Letter from Hedley Madgett to his parents



Letter from Hedley Madgett to his parents


Writes from Swift Current that they still have not started flying. They have been issued with text books on flying and are doing lots of sports. Mentions the weather and the time his latest letter took to get from England. States that they will get leave but no travel warrants so it will be difficult to visit people round Canada. Talks about pay and money as well as daily activities and sleeping arrangements. Continues with talk of inoculations acquaintances and a taxi ride.



Temporal Coverage



Five page handwritten letter and envelope


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[inserted][underlined] 2nd letter [/underlined][/inserted]
No. 13230340. L.A.C. H.R. MADGETT
Course 30.
No. 32 E.F.T.S. R.A.F. Station,
Swift Current,
5th. September. 1941.
[inserted] Received [underlined] 18th Sept. [/underlined][inserted]
Dear Mum & Dad & Peter,
We are still waiting to start flying, and the latest rumour is that we will start on the 25th., so our ground lectures should not be long now. We have been given text books on Flying, and Navigation, which makes things more encouraging.
They have taken us off fatigues, in place of which we do a little drill, and plenty of P.T. and basket ball games. The corporals in charge of us at drill and P.T. are very decent chaps, and help us a lot in helping us to endure this waiting about.
The weather is starting to break up now. It has been very hot, but now it is gradually getting cooler, and is [deleted] very [/deleted] freezing at night. By next month, the snow should be starting, just when we start flying. But they have rollers and other implements to make landing & taking off possible on the snow, so we should not [deleted] loos [/deleted] lose many hours.
[page break]
[underlined] 2 [/underlined]
My first letter from England was one from Betty, forwarded from Wilmslow to Ottawa and then on to here. Her letter took 24 days to get here, and by the post marks on one or two other chaps letters, Air Mail is about 8 days quicker. When a pal shouted and waved a letter for me, I was so eager to get it that I tripped up & fell headlong on to the rough [deleted] su [/deleted] road surface and mucked my hands up a bit. They are getting better now, but to get any mail is the big event of the day. So please write soon, as letters here are so infrequent.
When we are in Canada we are supposed to have 2 weeks leave, [underlined] if we are lucky [/underlined], so I would like to see those Hamilton people. But unlike in England we do not get free travel warrants, so it would be rather costly, especially as we have not yet been paid [deleted] si [/deleted] the full amount due to us. I believe John knows some people in British Columbia, and so am asking him for their address. In any case, you cannot go far without money, and so could you find out whether it is possible to change English money into Canadian Currency in England.
[page break]
[underlined] 3 [/underlined]
It is hard to get English money changed here. I suppose G.H. & Co.still send the monthly cheque.
I’ve just got some “gen”. We [underlined] definitely [/underlined] start flying on the 25th, so with passes allowing us out till midnight, free films shows, plenty of good food, and plenty of P.T. we are more happy. At P.T. we are starting to learn holds in wrestling, and when practising in the hut before we go to bed, my pyjamas, and not a few others, are not standing up to it well, and show many signs of amateur stitching.
In the afternoons, we laze about on our beds spirits are rather high. The most [deleted] con [/deleted] usual practice is to dismantle the beds, so that when the owners come in after lights out, there is usually a glorious hullabaloo. The beds are also “adjusted” so that when the owner comes along and sits or lies down, the bed collapses. My pals did that to mine once, and once was taken to bits. After using [deleted] using [/deleted] all manner of means including the fire axe, some brackets got so bent, that we changed the bed for the spare one. The beds are metal frame
[page break]
[underlined] 4 [/underlined]
ones, and are double deckers. One afternoon I happened to go to sleep; my pals took advantage of this and put boots, brooms and blankets piled around me, & then took a [deleted] sno [/deleted] snap. I did not discover what they had done till I woke up. as far as photos go for clearness, it has come out quite well, and am having two prints done, and also two of the hut itself, showing the inside. When they are developed I will send them on. I wish I had brought my camera now, but I should not like to risk having [inserted] it [/inserted] sent over by post.
They have started giving us inoculations again. They gave us 3 test jabs to see what would happen in 24 hours. The area round one of the pricks went red, and after the 24 hours, they gave us the inoculation. The M.O. put an awful lot in, and it felt rather uncomfortable. But it is OK now. [deleted] One [/deleted] However, the arms of 3 or 4 chaps have swollen up tremendously & gone all red from the shoulder down to the wrist. They have had to have hospital treatment. We have to have this business once a week for 5 weeks, but this week we have missed it
[page break]
[underlined] 5 [/underlined]
because they have run out of whatever they pump into us.
This afternoon we are starting off on to some brain work – i.e. morse, so now, it looks as though things are quickening up, which is all to the good.
I hope Peter is getting on O.K. at work & is liking it, & Kenneth has not been giving the speed cops too much trouble on his bike. Talking of speed – yesterday I was walking along the road from Swift Current, & along came “Joe’s Taxi”, famed for his speeding. He stopped, & I got in his [deleted] O [/deleted] huge Oldsmobile, & off we went. It was not long before we were kicking up 85 m.p.h., and on a road made of dirt & stones too.
Well, I must be finishing now as time is getting short.
With Love to you all,
[underlined] Hedley [/underlined].
P.S. Would you please put on the top of your letters a consecative [sic] number, & then I shall know if a letter has been lost on the way.
[page break]
[Y.M.C.A. Crest][Air Mail badge][postmark] [postage stamps]
[inserted] Recd 18th Sept. [/inserted]
Mr. & Mrs. L.R. Madgett.
127. Longlands Road,
[underlined] Sidcup [/underlined],
Kent. [underlined] ENGLAND [/underlined]
[page break]
1330340. HRMADGETT
32 E.F.T.S. R.A.F.


Hedley Robert Madgett, “Letter from Hedley Madgett to his parents,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 24, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/11206.

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