Hedley Madgett diary 1941

YMadgettHR1330340v2.pdf

Title

Hedley Madgett diary 1941

Description

Daily entries for most of year 1941, First half of year entries cover events in England before joining Royal Air Force. Entry for May includes call up papers and travel to Stratford on Avon. June move to Scarborough. August to Wilmslow, sea journey to Halifax and train across Canada to Swift Current. Daily entries cover training and other activities at Stratford on Avon, Scarborough and Wilmslow. August entries cover journey to Canada and training and other activities at Swift Current. Moves at the end of November to Medicine Hat and entries describe training and activities a that location.

Publisher

IBCC Digital Archive

Date

1941

Contributor

Steve Baldwin

Rights

This content is available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0). It has been published ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre. For more information, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ and https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/legal.

Format

Thirty double page pocket diary and covers

Language

Identifier

YMadgettHR1330340v2

Temporal Coverage

Transcription

[diary front cover]
Diary
1941
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PERSONAL MEMORANDA
H R Madgett
127, Longlands Road,
Sidcup, Kent.
Foots Cray 1696
FLO 311.
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APRIL 1941
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MAY 1941
M 12 Get call up papers
S 24 2.10p.m. train to Stratford on Avon. Ar 4.5p.m.
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JUNE 1941
S 5 7.15am train to Scarborough. Arr 4.15p.m.
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AUGUST 1941
F 1 8.10am train to Wilmslow. Arr 12.45p.m
Th 7 2.15am train to Gourock arr. 1.20p.m. start for Canada 7.30p.m.
F 15 arr. HALIFAX 7.23p.m. 3.35p.m. train for Swift Current
W 20 arr. Swift Current 5.35a.m.
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1941 WEDNESDAY JAN. 1
Up with Betty in morning Have awful head-ache. Not out in evening. Bed early – 8 p.m.
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1941 THURSDAY JAN. 2
Extremely cold. Train very delayed in morning. Not out in evening – too cold.
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1941 FRIDAY JAN. 3
Still very cold. Tank has frozen now. In evening go to “Odeon” with Mary to see “Its a Date” – Deanna Durbin and “The Way of all Flesh”, which I did not think much of. This is 2nd. Time I have seen “It’s a Date”. Very good and funny in places.
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1941 SATURDAY JAN. 4
Work in the morning as usual. In afternoon call on John & collect my rain coat from cleaners, who have almost bleached it. Rest of family go to Nell’s for tea etc., with Nora & family. I make my own tea & go with Mary to dance at St. John’s Hall. (Ron Bond & Monty Sims). Miss Wheeler there among others. Finish at 11 p.m. Very cold. Family home by 11 p.m. In bed just before 12.
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1941 SUNDAY JAN. 5
Did not go to church in morning as too cold. John came round in afternoon & had tea. Played cards. Unusually quiet evening for me.
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1941 MONDAY JAN. 6
Very slippery this morning. No snow yet, but very cold. Very busy at work. at lunch time went to 64, Park St to collect my S.O. In evening have heavy fall of snow, but has stopped when call on John Ernie there; play Monopoly cut loose very quickly. Bed 10.30 p.m.
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1941 TUESDAY JAN. 7
Snow on ground this morning. [deleted] Sill [/deleted] Still cold. Very busy at work. go to library before going home. Long warning this afternoon & guns going. Do not go out in evening, but write letter to Edith.
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1941 WEDNESDAY JAN. 8
A little warmer today
The snow thaws. Up with Betty. Go to library before going home. Meet John there. Write last letter to Mary. I think she is too quiet & domesticated. Bed 9.45.
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1941 THURSDAY JAN. 9
John comes round in evening. Play a few card games but do not post that letter. Guess I’ll just leave it.
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1941 FRIDAY JAN. 10
Very busy at work. in evening I go alone to Regal to see Wm. Powell & Myrna Loy in “I Love you Again” Really very funny. Other film was not much. Short warning.
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1941 SATURDAY JAN. 11
Work in morning AND afternoon. terribly busy & annoyed, because I wanted to see soccer match. In evening went round to John’s & had [sic] Monopoly. Ernie there. As usual I lost. Guns going heavy as I left home
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1941 SUNDAY JAN. 12
Did not go to church. Had a bath instead. Met John in afternoon & went for short walk. Had tea at his place with Ernie & Mr. Lang. Had [sic] Monopoly, but lost. Played cribbage after. Very heavy raid this evening. Our fighters up later on & all clear at 10.45.
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1941 MONDAY JAN. 13
UP WITH Goldby in morning. On Saturday night, bomb lands in middle of Bank junction. Coming home, I. Dumfries gets in our carriage at London Bridge. When at Sidcup just manage to avoid Mary after leaving Miss Wheeler. She must have seen me. Learn a bit of Morse in evening.
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1941 TUESDAY JAN. 14
Up with Monty Sims. He put out many incendiaries & saved a house on Sunday night. John came round in evening & told me we were going to a girls house (Molly.) but, told me outside Mary’s place that we were going there. He went in & brought Mary out & I had to explain my way out. awful embarrassed. Then went in, had a chat & went home at 9.45 p.m. All O.K. now – said I was too busy swotting for R.A.F. to come out at night! No warning to-night
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1941 WEDNESDAY JAN. 15
Up with Monty again, & had tea when get to London. Weather bad later in morning, hard snow does not settle & makes awful slush. Do not go out in evening; spent it looking through
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1941 THURSDAY JAN. 16
Train late due to snow. Up with Dobbie. Met Monty & Betty at Canon St.
Dyed coat comes today.
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1941 FRIDAY JAN. 17
Up with Betty in morning. Went to Air Ministry, Kingsway to find out about joining. Air Training scheme in colleges. But can’t join as not have cert.
Round at John’s in evening playing crib.
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1941 SATURDAY JAN. 18
Betty again in morning, & had tea before went in. called on John, & brought him to tea, then on to Odeon to see Dick Poirell in “I want a Divorce” & “The House with 7 Gables”. – Nan Grey in latter. Very good film.
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1941 SUNDAY JAN. 19
Called on John in afternoon, & go for walk. He has tea at his Grandma’s in Little Birches.
He’s round again in evening playing cards. Guns too heavy, so he stays the night.
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1941 MONDAY JAN. 20
Up 6.30 a.m. John goes home. Buy 5/- trig. book. Up again with Betty.
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1941 TUESDAY JAN. 21
Up with Betty. Met Monty at Canon St. & had Tea before going in.
Studied trig. in evening.
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1941 WEDNESDAY JAN. 22
Warm this morning. Up with Betty & Monty.
Studied trig. in evening.
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1941 THURSDAY JAN. 23
Up with Monty in morning. Weather foul.
Studied in evening again.
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1941 FRIDAY JAN. 24
Up with Monty & Betty in morning. Had tea with Monty before going in. very busy today.
In evening went alone to Regal to see “Strike Up the Band” – Mickey Rooney & Judy Garland & Paul Whiteman & Orch. Super film. Mickey is terrific on the drums. Best film I have seen.
No warning.
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1941 SATURDAY JAN. 25
Up with Betty. Raining hard. In afternoon call on John. Go round shopping in High St. & go to library. Mrs. Biggs has sprained ankle, so home for tea. Have bath & listen wireless in evening.
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1941 SUNDAY JAN. 26
Church in morning with John. In afternoon we just have to meet Mary. I learn later that John fixed this. I was very annoyed; had long walk together. To make things worse she is knitting me an Air Force pullover. At John’s for tea. Had monopoly, & were ticked off by a Bobbie for not putting [symbol] black out up.
No warning again.
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1941 MONDAY JAN. 27
Had to go up with Alan Newall of all people, & Betty in morning. Not a very nice start to the week.
In evening study again. No warning.
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1941 TUESDAY JAN. 28
Went on later train to avoid Newall, but saw him with someone else. Four short warnings today.
Met John when came off train. He’s going to Odeon with Ernie.
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1941 WEDNESDAY JAN. 29
Up with Maureen Bowerman this morning.
Call up of 18 & 19’s proclaimed today, but will not make any difference to me. Study again in evening.
Warning this evening after nearly 2 weeks, but all clear 9.45. Fairly heavy gunfire, & several bombs.
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1941 THURSDAY JAN. 30
Up with Betty in the morning. Rather cold: a lot of warnings today and plenty of gunfire. Don’t feel too good – have another cold coming.
At work worked out fire watching rosta [sic]. I have to start on Sunday.
In evening do more studying; no warning this night.
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1941 FRIDAY JAN. 31
Up with Betty. Gave Alan Newall a glorious snub, & he took the hint. But at Motting. Station he got in our carriage but someone else separated him from us thank goodness. At Cannon St. he bolted like a scared rabbit. Felt awful all day – have touch of flu. Monahan away with it. Bed early at 7.30 p.m
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MEMORANDA
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1941 SATURDAY FEB. 1
Up with Betty and Newall worse luck.
Coming home, Mary stops me, & trys [sic] to make me call round one evening. Am getting sick of her – just can’t take a hint.
In afternoon John calls round. Take car to do bit of shopping & take him home. Did not go out in evening as have to get up very early in morning, but rang the Old Man up to see about me joining A.T.C. Told me to write him. So wrote p.c. for Peter to take tomorrow.
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1941 SUNDAY FEB. 2
Get up too late for proper breakfast – had to catch 7.24 a.m. to London. I was on fire watch with Mr. Skipper. Very dull. S. Stephenson called in & also Mr. Coats. Home at 6.30 p.m., too late to go again. Bed 9.30.
No warning.
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1941 MONDAY FEB. 3
Light fall of snow during night. Up with Betty again. terribly cold all day; of course house is like a ‘frigerator’. Monahan back at work again. bed 10.30.
Not an eventful day. Another siren-less evening.
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1941 TUESDAY FEB. 4
Up with little Baker this morning. He had joined school A.T.C.
At work got 2/6 worth of chocolate. Can’t get it at shops at all now.
After lull warning goes again tonight at 7 p.m. few guns only. Alert still on when got to bed at 10.30 p.m.
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1941 WEDNESDAY FEB. 5
Up with Baker again this morning.
Very cold still. But uneventful day.
Studied a bit in evening. Blitz on again, but not heavy.
Drops some bombs some distance away.
Bed 10.35
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1941 THURSDAY FEB. 6
Up with Betty & Maureen in morning. Alan Newall gets in another carriage.
In evening at John’s suddenly decide to go round to headmasters place in Leas Green to see about joining A.T.C. Want to get University Course instead. Old Man is out however.
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1941 FRIDAY FEB. 7
Up with Maureen only in morning. I get 10/- at work for fire watching last Sunday. Rather good pay for this.
In evening call on John, & hear that Mr. Biggs had seen Old Man & he said could not be seen in the evening. So will have [inserted] to [/inserted] ring in morning.
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1941 SATURDAY FEB. 8
Up alone for a change in morning. After trying 4 times at different ‘phones, I got on to Old Man’s house. Mrs. Williams answered. Have to ring later. Get him from home at 2.15 p.m. he says O.K. I have to write Ministry. Go up to John’s, come home for tea, write & post letter. When going up to John’s meet Bernard Wright in R.A.F. He’s getting on O.K. play Monopoly rest of evening. Loose [sic] as usual.
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1941 SUNDAY FEB. 9
After waiting for light [deleted] to [/deleted] rain to stop, have game of tennis. Soon got into form again. bath in afternoon, & then call into John’s. listen to wireless, see smashing [inserted] young [/inserted] dame with Betty Belsham, had usual fight & came home for tea. Nellie here, & [deleted] loo [/deleted] I am bored all evening, looking at books. Bed 10.15.
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1941 MONDAY FEB. 10
Up alone in morning. An uneventful day, with not much work.
In evening studied a bit; warning event late at 10 p.m. Bed 10.30.
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1941 TUESDAY FEB. 11
Up with no one in morning again. very slack at work.
Expected John in evening but did not turn up. listened to wireless & heard radio version of “Strike up the Band”. Wrotten [sic] I thought.
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1941 WEDNESDAY FEB. 12
Saw no on up in train. Got later train. Hardly any work to do, but S.S. sticks & keeps us late till 5.30 in evening. Not out in evening however, but studied. Can now knock up 9 words a minute at sending Morse on buzzer Peter made for me. Bed 10.30. no warning.
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1941 THURSDAY FEB. 13
Had a valentine this morning, a day too early. It was in German, but know what it means! Saw no one in morning train. Studied in evening, but lights fused 3 times. Very short alert, & guns only in distance.
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1941 FRIDAY FEB. 14
Up alone again this morning. Came home by car for a change.
Called round on John in evening, had a few rounds of cribbage, supper & home again.
Warning fairly early, & plenty of guns plus our fighters
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1941 SATURDAY FEB. 15
Knock off early at work as S.S. goes early to Wales, (Colwyn Bay). In afternoon call on John, but do not stay. He’s going somewhere secret! go to library & look around, & in evening went to Odeon to see Bing Crossby in “Rhythm on the River”. Mary Martin & Basil Rathbone not much good. 2nd rate film for Bing.
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1941 SUNDAY FEB. 16
Got [inserted] up [/inserted] terrific late, but [deleted] dif [/deleted] drizzling outside so no tennis. Go for short walk in p.m. with John, & he goes to tea with his Uncle’s.
We have early tea as too late to have dinner at midday.
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1941 MONDAY FEB. 17
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1941 SUNDAY MAR. 2
Went to meeting at school with John for A.T.C. Learnt nothing new, but the Old Man told me that he had received & sent back & [sic] form from Air Ministry about University course. Meet D. Marchant, Kirby & see a few others. A lot there not from school.
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1941 MONDAY MAR. 3
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1941 TUESDAY MAR. 4
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1941 WEDNESDAY MAR. 5
Posted another letter to Air Ministry bucking them up. am getting impatient.
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1941 THURSDAY MAR. 6
Got 2 records
[deleted] Merrymakers singing [/deleted] [inserted] Milt Herth Trio playing [/inserted] “Slow Freight” & “Eep-Ipe”.
[deleted] [indecipherable word] [/deleted] Also [deleted] Milt Herth Trio [/deleted] [inserted] Merrymakers [/inserted] [deleted] playing Slow Freight [/deleted] singing Johnson Ray.
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1941 FRIDAY MAR. 7
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1941 SATURDAY MAR. 8
Tennis in afternoon. Very good weather.
Play Monopoly at John’s. jack & Peggy there. Don’t leave until 11.30 p.m. ‘cause of blitz. Lot of shrapnel flying about going home.
Got another record in morning. “Trip the light Fantastic” – Joe Loss. Jolly good one.
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1941 SUNDAY MAR. 9
London blitzed last night. In afternoon called on Ernie for my 4/-, [deleted] & [/deleted] (with John). But he’s out footballing somewhere John goes round to Mary’s. I just walk around in p.m. Nothing interesting to the eye.
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1941 MONDAY MAR. 10
9 bombs dropped in Eastcheap near us. All time bombs. One in our building, & many in road & buildings opposite
We clear out to Marshalsea House in Borough High St. All in a mess so go to Monseigneur News theatre in Strand to kill time with others.
Home early.
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1941 TUESDAY MAR. 11
Had morse practise with Mr. Verinda for first time. very slow to start.
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1941 WEDNESDAY MAR. 12
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1941 THURSDAY MAR. 13
Morse practise at Verinda’s. still slow.
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1941 FRIDAY MAR. 14
John calls round in evening.
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1941 SATURDAY MAR. 15
Go back to [deleted] Eats [/deleted] Eastcheap this morning. Dust all over place. Tennis in afternoon. good game. Had tea at John’s & then to Odeon to see “The Mark of Zorro”, with Tyrone Power & Linda Darnel, & Basil Rathbone. Super sword fighting & Linda Darnell smashing.
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1941 SUNDAY MAR. 16
Took John’s bicycle back in morning. With John & Mary, went to New Eltham to get my watch. New glass & face cleaned up. Saw new bomb damage in Green Lane done on Sat. night. Tea at John’s.
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1941 MONDAY MAR. 17
So sick of waiting for RAF went to Air Ministry. Said I should hear on or about 21st. still think it is a blind.
Had morse practise with Verinda. Getting better.
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1941 TUESDAY MAR. 18
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1941 WEDNESDAY MAR. 19
Heard from Headmaster that I can’t join special University Courses.
Pictures in evening with John & Mary.
[deleted] Linda Darnell & Tyrone Powder [sic] in “Mark of Zorro”
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1941 SATURDAY MAR. 22
Called on John in afternoon. we call on Ernie after tea. John goes round to Mary’s, & Ernie comes along & shows me new book on Navigation he has. Full of news of Fokey Mills etc. etc.
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1941 SUNDAY MAR. 23
A.T.C. at school in morning. Morse class starting, & then had drill. Very cold.
Church in evening with John. Good service – it was National Day of Prayer.
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1941 MONDAY MAR. 24
Morse practise at Verinda’s this evening. Getting on much better.
Visited the dentist; nothing wrong, but wisdom’s have no room. So have to go in 6 weeks, but hope to be in RAF by then.
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1941 TUESDAY MAR. 25
Post letters to BIET, who are worrying about me joining & to Air Ministry at Ruislip about when I am to be called up. Sick of waiting.
Go to library after getting home.
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1941 FRIDAY MAR. 28
Rang up Ruislip, RAF in morning about my call up. Another [underlined] 2 [/underlined] months!! Fed up. peggy Hilliard at work is going to ask [deleted] hers [/deleted] her friends to do a bit of wangling to help me get in quick. More morse this evening at Verinda’s
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1941 SATURDAY MAR. 29
Saw match, Old Boys v. School football teams. John lets 8 through. Old Boys score 0.
Very cold wind.
Was going to pictures in evening but got there too late. Met Ernie on way. Has had fight with Beeton, who gets of 2nd best.
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1941 SUNDAY MAR. 30
A.T.C. in morning. Very cold. Headmaster wastes time jawing about nothing.
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1941 MONDAY MAR. 31
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MEMORANDA
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1941 TUESDAY APRIL 1
[deleted] try to get on to RAF at Ruislip [/deleted]
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1941 WEDNESDAY APRIL 2
Met John & another chap at lunch time to get records at “Hayes” in Cornhill. I got “Harlem” for Peter & John gets “Over the Hill” – Ambrose.
Later, ring up RAF at Ruislip & have rather a bust up with them. Still say another 2 months.
Morse in evening at Verinda’s. not so good as usual.
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1941 THURSDAY APRIL 3
At lunch time went to Trafalgar Square to see information bureau. But it does not exist.
Thinking about joining Fleet Air Arm, as RAF don’t want me for 2 months.
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1941 FRIDAY APRIL 4
John round in evening.
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1941 SATURDAY APRIL 5
Cycled over to “Yorkshire Grey” to see about joining Fleet Air Arm but cannot till in Air Force proper. John comes as well.
Go to library, & then to Odeon to see “A Date with Destiny” – Basil Rathbone, Ellen Drew & John Howard – a thriller, and “Too Many Girls”
Both very good plenty of girls in latter one.
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1941 SUNDAY APRIL 6
Germany declares war on Yuko-slavia [sic] & Greece, early this morning.
A.T.C. in morning. Had morse lesson, & drill. Very cold. Muck around in afternoon as very cold. Church with John in evening.
Meet Ernie coming home, & stops at our place.
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1941 MONDAY APRIL 7
Game of tennis fixed for this evening cancelled – too cold for B.S’s legs. John & Cyril were also playing.
Morse practise on my own.
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1941 TUESDAY APRIL 8
Bought morse tapper. 6/6
Morse practise at Verinda’s for short while. He had to go on ARP duty. (Met MacJames & pop at Canon St.) this morning)
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1941 WEDNESDAY APRIL 9
The cat has 3 kittens this afternoon. drown 2 & keep a black & white one
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1941 THURSDAY APRIL 10
Tennis in evening with John, Cyril & Betty Skinner. Ted Sims (soldier) there to take her home.
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1941 FRIDAY APRIL 11
Holiday! Got up late & mucked around. John at work. pictures with him in evening at Odeon. Clive Brooks in “Convoy”. Second time I have seen this. Still very good. Also Ellen Drew & Dick Powell in “Xmas in July”.
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1941 SATURDAY APRIL 12
No work in morning.
Tennis with John in afternoon. later go to library. See Irene Riley. Stunning.
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1941 SUNDAY APRIL 13
A.T.C. in morning. RAF. Sergeant lectured on I.C. engine & then had. [sic] morse. Met Mansell in afternoon. john on fire watching at work this evening.
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1941 MONDAY APRIL 14
Tennis in morning with John. Call on John’s in afternoon. Mary is there. We all go to flics [sic] in evening at Regal – Joan Bennett in “The Son of Monte Cristo”. Very good.
Mary knows J.R. so have asked her to tell her to ring me on Wed. or Thurs. Doubt whether she will.
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1941 TUESDAY APRIL 15
Work Again.
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1941 WEDNESDAY APRIL 16
Morse practise at Verinda’s before he went on ARP duty.
Heavy blitz on all night.
Took tennis racket to be re-strung.
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1941 THURSDAY APRIL 17
Last night’s raid biggest ever on London. Train with Betty & [inserted] Mariane Geele [/inserted] to Lee. Wait there for 3 hours for bus. Arrive 12.45.
Home bus to Lee & train direct.
J.R. does not ring. Will have to see Mary about it.
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1941 FRIDAY APRIL 18
Trains fairly O.K. today.
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1941 SATURDAY APRIL 19
Football in afternoon. (A.T.C.) Very good game. Our side won. 3-1.
John round in evening, and has to stay the night because of heavy blitz.
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1941 SUNDAY APRIL 20
Bombs in Sidcup Place, & elsewhere, last night.
ATC in morning. Weighed and measured for uniforms. Rest of time spent drilling. Had a spell of ordering
Call on John in afternoon
Round at Mary’s with John in evening.
She has not even told J.R. to ring me. Am going to write letter instead.
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1941 MONDAY APRIL 21
Trains mucked up again. train to Leivisham [sic]. Bus to London. Arrive 10.30 a.m.
Home very late. 7.20 p.m.
Peter’s birthday.
Train crash [deleted] due [/deleted] caused muck up this morning.
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1941 TUESDAY APRIL 22
Up with Marriane & Betty. Trains fairly O.K.
Tennis racket still not ready. Call on John in evening & give him letter. to J.R. He is on firewatching tonight.
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1941 WEDNESDAY APRIL 23
Morse practise in evening at Verinda’s.
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1941 THURSDAY APRIL 24
John not round in evening, so go up to his place. He’s out to the pictures. Anxious about I.R.
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1941 FRIDAY APRIL 25
John firewatching this night. He rings up – has not seen J.R. d- him.
His romance with Mary finished last night.
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1941 SATURDAY APRIL 26
Got racket back. very good. Cost 29/6.
In afternoon went to Paladium with John – Max Miller, Vera Lynn, Florence Desmond, Jack Stanford & others
Really good show.
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1941 SUNDAY APRIL 27
ATC. in morning as usual. I was exempted from medical, as in RAF already. No morse.
Mucked about in workshop making various things. Ken Lowe knows J.R. but have got wrong one. It’s Joyce her sister.
Tennis in afternoon with John, and after Church in evening, John comes round – he has a week’s holiday this week.
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1941 MONDAY APRIL 28
John calls round in evening, but I call on Ken & see another chap. He seems to know every girl he [deleted] meets [/deleted] sees.
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1941 TUESDAY APRIL 29
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1941 WEDNESDAY APRIL 30
Was sick during night.
Come home from work at lunch time as felt not too good.
John round in evening.
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MEMORANDA
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MEMORANDA
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1941 THURSDAY MAY 1
Very slack at work.
Saw John before going to library in evening.
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1941 FRIDAY MAY 2
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1941 SATURDAY MAY 3
Saw football match – A.T.C. v. Scholl. A.T.C. lost. 6-1.
Tennis in evening with John. Saw Joyce pass by.
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1941 SUNDAY MAY 4
A.T.C. in morning. Drill most of time. we have to parade in War Weapons Week next Sunday.
Tennis in afternoon in shorts for first time this year. Stroll around in evening with John.
Weather perfect. Best day of year so far.
Clocks put on another hour, so black out is now 10.15 p.m.
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1941 MONDAY MAY 5
Morse practise at Verinda’s in evening.
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1941 TUESDAY MAY 6
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1941 WEDNESDAY MAY 7
ATC practise football game in evening. Our side won 3.2. Am picked for Saturdays match against Orpington.
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1941 THURSDAY MAY 8
Fire watching with Gray until 8 p.m. this evening.
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1941 FRIDAY MAY 9
A.T.C. test in maths. and English. Fairly easy, except one question in maths.
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1941 SATURDAY MAY 10
Sidcup’s War Weapons Week starts today.
In afternoon big procession, [deleted] by [/deleted] but I (& John) playing in ATC match against New Cross Balloon Barrage Men (Goldmiths [sic] College) insted [sic] of Orpington A.T.C. We lost 6-1, but was certainly not a one sided game. It was a really good game & they were exceptionally rough, (unusual for RAF.)
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1941 SUNDAY MAY 11
Short parade in morning in A.T.C. In afternoon procession through Chislehurst to Mottingham & back. it was a Drum Head Service. Everybody’s feet aching with long marching.
Bed early
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1941 MONDAY MAY 12
London blitzed on Saturday night. Our Warehouse in Park St., hit & is no more. Mincing & Mark Lane all gutted.
When got home had R.A.F. papers – am called up on May 24th. have to go to Stratford on Avon.
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1941 TUESDAY MAY 13
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1941 WEDNESDAY MAY 14
Firewatching this evening with Craven.
John calls round after I get home.
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1941 THURSDAY MAY 15
Called on John in evening. Saw the Messershmidt 109 on show at St. Johns Hall.
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1941 FRIDAY MAY 16
Went to St. John’s Hall to see cinema show. “Q. Ships”. Very good for 3d.
At work Stephenson gave me cheque for £5. Am going to be paid monthly in R.A.F.
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1941 SATURDAY MAY 17
Fire watching all afternoon & evening till 8 p.m. with Fee.
Met John later in town. He was also on fire duty – all night
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1941 SUNDAY MAY 18
A.T.C. in morning. A film show on how air screws were made etc was shown. Said goodbye to Mr Palmer, Tanner, Perrison & Clark. John not there.
In afternoon had Drumhead service on West Kent Cricket Ground at Chislehurst. Very hot. John there. Also saw Joan Eldridge in Nurses, & later Joyce Riley.
Just before dismissal the Old Man called me in front & gave me 3 cheers a short speech of farewell!!! Said goodbye to Banfield. Church
[deleted] strolled around [/deleted] in evening with John & had supper with him
Rev. Coates indisposed – wanted to say goodbye to him
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1941 MONDAY MAY 19
NO WORK. Have weeks’ holiday before I go on 24th. go up to town in car with Dad & carry on to Paddington Station to see train times. Home for dinner.
In afternoon had bath, did some shopping for myself. Had tennis with John in evening & stayed for supper.
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1941 TUESDAY MAY 20
Paid £5 cheque & £5 cash into bank. Now have £60 odd in bank.
Took Mum up to town & meant to see “Gone with the Wind” by [sic] was full up. so went to Empire next door (Leicester Sq.) & saw “Boom Town” with Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy & Dorothy Lamour. Fair.
Dentist in evening. Have to have 2 out – each next to wisdom teeth.
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1941 WEDNESDAY MAY 21
Dentist in morning to make appointment. Carry on to Maggie’s to say goodbye.
Then to Marg’s work place in Eltham for goodbye to her.
Had 2 teeth out with gas. Not too bad, but ached after.
[deleted] Bed [/deleted] Met Betty off train to fix tennis on Friday.
Bed very early at 7.30 p.m.
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1941 THURSDAY MAY 22
Had a look round West End. In afternoon took cakes into G H & Co. & said goodbye to them.
Met John Goldby & McJames & John Biggs & came home with them. Goldby goes into RAF a week on Saturday.
John Biggs & I are invited round to Nell’s for tea & the evening.
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1941 FRIDAY MAY 23
Saw Wallis again. teeth O.K. Spoke to Mary Richings at lunch time.
Bath in afternoon.
Tennis with John, Betty & Cyril Skinner in evening.
Goodbye to Mr. & Mrs. Biggs.
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1941 SATURDAY MAY 24
John sees me off alone to Air Ministry the Headmaster rang up about on Friday morning – but no help. Met rest of family & Nellie & saw me off from Paddington. 2.10 p.m. train. Arrive Stratford 5 p.m. in pouring rain. Billets not bad. in old school.
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1941 SUNDAY MAY 25
Up 7.15 a.m. Bed a bit hard. Doled out with uniform & equipment. Later had adjustments made.
Raining again this evening, & spent trying on harness etc.
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1941 MONDAY MAY 26
Up 6.30 p.m. Had bit of drill & short lecture & maths we have to do. on
Saw “Richard II” at the theatre in evening.
Inoculated arm is stiff & aching like hell.
Wrote home this morning.
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1941 TUESDAY MAY 27
48 hours y for inoculations.
Wrote John & home in morning. Spent rest of day marking equipment & going around the town.
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1941 WEDNESDAY MAY 28
Went for walk with few other chaps into country & swotted maths.
Drill & gas chamber in afternoon. drill very amusing & not taken seriously. Went for boating in evening on the river.
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1941 THURSDAY MAY 29
Marched round to. theatre twice in morning, but no lecture as was arranged. 2nd time we sang & whistled to 2 pianists.
Had lecture [deleted] of [/deleted] on Hygene [sic] & Medical in afternoon, then drill & [deleted] fic [/deleted] fire alarm practise.
Went round to the school to do a bit of maths. raining again in evening.
Had letter from home, and wrote reply.
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1941 FRIDAY MAY 30
Maths lecture in morning, and collected uniforms in afternoon.
Went round to school after tea for more maths.
Had parcels from home, & wrote to G. Harker Child.
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MEMORANDA
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1941 SUNDAY JUNE 1
Church this morning. Went on river again [deleted] this morning [/deleted]. Picked up 4 dames in turn, the last 2 really smashing. Washed & starched collar in afternoon. in evening walked round with another chap & then to the Canteen.
A very hot day.
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1941 MONDAY JUNE 2
Maths lecture in morning, and drill. More maths & plenty more drill again after dinner. Stratford very crowded for the Whitsun Holiday.
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1941 TUESDAY JUNE 3
Drill and lecture on R.A.F. organisation in morning. A lot of drill again in afternoon
Then had to pack all our kit ready to move to Washington Irving Hotel. (where we have meals)
After tea, learnt I was on Fire Piquet at Grove House, . Had 2 suppers & went on duty 1.10 to 3.40 a.m.
Had full medical exam – mercury test, etc.
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1941 WEDNESDAY JUNE 4
Posted letter home.
One inoculation this morning, then had our [deleted] passes & [/deleted] identity cards. My photo is terrible.
Had parcel and letter from home, & letter from John. Wrote home again, & to John.
Strolled along the river in evening, & then to the Canteen.
We are on 48 [inserted] hours [/inserted] excuse duty, & arm aches a bit.
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1941 THURSDAY JUNE 5
Wasted time in morning as raining outside & nothing to do. in afternoon wrote to edith, Reg, & Mag, [deleted] Also sent [/deleted] and Rosemary Stapp; also sent picture P.C’s to Jim & Jessie & Eileen Sharpington.
After supper phoned home. Mum answered. All O.K. at home.
We are to be posted to No. 10 I.T.W. on Saturday to Scarborough.
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1941 FRIDAY JUNE 6
Farewell lecture in morning & F.F.I. inspection.
[deleted] Picted [/deleted] Picked up 2 couples in evening boating. Had a fair time.
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1941 SATURDAY JUNE 7
Up at 5 am Train from Stratford 7.15. Via Birmingham Burton on Trent, Derby Chesterfield & York.
Arrived Scarborough 4.15 after lot of shunting at York. We are at Grand Hotel, the biggest here.
Huge place, & [deleted] [indecipherable letter] [/deleted] in room with Kinker.
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1941 SUNDAY JUNE 8
C.O. Interview & another F.F.I. Interview very short.
[deleted] [indecipherable word] Free In [/deleted] Had bath in afternoon, & went for stroll after tea. Went to a Y.M.C.A for something to eat. Wrote Headmaster & John & home. Had letter from Nel. Ernie has to wait 4 months for R.A.F.
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1941 MONDAY JUNE 9
Our 1st. inspection here this morning. Then a lecture – anti gas. The sergeant giving it was quite a lad. Jokes, etc.
We do not get so much to eat here for meals, but still good quality.
Maths lesson in afternoon. After tea, had morse lesson
Was doing maths homework after supper.
Had another meal at NAAFI canteen, as had very little tea & Supper.
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1941 TUESDAY JUNE 10
More lectures today, with homework nearly all evening.
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1941 WEDNESDAY JUNE 11
Had dental parade today. have to be xrayed on Saturday morning at Scarborough Hospital. Bit of extracted tooth left in when Wallis took them out, & this Dental Officer want to find out what exactly it is. [deleted] H [/deleted] I do not mind as know its all O.K. & nothing wrong.
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1941 THURSDAY JUNE 12
More lectures. Drill first thing in morning by Flt. Lieut. Walker. He is not so good.
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1941 FRIDAY JUNE 13
Very pleased with the post today. had letter from Ada, a very long one from John, & 2 parcels & letters from home, one of which contained slabs of choc.
Heard that Wright is on embarkation leave. Is going to America for training.
John has sudden pash [sic] for Joyce Riley.
Paid 16/- today.
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1941 SATURDAY JUNE 14
Scarborough Hospital for xray. in morning. No result yet. Hosp. is very modern place. Maths in afternoon till 4 o’clock. Met Mr. Dellar in morning, & went to pictures with him in evening. Then to a very good pub. A lot of news about other masters in the forces. Dellar is a sergeant P.T.I. in charge of the Frenchie’s opposite, & we met 2 of [deleted] his [/deleted] them, his pals & had a good supper at a café. (Steak of all things.) Dellar can speak French well, & I [deleted] was [/deleted] could not understand what they were talking about most of time. the froggies only spoke a little English.
Wrote a card home.
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1941 SUNDAY JUNE 15
Church in morning. Not a very good sermon [sic]. Posted a letter to John.
Did Maths swotting in afternoon.
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1941 MONDAY JUNE 16
Had drill among other things. & was in charge by the Flight Sergeant. He was terribly strict. Worst drill lesson so far.
Had last anti gas [deleted] exam [/deleted] lesson before exam on Wednesday.
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1941 TUESDAY JUNE 17
Had last maths lesson before exam tomorrow. Only feel fairly confident about it, but 90% get through, so have nothing to worry about!
Had letter from Maggie.
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1941 WEDNESDAY JUNE 18
Had letter from Dad & parcel & letter from Mum. They have given kitten to the Sidcup Place canter.
Had Anti-Gas exam in morning. Pretty easy as knew 3 or 4 questions before we went in.
Then after tea we had maths exam for 2 hours. Quite easy, & did all except one. Got all answers right barring 3 Sig. figures, but reckon I have 80%.
Result of gas exam comes in evening. I had 79%. The average was 86%
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1941 THURSDAY JUNE 19
Had 2 hours of games on the beach this morning. It was grand.
In the evening went to the concert. It was jolly good – Ronnie O’Dell especially, & his song about P/O Greenwood. He was a cricketer for Yorkshire. Also a smashing drummer, & lots of spicy jokes.
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1941 FRIDAY JUNE 20
Our first lesson in Navigation. Very interesting. All afternoon we had sports. I had a go at the 880 yds. but came 4th. Our Flight (No 4) won the day against the other 3 flights.
Had letter from Dr. Bill.
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1941 SATURDAY JUNE 21
Games on beach again this morning. Very Hot.
Did a little shopping in the afternoon& after tea had to work again – Navigation. This mucked up all the evening. Wrote letter home in evening, as too warm to go out.
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1941 SUNDAY JUNE 22
Church in morning. Walked along cliffs & basked in sun with Stanley. A very hot day, ending in big thunder storm in evening.
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1941 MONDAY JUNE 23
Our old navigation master is on leave, & another chap takes us now. He is terrible so childish.
Another very hot day. Slept in one of the towers as on Wing spotter. No warning during night so did not have to get up.
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1941 TUESDAY JUNE 24
Had parcel from home – a huge slab of chocolate.
We complained about the quantity of food we had at dinner time. they gave about 40 chaps a 2nd helping.
Posted letter in morning to home & a P.C. in evening.
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1941 WEDNESDAY JUNE 25
Had letter from John.
Was on Wing Fire Piquet tonight, & so had to sleep on ground floor. Very annoying when I had to get up at 12.30 am. to find a defective blackout. Just as I’m up its found & have to undress again.
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1941 THURSDAY JUNE 26
Had talk by a Wing Commander of Derby E.F.T.S. this morning. Very good – told us all about E.F.T.S. & flying.
Had letter from Nellie.
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1941 FRIDAY JUNE 27
Paid today – 34/- for 2 weeks. On Wing Fire Piquet again tonight.
No warning thank goodness, so did not have to get up.
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1941 SATURDAY JUNE 28
Navigation in morning only. Walked round the town – posted parcel of clothing home for wash, & wrote letter home, & a card to John. Went with Jim Stanley to see “Comrade X” with Hedy Lamarr & Clark Gable. Quite [sic] good, especially Hedy Lamarr the town, had supper out, & got in at 11.45.
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1941 SUNDAY JUNE 29
Church morning. Strolled with Jim in afternoon along cliffs. Wrote letter to Nel in evening, as could not go out as on Wing Spotter Duty.
Just as we had got in bed in one of the towns gunfire was heard, & from the roof saw a convoy being attached about 20 miles away. Could not see much. Had to get up at 2.45 in the morning for a 1/2 hour warning.
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MEMORANDA
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1941 TUESDAY JULY 1
Had photo taken, & also had morse receiving exam. I got it all O.K. as did many others.
Had letter from Mum
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1941 WEDNESDAY JULY 2
Morse sending exam. Got 98% making 1 mistake. In p.m. we all (squadron) went to a sergeants wedding to throw confetti. Rest of p.m. spent on the beach.
Wrote letter home after supper. A really good day. Letter from Dad
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1941 THURSDAY JULY 3
No sports today as rain interfered for 1st. time
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1941 FRIDAY JULY 4
Had a go at ordering at drill today.
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1941 SATURDAY JULY 5
Had parcel from home which included swim trunks.
Did a lot of shopping in afternoon.
Not [deleted] of [/deleted] a very eventful day.
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1941 SUNDAY JULY 6
Was one of few that went to Church. Rest of morning spent on beach. Went in sea for 1st. time. weather very hot. Sunbathed on beach again all afternoon. in evening tried to swot up some Armaments. We have exam Monday or Wednesday.
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1941 MONDAY JULY 7
Had letter from John. Has got his eye on another dame in Hurst Road.
The weather extremely hot. I think the hottest we have had down here.
We are now not to wear our tunics by order. because of the heat.
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1941 TUESDAY JULY 8
Had letter from home. Dad has been very ill but has practically got over it now (stomach pains).
Wrote letter home
In afternoon went to Peasholm swimming pool. It was grand.
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1941 WEDNESDAY JULY 9
Had Armaments exam. Made a lot of mistakes but think I got through. Then had [deleted] sli [/deleted] root of tooth taken out at Dentist by cocane [sic]. It was not so good.
In p.m. got our flying kit.
Wrote card to Edith
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1941 THURSDAY JULY 10
Was on Squadron Fire Piquet last night & had to get up for 3/4 hour for a warning.
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1941 FRIDAY JULY 11
Pay day. - £1.14.
Last night we all had to go to the shelters when Jerry started dropping a few, but these were miles away.
Had nearly all afternoon on the beach. Went in again, but not so warm.
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1941 SATURDAY JULY 12
This Saturday, we worked in afternoon (Navigation). Have finished course now, & just revising.
Shopping in evening. Had short letter from home.
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1941 SUNDAY JULY 13
Church in morning.
Swotted up for most of day. Not very good weather.
Am very annoyed at losing pen.
Was on Wing Fire Picquet [sic].
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1941 MONDAY JULY 14
So begins the last week here before leave on Friday. Had armaments exam results. I got 77% Very surprised at this.
Had letter from Nel.
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1941 TUESDAY JULY 15
Last night, I had to stay up [deleted] in the mo [/deleted] at 1.30 a.m. for the warning as on Fire Picquet duty. Jerry planes over, & fires in distance
In evening had a Flight party. C.O. there & other officers. Plenty of beer and jokes. Nearly everyone pissed by end of evening. Bed about 1 a.m. A jolly good evening.
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1941 WEDNESDAY JULY 16
C.O. (Walker.) gave us the questions for Law & Hygene exam tommorrow [sic] & the Recognition answers.
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1941 THURSDAY JULY 17
Had Law & Hygiene exam, and also recognition. It was just a farce having got all the answers.
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1941 FRIDAY JULY 18
Had to get up for 2 hours in night because of Jerry & so they put our navigation forward from 8.15p.m.
I Finished the Navi. Exam. 1/4 hour before we caught the 1 p.m. train for HOME. Caught the “Flying Scot” at York. Got home 9.30 p.m.
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1941 SATURDAY JULY 19
Met a few people. In afternoon went down to the school – saw John playing [inserted] cricket [/inserted], Mr. Banfield & a few other chaps.
Raining hard in evening but saw Betty Skinner at St. John’s Hall – very dashing. Also saw Nell, Nora & Kath.
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1941 SUNDAY JULY 20
Dad took me in car to see Meg. [deleted] Having [/deleted] I am inviting her[deleted]e[/deleted] to party on Wednesday. Saw [sic] & few more locals in morning.
In afternoon met John Goldby. He is at an I.T.W. at Kenley so he gets home on the week-ends Met Mary Ritchings, Maureen Bowerman, & a host of others.
Church in evening with John, & later had supper with him.
Ernie has been sacked, but he is telling all that he just “left”.
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1941 MONDAY JULY 21
Did a bit of blacking out for Wednesday’s party. Had photo taken at Kelloways, met Betty & Jerry Flindale & Joan Eldridge. Supper with John.
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1941 TUESDAY JULY 22
Went to town by car in morning. Saw the old firm. Had dinner with Dad & got home by bus.
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1941 WEDNESDAY JULY 23
Had farewell party tonight. Mag, Marg, & Alf, Mrs. Biggs, Mary Ritchings, Joan Eldridge, Marjara Webb, Malcom Miller, Betty Skinner, & Ted the soldier chap, Nora, Kath, Nell, Maureen Bowerman, Dick Kirby.
Had a smashing time. had fun! with Betty in the game “murder”. Took her home but Ted was in the way when we said “goodnight”. Otherwise it would have been more to our liking. Party broke up at 1.30 a.m. but I did not get back till 2.45.
In the morning Dad bought me a very expensive illuminous watch for birthday
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1941 THURSDAY JULY 24
Did not get up till 10.30 a.m.
Went to Bexley swimming Pool as very hot. In evening went to sleep in the sun.
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1941 FRIDAY JULY 25
Took records back to Mag.
Went to the school to say “Hello” & “Goodbye” to Dr. Bill, Mr. Parsons, Mr. Banfield, Mr. Clark & Mr. Palmer, whom I taught a bit of navigation.
Met Mrs. Arthur in afternoon & coming up Longlands came across old woman konked out on kerb due to the terrific heat. With help took her to nearest house. Smashing dame in there – Pat Clive (199, Longlands)
In evening went to tea with Betty, Ted, & Rose, a work friend of Betty’s. Can’t help feeling that she has [inserted] (Betty) [/inserted] fallen for me. She’s a pip though. Had tennis, then supper. Home 11.15 p.m.
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1941 SATURDAY JULY 26
As raining most of day went to town to see Mr. SS. Of G.H. & Co.
Bit of shopping in Sidcup in afternoon. pictures with Betty, Rose, Ted & Mrs. Skinner in evening to Odeon to see Deanna Durbin in “Nice Girl” – not bad. Also “The Man at the Gate” which was quite good.
Supper afterwards & gave Betty an Air Force Brooch. Home 12.15 am.
Bought Mum also an Air Force Brooch.
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1941 SUNDAY JULY 27
Went by car with family & Nellie to catch 1 p.m. train at Kings Cross. In Grand Hotel 7.15 p.m
Have passed Navi exam. 5 failed & [inserted] we [/inserted] are posted to Canada or America
I surmise I go to Canada. I go on Friday.
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1941 MONDAY JULY 28
Busy packing kit into haversacks for inspections. Pilot officer Greenwood now a Flt/Lieut.
Beach after tea.
Wrote to Betty & home in evening.
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1941 TUESDAY JULY 29
Signed [underlined] 21 times [/underlined] for Flying Kit we have not got now – a very thick layer of bullshit
Did nothing all day – no lectures. Went to pictures in evening to see Charlie Chan in “Murder Over New York”
Had a late pass.
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1941 WEDNESDAY JULY 30
5 married chaps go on home postings today.
Wrote letters to Tim & Jess, and Nell.
Spent most of day sleeping, As there is nothing to do.
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1941 THURSDAY JULY 31
Only had F.F.I. in morning.
Was paid £8 for pay until August 15th. full pack inspection later. In evening went to pictures to see Pat O’Brien in “Escape to Glory”. Also an extremely funny ghost film – a very good programme.
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MEMORANDA
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1941 FRIDAY AUG. 1
Up at 5.45. Left Scarboro’ 8.10 and arrived Wilmslow 12.45. Very hot weather with full packs. [deleted] At tea [/deleted] Had a marvellous shower in afternoon & then a very good tea. Am in bunk with Stanley. In evening went with him to pictures & later looked around town. Plenty of dames but a lot of hoars [sic]. Went to a canteen for supper, extremely cheap.
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1941 SATURDAY AUG. 2
At breakfast met Bernard Wright. He has come from an EFTS near Brooklands & is going to Canada now for S.F.T.S.
Later in morning met Williams from school. He’s off to America. I am for Canada
In evening went to see Roselind Russel in “Hired Wife” with Jim Stanley & Compton. A very funny film & very witty. Went for long walk after across fields & back by bus. Had fish & chips after waiting 3/4 hour, & then took a drunk Fleet Air Arm Sailor back to camp. A decent chap.
Posted letter home.
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1941 SUNDAY AUG. 3
In the morning we were kitted with another kit bag, a pair of shoes, & 2 vests.
Lazed about on bunk rest of day. We are only allowed out one night in 6 now.
Wrote letter to Betty but not post it yet.
The food here is better than at Scarborough. Far more meat, & plenty of lettuce & jam.
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1941 MONDAY AUG. 4
We just slept & ate all day. Raining heavily at times.
Absolutely browned off doing nothing all day.
Posted letter to John & Betty.
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1941 TUESDAY AUG. 5
Pouring with rain most of day. Had short talk by an Air Commodore giving us luck & all the rest of it.
Confined to Camp in evening which means we go tomorrow.
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1941 WEDNESDAY AUG. 6
Gave in our anti gas & tin helmets equipment
Had details of our journey & packed.
After supper go to sleep as have to be up for a meal at 1.15 a.m. & we move off 2.15 a.m. (Thursday) [deleted] Terribly crowded for sleeping. Most had hammocks but I slept on the table. [/deleted]
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1941 [deleted] THURSDAY [/deleted] FRIDAY AUG. [deleted] 7 [/deleted] 8
Settle down today, but still awful congestion at meals. Plenty of food including chocolate.
We weigh anchor & start sailing 2.40 p.m. but stop a short way up the Clyde, and finally get going at 7.30 p.m., after which the clocks were put back 1 hour.
Slept on table again tonight.
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1941 [deleted] TUESDAY [/deleted] AUG. [deleted] 8 [/deleted] 7
We arrive at Gourock near Grenack [Greenock] 1.20 p.m. after travelling via Carlisle, Dumphies Glasgow. Left Scotland shore at 2.55 p.m.
We put on board S.S. Strathedon – 23,000 tons gross. We have terribly crowded quarters & the organisation is awfully muddled. Its every man for himself, especially at meal times.
Very congested also for sleeping. At night its just a mass of hammocks packed sardine fashion. I slept on table however as had no hammock.
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1941 SATURDAY AUG, 9
[deleted] Had [/deleted] Out of sight of land now.
Dirty weather later in day, and ship was rolling [deleted] al [/deleted] a bit.
Two Blenheims escorted us early in day.
We are with another troop ship with 3 destroyers as escort.
Slept in hammock tonight. Very comfortable.
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1941 SUNDAY AUG. 10
Lazed about in the morning and read a thriller rest of day. The sea is getting rather rough and the ship is rolling & pitching more.
In evening two more destroyers came up and the other 3 went with the troop ship changing course to go to Iceland.
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1941 MONDAY AUG. 11
Nothing doing today. Very dull. Weather better in morning, but gradually worsened later.
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1941 TUESDAY AUG. 12
Had about 1/2 hour of morse instruction in afternoon, & then walked out. it was too dull.
In the evening was at the sing sing [sic] round the piano.
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1941 WEDNESDAY AUG. 13
Reported the theft of my wallet containing £8. I had hidden it in my clothes last night, and this morning it had gone. There are quite a few chaps in our section whom I would not put it past to do such a thing.
Everybody is losing things – and you cannot put anything down for more than 5 mins. without it being snatched up.
A sailor from one of the [deleted] In evening saw coast of Newfoundland on horizon. [/deleted] 2 destroyers fell overboard & drowned early this morning.
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1941 THURSDAY AUG. 14
Going thro’ thick fog [deleted] all [/deleted] most of today, & ships hooter going every 30 seconds.
Had and went to a sing song and concert in evening. Some quite good turns – singing, verses and jokes.
Gave to fund for sailor’s family. He fell overboard and was drowned a few days ago from one of the destroyers.
In evening saw coast of Newfoundland on the horizon for a few hours only.
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1941 FRIDAY AUG. 15
Lovely sunshine today.
The first time the sun comes out properly on the voyage so far. See a few passing ships & then Canadian coast. We stop at quayside in HALIFAX at 7.23 p.m. Marvellous harbour and country very green. NO black out tonight, & saw lights of town. It was a real treat. At 11.30 p.m. go to shed ashore to give in respirators & collect blankets. First person who speaks to us on land is W/O who tells about Canada – plenty of women & told us to use them well (3 F.L. issued free). He said that here “men are men, & women are glad of them”.
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1941 SATURDAY AUG. 16
In morning go ashore again to collect 10$ (dollars). We get train which left Halifax at 3.35p.m. bound for Swift Current, Saskatcheuanim [sic] pouring rain. They are huge trains with bells & have a lovely horn with a twin note. [inserted] NOVIA SCOTIA STATE [/inserted]
The scenery is marvellous nothing like it in England.
We stop many times, each time talking and giving and getting souvenirs to & from the little kids. Once we were allowed on to the platform this night & we spoke to several girls. they said Dalhousie Junction where Mum has friends is not far away. [inserted] NEW BRUNSWICK STATE [/inserted]
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1941 SUNDAY AUG. 17
[inserted] QUEBEC STATE [/inserted]
Slept on folding seats. Was quite O.K. In the morning we stopped at Rivière du Loup, & had organised walk to do some shopping in the town. It was a small place, & plenty of big cars, & French was main language.
We reached Montreal at 9 p.m. in darkness & were parked for 1 1/2 hours & were not allowed out. the lights of Montreal town were a marvellous sight – like Piccadily [sic] Circus in peace time. [inserted] QUEBEC STATE [/inserted]
We by-passed Quebec on the way here.
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1941 MONDAY AUG. 18
Still travelling & get out for 1/4 hour ramble just before dinner. We saw very few people as it was only a small place. Good scenery of rocks & scrub. Weather quite good & warm but in evening was raining hard.
Stopped at White River [deleted] un [/deleted] at 8.45, but could not get out.
Today, we have been going across Northern Ontario. Most of country wooded & passed several lakes.
The food on the train is super. We get too much in fact. There are 3 big meals a day, and you feel fit to bust after each meal. The food is incredibly good & cooked well.
ONTARIO STATE
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MANITOBA STATE
1941 TUESDAY AUG. 19
Stopped at Kenora just before lunch & had march thro’ town & into country. Was a nice place & quite big, but gave us no chance to buy anything. At about 3 p.m. arrived at Winnipeg, where we had a reception in the station hall. Tea, biscuits, & plenty of mags. were given to us by smashing college girls. Most of the time we were talking to a couple, one of whom was stunning. We were also given 10 fags & bar of chocolate in a packet presented by Ass. of Observers & Pilots of 1914-18. Am keeping this as souvenir of their kindness. We could only stay an hour. Plenty of people cheered us out of the station. Wished we could have stayed longer. They were very decent to give us such a welcome.
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SASKATCHEWAN STATE
1941 WEDNESDAY AUG. 20
Have to get up early [deleted] to have b’fast [/deleted] & arr. Swift Current 5.35 a.m. where trucks (lorries) to us the 5 miles to the camp, alone muddy & bumpy road. The billets are brand new & very good, but we have at least a month to wait before training (flying) as there is another draft to be trained before us yet. Tiger Moths are the planes used here.
In afternoon had to do general duties. I & Bill (Girdwood) were supposed to sweep out mess room. We are absolutely browned off & fed up with the place.
In evening went to free cinema show in the camp. Wooden benches as seats, but quite a good show & some very funny films were shown.
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1941 THURSDAY AUG. 21
We are all detailed for general duties from now on. I & 4 other chaps have Y.M.C.A. to do. changed shoes for a better fit in afternoon after a bit of haggling. In evening took bus with Bill to Swift Current. Posted long letter to home by Air Mail to Coast only, also sent cablegram home “ALL WELL AND SAFE. WRITING. LOVE”. Saw girls practising soft ball; they were marvellously athletic & good looking as well. Walked up & down streets till caught 10 p.m. bus back. plenty of dames here but we have been warned of pox floating around. There is nothing to do here except eat. Can get 1st. class meal for 35C which is very good. Pictures are outrageously dear – 40C so not going to them at all.
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1941 FRIDAY AUG. 22
Had to [underlined] scrub [/underlined] YMCA floor today for inspection by CO tomorrow. Had inoculation [deleted] in ar [/deleted] – 3 jabs in arms.
Disappeared in afternoon to do my clothes washing.
In evening finished long letter to John and wrote one to Rosemary Stapp asking whether I could see her when we get our 2 weeks leave sometime.
We were not paid today. Told we would not be for some time. Have only got 4$ left which is more than [deleted] which [/deleted] what some chaps have.
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1941 SATURDAY AUG. 23
Had to do a lot of cleaning in YMCA again today for inspection & also for visit of Duke & Duchess of Athlone in afternoon
[deleted] Went [/deleted] Got a lift into town in evening & bought a few things & posted letters to John & Rosemary Stapp.
Got a lift back in a smashing car. (Chevrolet) smashing dame inside with boy friend & radio going. In a camp at 9.30 p.m.
Before going to bed let off energy with Bill & Lucien Eccles (Lucy) by having a fight. Jim Stanley sleeps above me & Bill & Lucy next to us.
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1941 SUNDAY AUG. 24
No work today. got a lift into town with Bill in afternoon. Were going to see soft ball game, but the continuous rain must have stopped it. So we just sheltered & saw people joy riding in cars round & round the streets.
After waiting for some time & getting wet, got a lift back by two smashing dames. Discovered they had something to do with the Athlones. They had had breakfast with them, so we did not fix a date.
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1941 MONDAY AUG. 25
Felt very lazy this morning & did practically no work.
Were fitted out with tropical kit in the afternoon but it was taken away to be altered.
Took bus with Bill into town in evening to go to softball match for which we had paid 25C for tickets. When arrived found game cancelled. Very annoyed, as nothing else to do in town. So got a lift back to camp.
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1941 TUESDAY AUG. 26
A little work in morning before the C.O. collected us together & warned us about being late in at night. He thinks we are having easy time.
Were mucking about and fighting with Bill & Lucy for a long time before we went to bed.
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1941 WEDNESDAY AUG. 27
Had dental inspection today. Had a small filling to be done he said. It will be done later no doubt.
In afternoon walked to Swift Current with Lucien, & posted letter to Betty by Air Mail all the way. Got a lift back – by two officers.
[deleted] Pass [/deleted] One is only allowed to Swift Current owing to an epidemic of sleeping sickness, & no one can go out to the area.
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1941 THURSDAY AUG. 28
Had inoculation this morning S/Ldr Turner our C.O. gave us a good ticking off for going around camp with no hats, etc. etc. but lecture finished with us telling him where he got off. We told him all our grouses – pay for one.
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1941 FRIDAY AUG. 29
Had drill this morning, to prepare for parade of passing out of Course 24. Officer was bawling at us telling us we were worst he has ever seen!
Course 27 start on Monday, we may start with them. I hope so. We are course 30. Was paid 8 Dollars this afternoon.
Was very glad to get 2 letters from R. Stapp, my first letters in Canada. She has only just got my letter posted in England when I was on leave. She says O.K. for me to see her if it could be fixed. but have learnt that we have no free travel warrant, so have to [deleted] safe [/deleted] save.
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1941 SATURDAY AUG. 30
Am 19 today. had parade & march past the flag. Sqdn. Ldr. Turner, our C.O. was very nervous & he had his commands whispered for him by a P/O Then had to clean up in gym ready for weekly inspection. Played table tennis & then wrote letter to Rosemary Stapp in afternoon
If I could save enough to get to Windsor, opposite Detroit might be able to see her when she visits her father & sister in Ann Arbor, 40 mls. [deleted] east [/deleted] west of Detroit. But she is seeing them this fall (autumn). Our leave will most likely be after Xmas, if have any at all. Money is the most wanted thing.
In evening went short walk along road with Lucien.
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1941 SUNDAY AUG. 31
Just did clothes washing in morning.
Went for stroll along railway line to Swift Current with Lucien. Bill & Jim were more energetic and walked on to town. We sat down half way for a rest, & then came back in time for tea.
Jim posted letter for me to Rosemary Stapp.
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MEMORANDA
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1941 MONDAY SEPT. 1
P.T. Instructor game us a little drill. Did not do much; the P.T. corporals are browned off as much as we are. Then some P.T. & game off [sic] hand ball in one of the hangers. This is first P.T. we have had for over a month. Had lovely shower after.
Lazed around in afternoon, and wrote letter to John in YMCA after tea, with Lucien
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1941 TUESDAY SEPT. 2
Fell over in rush to get my letter from Betty. Letter was transferred from Wilmslow.
Wrote letter to her in evening, while Jim, Bill & Lucy went to flics [sic] in the camp.
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1941 WEDNESDAY SEPT. 3
Drill & P.T. in morning. Weather rather cold & raining occasionally. Were given some lecture notes books on flying & navigation Lazed about in afternoon reading them. Missed tea to go to town to post some letters for Bill & Lucy & also one from me to Betty.
My bed adjusted to collapse tonight, but bent it up so much trying to put together that had to change with a spare bed.
Bill & Lucy mucked about with my pyjamas until fell off!
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1941 THURSDAY SEPT. 4
Strenuos [sic] P.T. & basket ball in morning. Were taught a few simple holds in wrestling.
We each had an interview with the C.F.I. (Chief Flying Instructor) & C.G.I. (Chief Ground Instructor), but he only wanted to know what he already knew on the form. Age, civi [sic] occupation, etc.
In evening, went with Bill & Lucy to film show. Quite funny in parts, but have seen better on the whole.
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1941 FRIDAY SEPT. 5
Wrote letter home while the rest were paid their Canadian money that they handed in on boat. I had none as all stolen (£8).
In afternoon, were split up into squads. I am in a different squad D3 to Bill & Lucy. Had drill & gave the commands for a little while. Only about 12 in our squad today, because most of them shirked the drill, but was good fun.
Bill, Lucy & I wrote letter to Sandy McPherson asking him to play “Only for Ever” for Bill’s Effie, Lucy’s Nellie & my Betty.
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1941 SATURDAY SEPT. 6
Drill this morning after polishing floor of hut for C.O.s inspection. We have now a radio in the hut for which we each subscribed 60C.
An hour of drill in afternoon as punishment for being late on parade this morning.
In evening got a lift with Lucy into town & did a lot of shopping. Met Bill there, & all got a lift back.
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1941 SUNDAY SEPT. 7
Went to knox Church in morning. Very cold on open lorry. Service very good. After dinner went out with Skyrme & had a lift to town by 3 girls. then had a few kicks of football at the sports ground, & when got lift back the couple asked whether we would like to see country a bit. We said “Yes” & so we went 30 miles South to their home at Neville a small village. Met several people there & had marvellous tea. Then went back with the couple Mr. Birdie & Miss Ritenburg to the social concert after the Church service at the Metropolitan. Mr. Birdie was compère. Had community singing & then several musical turns. Then some more eats, after which Mr. Birdie took us back to camp at 10.25.
Before going to church social we stopped at a house in Swift Current so that Mr. Birdie could think up quiz for social our best evening here yet, & did not cost a cent. [deleted] Are [/deleted] Am going to Metropolitan Church next Sunday & may meet them again.
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1941 MONDAY SEPT. 8
Had navigation, a little drill & Aldis lamp practise in morning. Had letter from Jim & Jessie & enclosed £1.
Had morse, and then armaments/a/c recognition lecture by a sergeant.
We have now a set time table for each day, & have lectures every day from now on.
Not out in evening, but did a bit of swotting at Navigation definitions. We learnt nothing new at Navi this morning. He is going over old ground for a bit.
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1941 TUESDAY SEPT. 9
Navigation, aldis lamp, and was shown the packing of a parachute this morning.
More lectures in afternoon.
Bill & Lucy went to flics in the camp, but I had a hair cut instead.
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1941 WEDNESDAY SEPT. 10
More lectures, and had P.T. today.
In evening went to see boxing tournament in the gym. There were about 7 or 8 bouts, most of the U/T Pilots beating their opponents. They were 3 rounds bouts. The last bout was between “Tiger” and a challenger.
They did comical boxing & challenger was “Knocked out” by arrangement. Very funny fight. Most of time they were thrashing the air. Most of camp there & plenty of officers. Tiger was chaired & given a shield.
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1941 THURSDAY SEPT. 11
More lectures including our first on Theory of Flight.
For navigation saw a film of compass & bearings.
Went to town to get my laundry & buy a loose leaf note book. Back in time for tea. Then went to pictures in the camp with Lucy.
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1941 FRIDAY SEPT. 12
Lectures again today. in aircraft recognition we have to learn all the wing spans of the planes, let alone identifying them. A lot of yankee fighters are very hard to get hold of, & I’m always getting them mixed up.
Not out of camp in evening.
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1941 SATURDAY SEPT. 13
Had morning parade on the square today. A very comical event as most of the officers were not sure what to do.
Knock off work at 12.30. In afternoon go to Swift Current with Bill to do some shopping & take my laundry to the Chinese shop. They do them very well, & starch collars. Paid 25C to see softball match Elks V. Royals of Moose Jaw. Elks won 7-1. Then had a marvellous supper for 35C only. Two eggs & ham, potatoes etc.
Back in camp by 9.30p.m. Not very many people in S.C. for a Saturday.
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1941 TUESDAY SEPT. 2
Church at Metropolitan Church this morning. Had a word with Miss Ritenburg, after Bill, Lucy & I walked over the hills in the afternoon & back in time for tea.
[deleted] Su [/deleted] Swotted up some aircraft recognition in evening.

Yesterday, bought the “Sun” & found me & Skyrme in it, about our visit to Mrs. Ritenburg last Sunday.
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1941 MONDAY SEPT. 15
Lectures in morning & pay parade in afternoon.
Received $27.
Propose getting a camera, for $15.50 later in week.
Had a telegram from home – birthday greetings
Went to extra recognition class in evening; its soaking in gradually.
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1941 TUESDAY SEPT. 16
Went with Lucien to pictures in the camp. [deleted] Saw [/deleted] in the evening. Saw Dead End Kids in “Call a Messenger”.
Before going to bed had a rough & tumble with Bill, Lucien & others.
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1941 WEDNESDAY SEPT. 17
Before we had got up, another draft arrived & filled the vacant beds. There is a chap with Bill now.
More lectures including an instructional film on gun sighting & for navigation we swung a Moth on the Compass base.
Had organised sport in afternoon. I played basket ball in the gym.
Before tea went to town to collect laundry & intended [deleted] by [/deleted] buying a camera for 15.50 but no shop had the one I wanted. So have ordered it, although may be long time getting it.
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1941 THURSDAY SEPT. 18
Still no letters from home. have not had any for 8 days now.
One of the planes crashed on the field this evening & smashed the plane up. U/T Pilot not hurt. This was the 1st bad crash here, but there have been several overturns.
Went to pictures with Lucien in evening to see “Safari” with Douglas Fairbanks & Madeleine Carrol. It was a jungle film, & very good & ended up with a kiss, the only one in the film. We all cheered of course.
Very hop day.
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1941 FRIDAY SEPT. 19
Raining most of day, & very cold.
In evening Bill, Lucien & I went to the corn feast down at the Experimental farm. Quite a lot of people there including some nice girls. after some community singing, there were some vocal & piano turns & Skyrme gave a monologue. Then a chap showed some marvellous colour slides of his travels in B.C. & other parts of Canada. Then some movies one of the drought about 15 years ago, & one of the King & Queen’s visit to Canada
Then had plenty of sandwiches & corn. You eat it off the cob, & is smeared in butter. Never had it before & tastes very good. After filling ourselves to capacity had a sing song round the piano. Finishing just before 12p.m.
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1941 SATURDAY SEPT. 20
Ken Fox, Bill, & I
Started in morning for Moose Jaw 120 miles away. Given lift by traveller in coupé. Were stopped by siren by cops for having 4 in front seat, but let off with caution. Arrived 12.30 after 3 hrs.
The * chap gave us his name & address in Winnipeg. [deleted] if [/deleted] Had a meal & looked around & bought a few things, & started back at 3.30pm
After getting hop lifts in 3 trucks & 3 autos, [deleted] we ev [/deleted] and walking about 5 miles, we eventually arrived 9.30 – 6 hours. Only the last ride from Morse was very comfortable. Was too cold to stay in Swift Current so got a lift in C.O.s. car back to camp. Arr. 10.10p.m.
Travelled in 9 vehicles altogether today.
*Al Williamson
249 Furby St. Winnipeg
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1941 SUNDAY SEPT. 21
Full working day just because some big Air Force bug visited the camp for 3/4 hour in afternoon.
Had lectures of Navi [deleted] of [/deleted] & signals twice & some P.T. In armaments we are starting on the Browning Gun .303. It has very complicated mechanism & when taught by Sgt. Mackey its mighty hard to learn. An L.A.C., however, often teaches us instead of Sgt, & this chap is very good.
Had very interesting Navi lecture. Were shown how to use Course & Speed Calculator.
In the evening after dark a big barn or house was on fire near the boundary of the camp. Quite a big blaze. Bed early.
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1941 MONDAY SEPT. 22
Split up into squads of 11 each to start flying this morning. My instructor is Sgt. Smith & a decent chap he is. Most of chaps went for 1/2 hour, but I could not have a trip as no time. had a bit of prop swinging instruction & cockpit drill. We shall having flying everyday now, morning & afternoons alternately. Bill & Lucy were up in p.m.
Had arms, signals & airframes in afternoon, & missed tea to go to Swift Current to buy Kodak camera for [deleted] 20 $ 90C [/deleted] $21 odd. A very good one.
We still have no flying kit & go up in borrowed helmets & no Suits.
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1941 TUESDAY SEPT. 23
Al the flights changed round, so [deleted] no h [/deleted] now have a new instructor, another Sgt. Smith; he is not so friendly as the other one but very good all the same, & is English.
Took me up for 15 mins. at 3.30 p.m. in No. 72. Went over Swift Current & back. after Nash & Murray had gone up, Smith gave me a bit of taxying practise for about 10 mins. only. This is quite easy.
In evening went to flics to see [deleted] “Syracuse”. [/deleted] “The Boys from Syracuse”. Funny in parts but not extra good. Had a repeat telegram birthday greetings. [deleted] of [/deleted] Also had telegram from Dad I think that he is sending over $50. I don’t know how is going to manage it.
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1941 WEDNESDAY SEPT. 25
I was only one of our flight who went up this morning. Went with Flt. Lt. Smith for weather test. Clouds 800ft. up, & ice & visibility not too good. So [deleted] now [/deleted] no flying at all this day. Lectures in afternoon – Engines, Arms, Signals & Airframes.
Very cold all day today. pullovers, greatcoats & gloves came out.
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1941 THURSDAY SEPT. 25
Lectures in morning. Had our flying kit issued first thing after dinner, & then had flying.
I had 40 mins., having lessons on straight & level flying, climbing & gliding. Was a bit awkward at first but soon got the hang of it. Once Sgt. Smith put plane into steep dive which felt rather queer, but otherwise quite O.K.
Flying kit is not so good as English Kit. Have no gloves yet, although it is not cold enough to wear full flying kit yet.
Had a duplicate telegram of one received 23rd. Sept.
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1941 FRIDAY SEPT. 26
Snow flurries in morning and extremely cold. [symbol] no flying. Instead copied up back notes. Had arms, airframes and P.T. in afternoon
Had yet another telegram from home today, to say that they cannot send from England to here.
We may be flying on the weekend to make up lost time today.
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1941 SATURDAY SEPT. 27
Below freezing this morning due to hard frost. Had the usual [deleted] St [/deleted] Saturday parade. Flying in afternoon. got in two flights of 30 mins each & did medium & steep turns, and once I took off after [deleted] 3 [/deleted] [inserted] 2 [/inserted] attempts, the plane swinging round at the first attempts.
Went into the city in evening but did not stay long. Bought a few things.
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1941 SUNDAY SEPT. 28
Had a nice lay in bed this morning and got up finally at 10a.m.
Felt too lazy to go out or to church. So wrote long letter home.
Took some photos of me, Bill & Lucy, etc. & later of a Harvard that had just arrived from U.S. In a hanger we counted 20 Harvards. These are for when the station is changed over to an S.F.T.S.
Quite warm today & plenty of sunshine in contrast to the last few days.
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1941 MONDAY SEPT. 29
Flying this morning but only had 30 mins., & even then he did not let me take off alone, or start landings.
After Nash & Murray had gone up going landings our kite was taken in for overhaul. This was a confounded nuisance as it would not be ready till tomorrow p.m.
Had lectures & P.T. in afternoon & saw [deleted] pl [/deleted] crashed plane catch fire. The solo pupil got out O.K. in time. He did a bad landing caused by the big gusts of wind coming up at about that time.
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1941 TUESDAY SEPT. 30
Had lectures and P.T. this morning. Had 2 weeks pay - $27, and then flying in afternoon. Had No. 5139 plane & got in only 30 mins.
Did some spins after climbing to nearly 4000 ft.
It feels quite good especially at the start when you fall out of [deleted] glide [/deleted] flat glide.
Have now done 3 1/2 hours, & did my first landing today. had letter from Mum on holiday with family at Bere Regis, Dorset. Peter has now a motor bike.
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MEMORANDA
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MEMORANDA
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1941 WEDNESDAY OCT. 1
Had 55 mins of circuits & bumps on the emergency ‘drome at [deleted] St. Aldwins [/deleted] * on plane No. . Did about 5 landings only one of which was a good one. Take off’s are getting a bit better, although still tending to swing when tail comes off ground.
Wrote letter to Nellie in evening to fill in time.
*Wymark.
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1941 THURSDAY OCT. 2
Lectures as usual in morning – including P.T. which is very strenuos [sic] nowadays.
In afternoon had yet another kite No. 5044 in which I did a prefect take off & shown incipient spins right above the plane that crashed this morning about a mile S.W of Swift Current. The solo pupil baled out because he thought the controls were not responding in a stall turn. Had only 25 mins. flying & landed badly. I get to stalling speed 10 ft. above grd. & instructor opens throttle a bit & lands her further on
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1941 FRIDAY OCT. 3
Flying in morning on our original crate 5072. Had 2 flights 30 & 40 mins. doing circuits & bumps. Cannot land very well yet.
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1941 SATURDAY OCT. 4
No parade this morning. The other squads had flights this morning while we were supposed to have lectures, but only did work on our own for 1st. period & then signals. Lucien went solo this morning after passing test after 7 1/2 hours flying. He is one of 6 in the other squad who went solo, & did it in least number hours. Bill turned his crate onto his nose, but no serious damage.
[deleted] In [/deleted] Went into town for supper with Bill & Lucy & later into pub where celebrating solo’s & football cup won by our course today
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1941 SUNDAY OCT. 5
Missed breakfast & had a nice lay in bed all morning. Wrote letter to Betty in afternoon, & went with Bill (Girdwood) to evening church at the Metropolitan (Rev. Ranns) and had the social after. Was a very good sermon. Had some community singing & musical turns at the gathering & also sandwiches & cakes. Mr. Birdie gave us (Skyrme, Murray, Bill & me) a lift back to camp.
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1941 MONDAY OCT. 6
We were on flights in the morning. But wind was very strong and gusty which did not make circuits & bumps very good. Did quite good landings however. On second trip up did spins & Sgt. Smith did a loop. Did not think a lot of it. Not much sensation as in spins. Also learnt power approach landings. Total time 40 mins. today making total of 06.30 hrs. flying time.
Lectures & P.T. as usual in afternoon.
Wrote a letter home in evening. Will post tomorrow.
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1941 TUESDAY OCT. 7
This morning 3 kites piled up when landing because of high wind, and our flights in afternoon were cancelled.
Went with Bill & Lucy to film show in camp to see a very film [sic] “- angels have no wings” with Rita Hayworth & Jean Arthur.
Was a flying film & very good; the best in camp so far.
[deleted] After tea went [/deleted]
Before tea went to town to take an exposed spool from camera.
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1941 WEDNESDAY OCT. 8
Flying in morning, but was very bumpy under 1000 feet. Went up to 4000 ft. to do instrument flying under the hood, climbing turns & a spin to lose height.
Lectures – engines, signals, P.T., and armaments in afternoon.
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1941 THURSDAY OCT. 9
Lectures in morning. Had our helmets back today.
Was very bucked when did 2 perfect landings in 15 mins. up. I tried to get Sgt. Smith for me to go on solo test but would not let me. Later went up again for two circuits one of which the landing was not so good. Sgt. Smith said he was glad I bumped it & had to put on throttle because it would not make me so [inserted] over [/inserted] confident.
However, he said if I was as good tomorrow morning he would let me do solo test. Excluding instrument flying & climbing turns which don’t count before solo, & including today have now done 7.10 hrs. Bill solo today after 9 3/4 hours.
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1941 FRIDAY OCT. 10
Very annoyed this morning as wind was reaching 40 m.p.h. & was far too rough for solo test. Did one circuit & made a bit of bump landing due to wind so opened up throttle & went round again. did good landing this time, & then packed up. after about 10 o’clock wind increased to gale force blowing up dust storm on ‘drome. So no flying.
The meals we are getting nowadays are terrible. The breakfast this morning was a disgrace. Porridge made of water & not cooked, bacon stringy, & tomatoes burnt. We complained to our Flight Commander F/Lt. Smith & have put in a general complaint about it. We used to get better food in Scarborough.
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1941 SATURDAY OCT. 11
Lectures in morning, & as missed lot of flying due to weather this week had flights in afternoon. went up in terrible crate No. 5 59. No brakes on the thing, engine only revved to 2,100 (climbing revs), & could not see altimeter very well ‘cause of protective rubber. Took off into sun & did 3 landings all just so so. Had 25 mins. Then was going to have solo after wind dropped & sun went lower but was left too late, as packed up 5.30 p.m. So have to wait till Monday, if weather O.K. & I bet it isn’t.
[indecipherable name] was first to go solo in our flight, early this afternoon.
Felt browned off at not having done test so did not go to town with Bill & Lucy. Did a bit of swotting for Monday’s mid term exam on armaments. Don’t feel exactly happy about it especially as 13th.
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1941 SUNDAY OCT. 12
Did not go out of camp at all today. most of time spent brushing up armaments & wing spans of aircraft for tomorrow’s or Tuesdays exam. We have idea of questions already.
Weather very nice & sun shining all day. Am hoping for calm wind & good weather tomorrow as hope for solo test.
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1941 MONDAY OCT. 13
Excellent flying weather this morning. Was up early at 8.10 a.m. for 35 mins doing 3 circuits, & did good landings. Was waiting all morning for Flt. Smith to take me on solo test. He only starts at 10 o’clock taking two in turn on solo, & then his pupils. I gave the timekeeper a message from Sgt. Smith to ask Flt. Smith that when he came down he was to take me. He did not come in till 12.10p.m. & even though was too late (dinner was 12.30 p.m) the timekeeper forgot the message. Was I mad!! I’ve been waiting since Friday for this test: next chance is tomorrow [underlined] IF [/underlined] weather O.K.
13 certainly lived up to reputation today.
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1941 TUESDAY OCT. 14
Had armament exam this morning. Was very easy – more so as had no difficulty in using cribs & even our notes. In middle of exam C.G.I. Sq. Ld. Turner asked me & Lowden to go to flights, after exam. It was for solo test
I had F/O Mclaren, but was not passed because I drifted when landing & taking off. Otherwise O.K. did 3 circuits & bumps; wind was very rough & bumpy & constantly changing. Flying again in p.m. doing few good circuits & bumps with Sgt. Smith. When not flying was on duty in watch tower & had [deleted] an [/deleted] 2 hours there at 7.15.
At dinner table met P. Thomas of all people (from school). Found out from him that home now have my address here. He has come in latest batch, which makes 4 courses here altogether. Did not have much time to speak to him but hope to see him again. 3 kites crash today.
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1941 WEDNESDAY OCT. 15
Flying again this morning in good weather although fairly strong wind later. After few circuits & bumps with Sgt. Smith went with Flt. Smith and passed me [underlined] SOLO [/underlined]. I did good take off, one complete circuit, & then 2 more landings. Which did very nicely. He got out & did a circuit. Had to put on engine a bit as undershooting but landed O.K. Picked Flt Smith again who took us back to hangars. Then later had 60 mins. doing blind flying & then low flying which was really good. Lectures in afternoon.
Went to town in early evening to send cables to home & Betty about solo. bill & Lucy & me had 2 beers on me in wet canteen in evening to celebrate solo.
[page break]
1941 THURSDAY OCT. 16
Had aircraft recognition exam this morning. Got all 25 right. marks 50/50. Armaments exam result was I got 91% and 10th in class of 86.
Flying circuits & bumps in afternoon, but when was all set for having a go at solo they run out of gas which grounded most aircraft. Cooper of “C” Flight crashes a plane when landing & makes a proper mess of a brand new kite. This is about “C” Flights’ 6th. [deleted] exa [/deleted] crash while we have had only one – by Mager – tipping the kite on its nose & wing when taxying.
Wrote letter home & had it posted Air Mail.
[page break]
1941 FRIDAY OCT. 17
Had plenty of flying this morning solo as well as dual. had 1.40 hours solo altogether. Did a whole hour flipping around to St. Aldwin where I landed once. At home ‘drome had a shock when saw a plane less than a wing span distance away when bumped a landing. Full throttle & off again was action I took. Found out when got down it was Lowden. Before a [sic] had to take evasive action by full throttle & diving low to avoid a kite that was gliding down on top of me when I was landing approaching. He was too near for my liking.
Had Airframes & then engines exam in afternoon. do not think have many marks in the latter, the same as everyone else. They were too strict for us to crib.
[page break]
1941 SATURDAY OCT. 18
Airmanship exam in morning. Not very difficult. Later had a lecture on the Link Trainer. We start on Monday in turn. We were to have flying in afternoon but the wind was too strong thank goodness. Wrote letter to Betty [deleted] to [/deleted] in afternoon. went to town in evening with Lucien to buy a few things. Went to pictures (40C) to see Ray Milland in “I wanted Wings”. Was a very good picture about U.S.A. training for pilots. Some smashing low flying with Harvards; Flying Fortress’s also in picture.
Had supper after and then back to camp by bus.
[page break]
1941 SUNDAY OCT. 19
Spent most of day writing letters. Went to town alone to post two to John & Mr. McNelly of Regina. His address has been given me from home by Mrs. Wright of Manor Road. [deleted] his [/deleted] he is her cousin, and have asked him whether can visit him one week end.
Aero engines results out. I got 56% & was 12th. 22 failed including Lucy who got 32% Bill had 51%.
In evening wrote to Rosemary Stapp, Edith & Dr. Bill.
[page break]
1941 MONDAY OCT. 20
Flying in morning. As the course 30 has now finished there are plenty of kites. My instructor is one of 3 who are transferred to “B” Flight hangar. However, only got in 1 hour solo and 10 min. dual. circuits & bumps
Had signals exam in afternoon. very easy & had no mistakes.
Had 82% & was 10th. in Airframes exam
Swotted up some navigation in evening in Y.M.C.A. for exam tomorrow morning.
[page break]
1941 TUESDAY OCT. 21
In morning had navigation exam. Was a very easy paper but marked strictly. Results out by evening. I had 72%. (a little below average).
Flying in afternoon. very good flying weather except for a few bumps. This morning was the most perfect day we have had here. Did about an hour solo and another hour dual doing sideslips, and blind flying & steep turns.
Had cable from home. Congrats. for solo.
In evening went to extra engines lecture.
[page break]
1941 WEDNESDAY OCT. 22
Got in plenty of flying this morning and also had 45 min of Link. Was quite easy.
Lectures as usual in afternoon, and went to extra engines lecture in evening. As we are moving to Bowden, B.C. on the 30th we are to have our final exams next week beginning Monday.
[deleted] Chap [/deleted] Holderness crashed into Hennessy when taking off this afternoon. both are from “C” flight. Our flight “B” flight have only had one mishap.
There are 15 chaps off the course up to now mostly due to bad landings.
[page break]
1941 THURSDAY OCT. 23
Lectures in morning, and in afternoon was in the air almost all the time. from 1.30 to 5.0p.m. was only on ground out of the kite for 1/4 hour.
Did some precautionary landings, blind flying, action in case of fire, a bit of low flying, & spins, etc. Went to aircraft recognition extra class in evening. At supper learnt that we should not be moving to Bowden, Alberta on the 30th. it has been put off for for 3rd. time, as so hope we have no final exams on next week as arranged.
[page break]
1941 FRIDAY OCT. 24
Flying in morning back again at “D” Flight as the other course (no. 36) start today. Had my nearest scrape today while solo. was shooting up the ferry on Saskatchewan River when suddenly saw high cable stretched across the river. Just missed it & dived over it. When dual learnt & did loops.
Exams next week have been put off because not going to Bowden: except arms. (oral) and aircraft recognition on Monday.
Mechanics arrived here from Vancouver Island who came over on the boat with us.
[page break]
1941 SATURDAY OCT. 25
Out with Bill in evening doing shopping, and also phoned Mr. McNelly of Regina, saying we might be able to come over next Saturday as D.R.O.’s say we are working on Sunday, so think Saturday is a free day.
[page break]
1941 SUNDAY OCT. 26
Wrote letter to Betty in morning after getting up late. Went to town with Bill in afternoon and took some snaps of a train, a streamlined engine.
The cold weather has come back again. a very [deleted] f [/deleted] cold breeze today. are told weather will break any time now, and the snow will come.
[page break]
1941 MONDAY OCT. 27
Flying this morning. Was terribly cold especially when solo even when wearing the 2 flying suits.
Had oral armaments exam this afternoon. think have passed but did not do terribly well.
Then after tea had aircraft recognition exam also the final. Got on quite well.
[page break]
1941 TUESDAY OCT. 28
Lectures in morning. Started snowing lightly but by afternoon had grown into blizzard.
Instructors where [sic] flying however looking for Thomas who lost himself. He landed at Wymark in the end.
The weather is terribly cold, & the hut is very cold as furnace has gone wrong & not giving full heat.
I got 79% in Airmanship exam.
[page break]
1941 WEDNESDAY OCT. 29
On Link Trainer first thing this morning. Did not get on very well. Doing a left hand turn finished up in a spin. Then on the Moth had the flight Commanders test with F/Lt. Smith. We all have such a test after 30-40 hours. Did climbing turns, steep turns, instrument flying (under hood) a spin, glide, sideslips & landed. Then had only 45 min. solo. Landmarks hard to pick out with the snow on the ground.
[page break]
1941 THURSDAY OCT. 30
Flying as usual in afternoon, but only got in 1.10 hours dual on a Navigation excesise [sic] to Ferry, to success and back.
Snow on ground has almost all melted now.
Result of final arms. exam out. I had and was 21st. Better than I expected.
Another 2 courses have arrived, [deleted] by [/deleted] but one is expected to move on.
[page break]
1941 FRIDAY OCT. 31
Did a cross country flight solo this morning via Cadillac and Webb – 110 miles in 1.40 hours
At tea, met Searle (from school) He is in one of the courses that arrived day before yesterday, and are moving on to near Calgary very soon.
Bed early because going to Regina in morning to visit McNelly’s
Most chaps out tonight as it is Halloeen’s [sic] night.
[deleted] Were [/deleted] Was paid 35$ today.
[page break]
MEMORANDA
Flying hours. Dual 20.30
Solo 15.30
[underlined] Total 36.00 [/underlined]
Mid Term
[underlined] Exam results. [/underlined]
Airmanship 79%
Navigation 72%
Airframes 82%
Aero engines 56%
[page break]
1941 SATURDAY NOV. 1
Started out 8a.m. for Regina. Hitch hiked 2 cars, gas truck & cattle truck. Arrived in light rain 1.30 p.m. McNelly’s house
Elspeth older than thought, but all very nice. Showed me over Parliament Buildings where she works, & saw town from roof. Got an eyeful of the town. Is a very nice town and very clean, although not very good weather. Took some photos & sent off postcards to Betty and home. Got the 6.15 p.m. train back which left at 6.45. arrived in camp 11.15 p.m.
[page break]
1941 SUNDAY NOV. 2
Flying all day today.
Got in 2.45 hrs. solo and 1 hour dual, during which Sgt. Smith did some low flying which turned my inside over after a bit. Felt a bit sick but was O.K. soon after. Lucien lost himself and force landed 65 miles away. Its going to be hard for him to live this down. Was on the X/country but turned wrong direction at Cadillac. Finished up near Johnstone Lake.
[page break]
1941 MONDAY NOV. 3
Flying again in morning. Very low cloud (900 feet) but when solo went above them and saw the sun. lectures in afternoon as per usual. Did not go out in evening: started snowing quite hard in evening.
Eric Markham (Ginger) turned a kite over at St. Aldwyn. [deleted] Note [/deleted] Not hurt very much but made a neat mess of the kite. This is the first crash in our flight, but it happened to be “B” flight’s kite which we had borrowed. “C” flight have many accidents to their credit and more failures
[page break]
1941 TUESDAY NOV. 4
Snowing this morning – thus stopping flying all day.
Learnt a/c recognition result – I had 43/50.
In evening went to film show. Dorothy Lamour in “Jungle Princess”.
[page break]
1941 WEDNESDAY NOV. 5
Not snowing but very high cold wind. Went up dual only. Came down and swopped cockpits & Sgt. Smith did some blind flying. Was very good. Also I had some link this morning. Was much better mainly due I think to the different Sgt. Paddon.
Lectures in afternoon as per usual and P.T.
[page break]
1941 THURSDAY NOV. 6
Issued with a flying kit kit [deleted] back [/deleted] bag and some black leather gloves which have to do for flying.
Flying solo in p.m. very strong wind & very tricky landing. Taxying across wind terrible & without brakes would be impossible.
Bill and Lucy night flying in evening.
[page break]
1941 FRIDAY NOV. 7
Had C.F.I. test by F/Lt. Bullmore his assistant. Was up 35 min. which included blind flying, loops, stall turns, forced landing. Made a hash of the side slip in the latter by going too fast. He passed me however. Have now done 46 hours total.
In the evening from 8.40 p.m. to 9.40 p.m. did some night flying with Sgt. Smith. Did about 6 circuits, in which I took off in 4 and landed O.K. twice. The number of lights in the camp was surprising. Judging the landing is not so easy, but have got the hang of it now. Sgt. Said I was quite good.
[page break]
1941 SATURDAY NOV. 8
Free day for our Flight today. in morning went to town to buy Xmas Cards & sent a food parcel off home. Came back to camp for dinner & went back again to town to get rest of Xmas Cards & bought & sent off 3 pairs silk stockings to Betty.
Stayed in camp in evening as too tired to go out again.
[page break]
1941 SUNDAY NOV. 9
Supposed to be flying all day but only got 35 mins. dual in afternoon. doing rolls. Was hanging upside down with head on cockpit cover the first time. I did a few but not very good ones.
We have our final exams next weekend end [sic], & are supposed to be moving from here on 24th. [deleted] O [/deleted] Nov. if we get though these exams. we must not fail more than 2 exams or we are off altogether.
[page break]
1941 MONDAY NOV. 10
Had 1 hour dual this morning & could do nothing right, & made a super mess of the steep turns. Then had 2 separate hours solo, during which I had some good fun doing stall turns, loops, rolls & spins.
Lectures in afternoon & did a bit of swotting in evening.
[page break]
1941 TUESDAY NOV. 11
Lectures in morning. In afternoon, had 1 hour in watch tower, then 1 hour flying dual (cross wind take off’s & landings – a roll, spin & instrument flying) & then back for 1/2 hour in watch tower again & then had 3/4 hr. in Link. Did nothing right. They are sure to put me on fighters now, although want bombers. In evening 5.30 to 6.30 p.m. had night flying with F/Lt. Smith. Very strong wind, but got on fairly O.K. but when landing felt he had the stick; which is rather annoying. You can’t get the feel of the thing.
[page break]
1941 WEDNESDAY NOV. 12
Flying in morning. Had 2 hours solo & 45 min. dual. Good flying weather. Lectures in afternoon as usual.
Corporals have now been put in charge of our huts. They get us up at [underlined] 6 [/underlined] o’clock. And on todays D.R.O.’s we are to be [underlined] marched [/underlined] to meals. 3 courses at once, which is going to make the congestion even worse. I cannot understand the mentality of those who make such an order.
[page break]
1941 THURSDAY NOV. 13
Flying cancelled this afternoon due to gale. Instead had free afternoon except an hour of films on Theory of Flight, the subject which we are very weak on, because we have had such disjointed lectures by different instructors.
This evening had some gen. on the questions we will have for navigation exam on Saturday.
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1941 FRIDAY NOV. 14
Gale still blowing. But as so many hours behind we went up dual. I was up for 50 min. Taking off, Smith touched a wing tip, but took off straight away. Climbed up to 7000 ft. under hood & then did a few rolls. Sgt. then did a roll off loop, & then an inverted spin. Does not feel very comfortable eyes bulge. Landed in dust storm, mechs. Grabbed our wing tips.
Was on Link later on in morning. Did a bit better but turn indicator kept sticking.
Swotting in evening fore [sic] exams tomorrow & Sunday.
[page break]
1941 SATURDAY NOV. 15
3 hour Navigation exam in morn. Mucked plot up a bit, but otherwise think I did O.K. Airframes & Airmanship in afternoon, both of which were very easy.
In evening did swotting for Engines & Theory of Flight, both of which we are not looking forward to especially the latter.
Latest is we should be moving on the 24th. on Monday week.
[page break]
1941 SUNDAY NOV. 16
Theory of Flight exam in morning. Much easier than ever hoped for. Did quite a good paper. Then Aero engines, which was also quite easy. At end of latter exam C.G.I. Turner caught Knibb cribbing. Then saw lot of desks marked. So said exams to be done again, but we are refusing. Terrific arguments with C.G.I. this afternoon while waiting for signals exam. Signals I got O.K.
Late this evening C.G.I. is breaking down saying he will see tomorrow morning about having exam again. Sgt. Cotton, engines instructor told C.G.I. that Knibb should be suspended from Course, which is what is going to happen. Just dirty thing Cotton would do.
[page break]
1941 MONDAY NOV. 17
No flying for us this morning, as ceiling too low. Very misty & damp – just like England. Aired our grievances to our F/Lt. Smith the Flight Commander. He’s a real nice chap & sees our point of view.
In afternoon was shown over our Navigation exam papers individually. I had 134/200 = 67%. He has knocked off marks very lavishly, & marked them very strictly.
[page break]
1941 TUESDAY NOV. 18
[underlined] Final Exam Results [/underlined]
Airmanship. 167/200
Airframes 86%
Aero Engines 88%
Signals 70%
Theory of Flight 66%
Navigation 134/200
Arms/A/C rec. 165/200.
Average [underlined] 77.6% [/underlined].
Position 35th.
Bills’ Average was 75%
Luciens - - 65.7%
[page break]
1941 WEDNESDAY NOV. 19
Had farewell dinner down town in evening. Unfortunately Sgt. Smith left soon after dinner. Most of us were tight as lords by the end. Skyrme took me & another chap home in a taxi. Went out cold when in hut – so Bill says, & was stripped & put in bed.
Our Sgt. Smith has not been on ops.

I am going to Medicine Hat on twins. Bill going to Moose Jaw on Saturday. Eccles, “Foo” Fox, [indecipherable name], Markham, Cpl. Bowley & me going on twins.
[page break]
1941 THURSDAY NOV. 20
Woke up with awful hangover this morning, but was sent up flying all the same. Did low flying to keep awake. Went to sleep in crew room in afternoon. went to town with Bill in evening to find his coat & my hat at Healy Hotel. Did not find my hat there but a chap wearing it in a café where we had tea. Then went to pictures.
Home by taxi.
Bought some anti glare glasses. $6
[page break]
1941 FRIDAY NOV. 21
A blizzard blowing – hence no flying.
Scrubbed hut floor ready for moving, & in afternoon wrote letters.
[page break]
1941 SATURDAY NOV. 22
Moose Jaw chaps went today including Bill. They got 4.45 train. Very cold. After seeing Bill off, Lucy & I had a meal & then went to picture show. Came straight back because of the cold.
[page break]
1941 SUNDAY NOV. 23
Had a nice lay in bed all morning till dinner. Cleared all the junk out of my locker in p.m.
Did not go out in evening; I was going to church but decided too cold.
[page break]
1941 MONDAY NOV. 24
No work of flying for us. Got some sleeping hours in most of morning. Wrote letter to Betty and went out alone in late afternoon to town where I had tea.
A very strong wind blowing, but is a bit warmer & snow is melting slightly making it very slippery.
Some of the motor transport section left for Bowden this morning. I think we are flying over on Wednesday. We are flying solo – which is going to be very boring – no one to talk to. we land at Medicine Hat,
[page break]
1941 TUESDAY NOV. 25
Packed kit ready for tomorrow. I am in group of 6 flying lead by F/O Musgrave & P/O Neilson, L.H. Brown, Pain & Goodsir. We leave at 8.15 a.m. P/O Neilson is a real lad – but unfortunately he was grounded later in day for shooting up Swift Current. He & Musgrave are Canadians. I am flying No. 5033 of B Flight.
Went to flics [sic] in camp in evening. Good show.
[page break]
1941 WEDNESDAY NOV. 26
S/C Medicine Hat 8.10 a.m. in No. 5033. P/O Musgrave was leading our V formation of Brown, Paine, Goodsir, Sgt. Davidson & I. Only Pain & Brown got to M. Hat – all the rest ran out of gas with drome in sight. I force landed in field, had dinner in farm & came back to find kite had gone. Field was about 11 miles from ‘drone, so Nick Nash, the farmer took me by truck to ‘drome. 12 of the kites had run out of gas altogether but no crashes. I force landed at 10.52 after 2.42 hours flying.
Med. Hat a very good drome & have not seen so many kites at once. Plenty of Oxfords & Harvards. Also Sestrals (Canadian Oxfords), Lysanders & a Boston.
[page break]
1941 THURSDAY NOV. 27
From Med. Hat S/C Lethbridge 9.30, but had to return because of low cloud & fog Landed Med. Hat 11.15. But at 1.30 took off again for Calgary. Had tail wind all way – arrived Calgary 3.45 after doing 3 circuits before could get down due to the masses of Tigers landing at once. No sleeping accommodation for us here so were moved by open truck freezing cold 11 miles, thro’ town to the other drome, a Canadian S.F.T.S.
Too tired to go & see town but looked good when went thro” it – plenty of lights
[page break]
1941 FRIDAY NOV. 28
Had to get up very early & straight after breakfast at 7a.m. were taken by open truck to the other airport; but ceiling too low for flying around for 2 hours. Slept in afternoon & after tea went down town. Hundreds of lights & swell shops. Me & Foo (Fox) met Saw Davids & Reg. Bowley & went to a super café to have some ices & then to flics to see Fred McMurray & Madeleine Carrol in “One Night in Lisbon”, which was a really good & funny picture. Also another long picture “The Penalty” was good, & a few turns on the stage. We then had supper & got a taxi back .
In camp about 12.30.
[page break]
1941 SATURDAY NOV. 29
Still low cloud & mist this morning. After lot of hanging around all day they decided to send us off to Medicine Hat by train & not take kites right to Bowden. Were taken down to the station where met other half of our course that got to Bowden on same day as they left S.Current, on Saturday.
Got 7.30 p.m. train & arrived after midnight. After having a supper & talk by W/O – a nice bloke – went to bed very tired – at 2.15 a.m.
[page break]
1941 SUNDAY NOV. 30
Up at 7.30 a.m. & after breakfast had to sign many many forms, including Will, & then F.F.I. inspection. A good dinner & then all time spent in unpacking & settling down in new bed spaces. I am over Lowden & as we are at the end of the hut we have no lockers. Have to make do with boxes.
Have good meals here – butter, Sugar, jam & honey on the table for you to help yourself. Contrast to S. Current.
We are 33 Course here, & have 12 weeks here – the first month being ground lectures & then exams, & then all flying.
[page break]
MEMORANDA
[blank page]
[page break]
MEMORANDA
[blank page]
[page break]
1941 MONDAY DEC. 1
Started off on the course today, with Pyrotechnics (Armaments) and Navi. Airmanship & more pyrotechnics in afternoon. the daily programme is from 08.00 to 5.30 p.m. & then extra signals after tea till 7.30 p.m. Link goes on till midnight. I was on 10-11 p.m. Got on very well the best ever on any Link! An old P/O was instructor & very nice. The links here have a wheel instead of a stick, & I like them better than the stick.
Had a talk by the M.O. on the usual precautions especially against Med. Hat girls. Also talk by Padre.
[page break]
1941 TUESDAY DEC. 2
More lectures. Had talk by the C.O. a wing commander.
He did not impress us.
Could tell he liked bullshit.
Took poor view of him.
During morning, a storm blew up suddenly blowing clouds of dust across the camp.
In evening wrote a letter home.
[page break]
1941 WEDNESDAY DEC. 3
Lectures again including one on meteorology by a civy [sic] instructor. Very boring & he did not make it very interesting. At dinner time a terrific wind got up, and died right down again to calm by 2.0 p.m.
These sudden high winds we often [deleted] got [/deleted] get from the Rockies are known as Shinooks.
In evening went down town alone to cable home my address & posted letter home. Came back early as town almost deserted as early closing
[page break]
1941 THURSDAY DEC. 4
Had several films for armaments & navigation in todays lectures. Also met. again which was again boring.
Had letter from Rosemary & one from Dick Kirby of all people. He said John was going in R.A.F. on Nov! What a thing for him to do. also he said that a work pal [deleted] ha [/deleted] Peter Boucher, had been to Swift Current. I can’t remember his face but know he slept not far away in my hut.
[page break]
1941 FRIDAY DEC. 5
Lectures all day again, including a film on I.C. engines. Was on Link in the evening from 9 to 10. Got on quite well, but when the artificial horizon was covered over the last 1/4 hr. my turns were not very good.
[page break]
1941 SATURDAY DEC. 6
Lectures all day to 4.30 p.m. had tea & went down alone down town. Met “Foo” Fox & Lucy straight away & did some shopping. Then they were going back to camp early, so I left them, went to Empire Club. I was then just going to picture show when Nick Nash & [deleted] girl [/deleted] daughter met me (farmer whose field I force landed). Walked round block several times & went to Moose Hall (dancing) did not go in however (I had boots on). They met quite a few nice girls & Miss Nash (has no 1st name) is nice piece of stuff. [deleted] slo [/deleted]
[page break]
1941 SUNDAY DEC. 7
Compulsory church parade this morning, after which rest of day is our own. News over radio at dinner time announced Japan had bombed Honolulu. Then in afternoon Japan declared war on England & America. In afternoon walked across the fields & hills to town with Brian Perkins & Edyuean. In town made unsuccessful inquiries for hiring a car to Banff on our leave at Xmas. But chap in white taxi we came back in offered to take 5 of us for same [indecipherable word] as train (7$) The 5 are me, Brian, John Pascoe, Eric [indecipherable word], & “Murf” Murray. [indecipherable word] decided to accept good offer if & when we know we have 2 clear days leave
[page break]
1941 MONDAY DEC. 8
A day of history. America declares war on Japan as we do, & many other countries do. Japs have invaded Thailand & Malay & bombed plenty of U.S.A. warships in Honolulu. Blackout in Washington tonight. Heard Churchill on radio at lunch time.
American news has been coming over almost every 1/4 hour with war news. What a noise they are making about it.
Am Saturday learnt that we are going [deleted] of [/deleted] on Harvards on a fighter course to our great disgust.
[page break]
1941 TUESDAY DEC. 9
Cold weather on us now. Light snow flurries last night. Extremely cold wind. Was on link in evening on No. 3 link. It was terrible. Almost U/S. Just would not bank evenly or keep level.
A Canadian pupil from Lethbridge was killed in a Harvard today when he crashed near emergency landing field. Instead of climbing up through them he went down through low clouds & hit the deck where hits the high ground.
[page break]
1941 WEDNESDAY DEC. 10
More news – “Repulse” & our latest battleship Prince of Wales both sunk by Japs. planes.
Had letter from Bill Girdwood at Moose Jaw. He went solo after 6 hours. Field & Knibb have been kicked off the course.
Had an hour of extra navigation as we are supposed to be behind.
[page break]
1941 THURSDAY DEC. 11
Received cable from home. They have received my parcel I sent on Nov. 8.
Again had another hour of extra navigation in the evening after tea. But before the end it started into talk of aircraft in general, & aviation talk.
This navi. instructor is a really decent chap & gives us plenty of hints about flying Harvards.
Later on was on Link from 10-11 p.m. Did not get on very well as link was partly unserviceable
[page break]
1941 FRIDAY DEC. 12
Had lot of fun during lectures today. in Theory of Sighting we were all trying [sic] fathom out the Reducing Valve having glorious arguments with the instructor – Flt. Sgt. He’s a nice chap & always calling out “Quite”.
Instead of engines had a lecture on the Vital Actions for the Harvard, because we start flying next week.
It seems that as soon as you throttle down you stall. If you do anything wrong you always stall it.
[page break]
1941 SATURDAY DEC. 13
Working all day. Were frozen through in the afternoon down at the range, where we harmonized on a Browning & after a lot of hanging around were shown some pyrotechnics. fired. Smoke Generator & some Signal Cartridges & a 1 lb. Rocket.
In evening after being on link trainer, went down town. Did a small amount of shopping & then went to see Gene Tierney & Bruce Cabot in “Sundown”. Was a very good film, [deleted] esp [/deleted] & Gene Tierney was especially good.
[page break]
1941 SUNDAY DEC. 14
I and Lowden were on a Harvard cockpit lecture for 1/2 hour given by the engine Corporal. He showed us how various things worked & what instruments were for. Played football in afternoon. Swift Current ex-pupils were playing the De-Winton lot of our course. We won 2-1.
[page break]
1941 MONDAY DEC. 15
Busy day. [deleted] Were [/deleted] Was paid $33. & our leave was increased to 3 1/2 days. We have put in for Calgary (Murray, Pascoe, Markham & me) & hope to hire a car from there to Banff. Brian Perkin is going Swift Current.
In evening after tea had a clothing parade during which I could only exchange my worn out tie. No flying gloves obtainable.
[deleted] Went [/deleted] Was on [deleted] a [/deleted] Link 11-12 p.m. before which I got in a Harvard in the hangar & tried to learn off the drills which have to know off pat on Wednesday
[page break]
1941 TUESDAY DEC. 16
The C.F.I. gave us a talk about flying tomorrow. He was a Wing Commander & was a performer at Hendon formation flying with wing tips tied together.
He was not a nice chap – too much concerned about bull & duty to the service.
In evening was in Harvard in hangar trying to learn some of the drills.
We have to be up at 5.45 tomorrow ready for flying at 6.45.!!!
When they expect us to sleep I don’t know
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1941 WEDNESDAY DEC. 17
Up at 5.30 & over at hangar at 6.45 A.M. but were not wanted till about 11 a.m. No interviews – nothing, just lounging in crew room trying to sleep. But at 11 a.m. an instructor F/O took me up for a ride & then Perkin. I was up 30 min. enough to know that Harvards are super kites. We climbed to 3,000 ft. before I knew it. Took control for a bit did some turns – stick only. Lovely flier. I was in back seat where you can see hardly anything in front.
Went to bed very early as terribly tired like the rest.
[page break]
1941 THURSDAY DEC. 18
Lectures in morning & flying in afternoon. I & Markham have F/O Cherrington an oldish sort of chap. I was up for 1.10 hrs. & in front seat. He did plenty of aerobatics, loops, rolls, etc. I did a spin which are quite easy to get out of.
Our instructor gave us bad news that he is having his leave when we are working so he & us have to be transfered [sic] to “E” Flight & have our leave with them. This absolutely upsets our arrangements for Xmas. Pascoe, Markham & Murray & me were going to Calgary & hire a car to Banff
[page break]
1941 FRIDAY DEC. 19
Flying again in morning. Was up 1.20 min. in front seat. Most of time spent at Holsom doing circuits and bumps. You are doing something all the time round the circuit & everything has to be done quickly to be in time for landing. I landed twice a bit bouncy & took off quite well he said.
Lectures in afternoon & after tea 3/4 hour of P.T. of all things because C.G.I. Thought we were not getting enough.
[page break]
1941 SATURDAY DEC. 20
Flying in afternoon. up for 1.20 hrs. but could do nothing right, - not even land the thing. By the way F/O Cherrington ticked me off I shall never fly these things.
To find relief went down town & saw film “Target for Tonight”. Very good, but not up to what I expected.
[page break]
1941 SUNDAY DEC. 21
Flying in morning [deleted] as [/deleted] but did not go up as our kite punctured a tail wheel at Holsom when Markham was in it. In afternoon had exam on cockpit drills & checks. I got on O.K.
Wrote letter to home in evening.
[page break]
1941 MONDAY DEC. 22
Flying in afternoon.
More ticking off but once did a circuit at Holsom without a grouse from instructor. But twice did atroscious [sic] landings – After that my landings improved & some pretty good ones.
Our flight “F” went on leave at 0600 in evening. I & Markham start on 24th.
On radio – Churchill in Washington. Arrived by air.
[page break]
1941 TUESDAY DEC. 23
Me, Markham & F/O Cherrington flying with “E” Flight. Was up 1.40 hrs. Instructor still keeps binding on everything I do. I have now done 8 hours.
[page break]
1941 WEDNESDAY DEC. 24
No flying for me mainly due to low ceiling early in morning. Left camp to catch 5.05 p.m. train with Eric Markham. Arr. & met Murf Murray at Calgary, & went to Palliser Hotel where he had booked us rooms. Went out, had grub, went to café where met pretty American cashier; Bettsie Mannings. She invited us to a party at 3p.m. but when went to the hotel the party had broken up. she was in our room for about an hour when she had to go. Then 2 half pissed officers barged into our room. One stayed & was giving us his woes on being an instructor. When he went, we went to bed at 6 a.m.
[page break]
1941 THURSDAY DEC. 25
Got up late.
Took the hired car & left Calgary for Banff. Arr. 4.30. 4 miles from Banff picked up howden, Pring & Robinson whose car had crashed. Met two young girls – one very nice. The other invited us to dinner. Wish we did not go. Not much of eats & she was [indecipherable word] (half witted)
Flics in evening – Deanna Durbin in “It started with Eve”. Very good. Murf took Evelyn home – ‘cause he saw [deleted] him [/deleted] her first.
Staying at King Edward Hotel. The car is an old Buick Straight 8. Draughty, terrible brakes, & very loose steering, & clutch slips when going fast or revving too much.
[page break]
1941 FRIDAY DEC. 26
Up late again. started with Evelyn for Lake Louise in car. Murf drives us into a ditch into a snow drift. Eric & I walk to the railway depot 3 miles away But cattle truck hauls it out. I drive there on & got to Lake Louise. Got stuck in snow when stopped there & took 1/2 hour to get going again. So did not see much of Lake Louise. Nobody about & nothing doing. Flics in evening with Eric while Murf had a good time getting into Evelyn in our hotel room.

Banff is certainly a swell place for a holiday especially in summer. Scenery marvellous
[page break]
1941 SATURDAY DEC. 27
Up late again. explored around Banff in the car. Went to the Hot Springs Hotel & back & nearly got stuck in snow again around Sundance Canyon.
Had late lunch with Evelyn & then off back to Calgary. Going fast but could not get above 60 mph due to slipping clutch. Nearly turned over on a bend but when we had to put lights on – not one light went on. Crawled along to garage. They could not find fault – had tea & cake there. Very dark now & crawled along to next garage. We rang up people who we hired car from & garage put it O.K.
[page break]
1941 SUNDAY DEC. 28
Got the 8.15 p.m. train & arr. Med. Hat at about 1.0 a.m.
Had a meal & then to camp. so ended Xmas leave. lectures in morning & flying in p.m.
None for me & Eric though as Cherrington still on leave. but asked to have [deleted] in [/deleted] him changed, May have P/O Hansel a Canadian with whom I went up on first trip. He was a very nice chap.
[page break]
1941 MONDAY DEC. 29
Extremely cold this morning. 210 C. below!
I did not have a flight, but was going up with Hansel at 11.45 but they could not start the engine.
Lectures in afternoon.
[page break]
1941 TUESDAY DEC. 30
Extremely cold again & light snow falling.
Flying in p.m. but was stopped early due to bad visibility – snow clouds. Had [deleted] F [/deleted] Soft ball game instead in the drill hall.
Went to picture show in evening to see “One Step in Heaven”. A religious film but very good & moving at end.
[page break]
1941 WEDNESDAY DEC. 31
Went up for an hour with my new instructor P/O Hansel this morning. He was much better & made you feel very happy & not flustered. Does not bind a single bit. Did some spinning & aerobatics. I should be going solo pretty soon.
Again very cold with light snow on the ground.
[page break]
MEMORANDA
Joyce Stearn.
Marion [deleted] Spiele [/deleted] Jeal
[page break]
MEMORANDA
[crossed through]
REGINALD BROOKS.
29 Ryegate Road,
Grassendale,
Liverpool.

Miss. E. BROOKS
4 Lisburn Lane,
Tuebrook,
Liverpool

Mrs. ARNOLD
26 Kingsley Rd.,
Northampton

Miss E. MADGETT
23 Blenheim Court,
Main Road,
Sidcup. Kent
[/crossed through]
[page break]
MEMORANDA
[crossed through]
Miss A. MADGETT
“Greenend’
Crabtree Road,
Camberley,
Surrey

Mr. L. MADGETT.
87, Westwood Park,
Forest Hill,
London. S.E.23.

Mrs. W. RADLEY,
4 Galahad Road,
Grove Park,
London. S.E.
Mrs. Joshing (Marge)
[/crossed through]
[page break]
MEMORANDA
[crossed through]
Rosemary Stapp
332, East North St.,
Greenburg,
Indiana,
U.S.A.

JOAN ELDRIDGE
“Granezza”,
Green Way,
Chislehurst,
Kent.

BETTY SKINNER
62 Sidcup Hill,
Sidcup,
Kent.
[/crossed through]
[page break]
MEMORANDA
[crossed through]
MAUREEN BOWERMAN
[deleted] 62 [/deleted] High Street.
Sidcup. Kent

AL WILLIAMSON
249, Furby Street,
Winnipeg,
Canada

(AL WILLIAMSON)
RAHN OPTICAL Co. LTD.
410. Canada Bldg.
Winnipeg,
Canada

FRANK MARSH
48, Roslin[deleted]e[/deleted] Way,
Bromley,
Kent.
[/crossed through]
[page break]
MEMORANDA
[crossed through]
MR. McNELLY
2904 Hill Avenue,
Regina,
Saskatchewan
Canada.
(Mrs. Wrights cousin)

MAJOR H.E. FORD
101 Saskatchewan Crescent,
West.
Saskatchewan,
Canada.
(Mrs. Wrights brother)

MARY STEWART
Ocean Flats
Station Road,
Sidcup. Kent.
[/crossed through]
[page break]
MEMORANDA
[crossed through]
NICK NASH
670. 8th. St.
MEDICINE HAT. ALTA
CANADA.

ELSPETH. Mr. & Mrs. McNelly
2904, Hill Avenue,
Regina,
Sask. CANADA

Mrs. AM HAMILTON
DALHOUSIE JUNCTION
NEW BRUNSWICK.
CANADA.

Dick Kirby
41. St. Johns Rd.
Sidcup.
Kent
[/crossed through]
[page break]
MEMORANDA
Mrs. Stephen
1872 W. 3rd.
Vancouver.
B.C. Canada.
[page break]
CANADA. MEMORANDA 1941
[table] [underlined] LETTERS SENT [/underlined]
DATE TO VIA
21-8 HOME AIR TO COAST
23-8 J. BIGGS ORDINARY
23-8 R. STAPP. ORDINARY
27-8 B. SKINNER AIR MAIL
31-8 R. STAPP ORDINARY
2-9 J.BIGGS AIR TO COAST
3-9 B. SKINNER AIR MAIL
5-9 HOME AIR MAIL
8-9 L.MADGETT ORDINARY
29-9 HOME ORDINARY
2-10 E. MADGETT ORDINARY
2-10 J. BIGGS ORDINARY
7-10 B. SKINNER AIR MAIL
7-10 HOME AIR TO COAST
16-10 HOME AIR MAIL
19-10 J.BIGGS AIR MAIL
“ McNELLY ORDINARY
20-10 R.STAPP ORDINARY
“ McG.WILLIAMS ORDINARY
“ E. BROOKS AIR MAIL
18-10 B. SKINNER AIR MAIL
25-10 E. MADGETT ORDINARY
26-10 B. SKINNER AIR MAIL
[page break]
MEMORANDA
[table] [underlined] LETTERS RECEIVED [/underlined]
DATE FROM VIA DAYS
29-8 R. STAPP (2) ORDINARY
2-9 B. SKINNER. ORDINARY 24
8-9 L. MADGETT. ORDINARY 39
20-9 E. MADGETT AIR MAIL
22-9 J. BIGGS ORDINARY 42
“ HOME ORDINARY 41
“ R. STAPP ORDINARY
30-9 HOME (BERE REGIS) ORDINARY 33
11-[deleted]9[/deleted]10 HOME (POSTCARD) AIR MAIL 25
15-[deleted]9[/deleted]10 HOME (POSTCARD) AIR MAIL 20
“ HOME AIR MAIL 21
17-[deleted]9[/deleted]10 HOME (POSTCARD) AIR MAIL 29
18-[deleted]9[/deleted]10 HOME (POSTCARD) AIR MAIL 26
22-[deleted]9[/deleted]10 HOME (POSTCARD) AIR MAIL 30
“ McNELLY ORDINARY
24-10 E. MADGETT ORDINARY 21
“ B. SKINNER ORDINARY 36
27-10 J. BIGGS AIR MAIL 29
29-10 E. BROOKS(PIC) ORDINARY 41
“ C. RADLEY ORDINARY 41
2-11 A.M. HAMILTON ORDINARY
5-11 E. BROOKS AIR MAIL 23
[page break]
MEMORANDA
[table][underlined] LETTERS SENT [/underlined]
DATE TO VIA
29-10 J. BIGGS AIR MAIL
1-11 B. SKINNER (P.C) ORDINARY [inserted vertically] REGINA [/inserted vertically]
“ HOME (P.C) ORDINARY
4-11 HOME AIR MAIL
“ C. RADLEY ORDINARY
8-11 A.M. HAMILTON ORDINARY
9-11 B. SKINNER AIR MAIL
“ HOME AIR MAIL
15-11 H.E. FORD ORDINARY
17-11 HOME AIR MAIL
“ J. BIGGS AIR MAIL
“ E. McNELLY ORDINARY
18-11 M.BOWERMAN AIR MAIL
“ HOME AIR MAIL
“ G. FORD ORDINARY
22-11 M. STEWART ORDINARY
“ J.E. BIGGS AIR MAIL
24-11 B. SKINNER AIR MAIL
3-12 HOME AIR MAIL
8-12 B. SKINNER AIR MAIL
22-12 HOME ORDINARY
[page break]
MEMORANDA
[table][underlined] LETTERS RECEIVED [/underlined]
DATE FROM VIA DAYS
10-11 HOME (P.C.) AIR MAIL 35
15-11 HOME AIR MAIL 25
15-11 HOME (P.C.) AIR MAIL 31
“ M. RADLEY (P.C.) AIR MAIL -
18-11 E.MADGETT ORDINARY 28
20-11 G. FORD AIR MAIL
21-11 HOME AIR MAIL 25
4-12 D.KIRBY ORDINARY 28
“ R. STAPP ORDINARY
6-12 B.SKINNER ORDINARY 39
“ E. MADGETT ORDINARY 33
10-12 B. GIRDWOOD ORDINARY
13-12 HOME AIR MAIL 33
20-12 HOME AIR MAIL 25
26-12 HOME AIR MAIL 17
29-12 HOME AIR MAIL 42
“ B. SKINNER ORDINARY 39

23-12 R. STAPP ORDINARY

Citation

Hedley Robert Madgett, “Hedley Madgett diary 1941,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed August 20, 2019, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/11264.

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