and do hope it gets through all right. Did I tell you that we have a fairly decent selection of English books and plenty of clothing. Will say good-bye now until next latter [sic] day unless I can get a p.c. before. All my love and best wishes and what a celebration when we all meet again. Please give my love and regards to E.W.T. and keep your spirits going. DOUGLAS.



James Douglas Hudson, “Letter from Douglas Hudson in internee camp in Le Kef, Tunisia, to his parents,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed May 25, 2022, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/10875.

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