Letter from Hedley Madgett to his parents



Letter from Hedley Madgett to his parents


Writes from Medicine Hat complaining of lack of mail. Talks about lack of rationing in Canada apart from sugar. Writes of inspector general's visit and that his course will get their wings on Friday 13th. Mentions old friend and talks of ground examinations, the flying programme and night landings. Says they have now started formation flying. Concludes that he will be on his way back home soon.



Temporal Coverage



Four page handwritten letter and envelope


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No. 1330340. L.A.C. H.R. MADGETT
Course 33. Hut 14A.
No. 34 S.F.T.S. R.A.F.
Medicine Hat,
[underlined] 27th. Jan [/underlined].
[inserted] Recd [underlined] March 17th [/underlined][/inserted]

Dear Mum & Dad.
Thanks a lot for the Air Mail letter just received and dated the 5th. Pretty good going. I’ve had no mail for ages – well – over a week from nobody at all. Today I had a nice letter from the Verinders and a telegram from John in Ormskirk wherever that it [sic]. I wish he would let me have his address as I have a lot of books to send him.
I seems [sic] queer when you say you are writing on both sides of the paper to save paper. Over here we don’t even give it a thought, but one thing they have just rationed is sugar. We do not have bowls of sugar on the mess tables [inserted] now [/inserted]. Rather a blow that as I used to have loads of sugar in my tea. However, everything else is not affected – plenty of cheese, honey and jam etc.
Today, the Inspector General visited the station and talk about fuss [deleted] over one [/deleted] for one man. Every single thing had to be spotless, all flying stopped during the parade because of noise; our course did not have to go on parade thank goodness,
[page break]
[underlined] 2 [/underlined]
but all the other Courses had to, [inserted] 4 [/inserted][deleted] 3 [/deleted] of them. We are now the second senior course, the senior course getting their wings on Friday. We get our wings on Friday the 13th. of all days! Then we may or may not have 7 days leave to get to Halifax. I want to see America or New York if possible but doubt whether time will allow. If it does not I shall stop in Winnipeg and visit those address(s) you have sent me.
Good to hear Bernard Wright is home, but cannot think [deleted] we P [/deleted] where he could have been stationed in U.S.A. I don’t know of any S.F.T.S.’s in Montana State; occasionally we ourselves fly over the border.
With Airmanship & Maintenance, & Signals exams yesterday, we have now finished all our ground examinations and so have no more lectures, thank goodness. Our programme now is one day – flying in morning, resting in the afternoon, night flying. Next day – resting in morning – flying in afternoon - & so on.
Night flying means anything from 8.00 p.m. to 5 o’clock in the morning. Night flying here is far different here from what it was at S.C. The flare path is only a dim row of lights, and the [deleted] en [/deleted] ground cannot be seen even when you are on it. At first landing was [deleted] pe [/deleted] pretty
[page break]
[underlined] 3 [/underlined]
terrifying – you just glide down on the engine into the black until you know the earth is pretty near by your altimeter. Then suddenly crash – you hit the deck & you bounce high in the air again & crash down again. then you thank your lucky stars you are down. Often I wondered why the undercart. [sic] did not go through the wings. However, I have been solo and can only thank the moon which happened to be looking on for letting me go. I only had time for 2 circuits and landings and can honestly say I did absolute peaches of landings – just as smooth as in day time which made me very pleased. I suppose you know by now, or I have told you of the terrific row Harvards make when passing overhead. When at night, the wind is usually in a direction such that [deleted] the circuit h [/deleted] part of the circuit has to be over the town. Well, every time we go over at night we keep them awake nicely by opening & closing the throttle & juggling with the pitch whether it is 11 p.m. or 3 a.m. So you see, we still have our fun. But joking apart, night flying after a time becomes fascinating and is better than day flying.
Today we started on formation flying. This is pretty hair raising at first and demands terrific concentration. [deleted] We [/deleted] I only had 1.20 hrs.
[page break]
[underlined] 4 [/underlined]
this morning dual and formation flying with 2 other dual aircraft and tomorrow I shall be doing it solo. my instructor thinks me O.K. enough to go up & come down in one piece.
By the time this letter reaches you I shall be on my way back home (I hope) so please do not send anything by post as it will miss me.
Well, thats all for the time being –
All the Best,
With Love from
[underlined] Hedley [/underlined].
[page break]
[postmark][postage stamp]
Mr. & Mrs. L.R. Madgett.
127. Longlands Road,
[inserted] Recd [underlined] March 17th [/underlined][/inserted]
[underlined] England [/underlined.
[page break]
From. 1330340. LAC H.R. Madgett
34S.F.T.S. R.A.F.


Hedley Robert Madgett, “Letter from Hedley Madgett to his parents,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed July 22, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/11201.

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