Letter from Douglas Hudson in Médéa to parents



Letter from Douglas Hudson in Médéa to parents


Writes about moving from El Kef to Médéa in Algeria. New arrangements organised for internees by American and British governments with cooperation of French. Explains that conditions are much better that at El Kef where they were very rough. They have beds and meals provided and freedom to walk around town. Expect to get allowance of 15 shillings for extra food and clothes. Describes Medea and surrounding area. Explains letters posting arrangements and mentions first visit to pictures for over eight months.




Temporal Coverage



Two page handwritten letter


IBCC Digital Archive


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EHudsonJDHudson(Fam)410426-010001, EHudsonJDHudson(Fam)410426-010002


Sgt. Chef. J. D. Hudson.
Hotel d’Orient,
My Dear Mother & Dad.
I don’t know whether you will have been advised by telegram by the American Consul in Tunis of my new address, but I hope you have. Any way it doesn’t really matter because letters addressed to Le Kef will be sent on here. We were all moved here during this week. I arrived on Thursday morning at 12 oclock, [sic] after a 28 hours journey mostly by train, a distance of about 450 miles. You will no doubt be very surprised. I am myself because it all happened very quickly.
It appears that we now come under an entirely new scheme arranged through the American & British Government with the cooperation of the French. Our conditions of living here are by no means comparable with those at Kef which were more than rough, even primitive. We live at the above place which is an ordinary hotel & our meals & bed are provided. Above this I expect we shall receive an allowance to cover small expenses – an allowance probably about 15/- weekly, paid through the Consul. We are quite free to wander about the place & after living locked in our rooms at Kef for 12 hours out of 24, & surrounded by guards & barbed wire, you will realise what all this means. Médéa is a very pleasant small town – more or less a small garden
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city, situated over 3000 feet above sea level, with neighbouring mountains, neatly wooded, up to 5000 ft, harbouring jackals & wild boar. The place abounds in vine-yards, the grapes of course are not ready until July or August. The whole country is vastly different from Tunisia which is far more “foreign”. Here is rather like North Wales – the Horse Shoe Pass district. I expect you will be able to read about it in books from the library. I am sending this letter quite independently by Air Mail. For the time being I intend to do this weekly & also I intend writing to you through the medium of the American Consul in Algiers, probably weekly, perhaps that will have to be fortnightly. I cannot afford to write many letters because I have to keep myself on 15/- (very possibly buy clothes, although at present I am quite well supplied.) & we only get two meals issued per day, any additional food has to be bought. To-night we spend 10 francs in the local cinema which shows two nights per week. It will be my first visit to the pictures for 8 1/2 months – that is a long time in a prison camp.
I am afraid this letter has been mostly about myself but I do not forget you at home. I do most sincerely hope that you are keeping safe & well & that things will be much better for you in the future. Shall write again tomorrow via the Consul. Will you write to my [sic] VIA AIR MAIL & mark the envelopes accordingly? Perhaps you would drop a short wire to me on receipt of this. All my love
[underlined] Douglas [/underlined]



D Husdson, “Letter from Douglas Hudson in Médéa to parents,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed March 26, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/10877.

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