Letter from Ian Wynn to his wife



Letter from Ian Wynn to his wife


He writes complaining about the war and those running it and what should happen to them. Mentions upcoming visit home. Says that he did not hear Churchill's speech as he was on guard duty but comments on it after reading it in the papers. Writes of disgusting meal he has just had and goes on to complain about conditions for messing and work at camp. Continues with issues concerning his father and then what he might do after the war.




Ten page handwritten letter


IBCC Digital Archive


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Hut 39
[corrected] (3) [/corrected] (C) O.T.U.
West Camp R.A.F.

Many thanks for your letter which was most warmly received this morning. I cant [sic] understand how it is you have not received my letter though? because there is still one that you have not yet apparently received.
I am in a state of acute browned offed-ness. Today it has been decreed that no one can get away on pass or leave before 4.30. In that case it means that I shall not get home before 8 am on the following morning. Well that is not so bad on 7 days but it is going to

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shorten a 72 hrs down some what [sic]
It is funny every where[sic] I go I seem to land there just at the time when they decide to put the screw on. There will be bloody Revolution when this war is over I can tell you. Some of the upstarts who at present hold the authority are in for a very severe kick in the pants, and it wont [sic] be with gym shoes either
All the Decent chaps, like old Beamish seem to get bumped off it is the Binders who have not the guts to go into action themselves but like to be stink makers & have a crowd of underdogs [corrected] kowtowing [/corrected] to them, and take a sadistic delight in using [corrected] their [/corrected] present authority

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to vent their spleen on all in their power. Such authority & such power could not & would not be tolerated under normal conditions. It is of such muck as this that Fascists are made The only thing that one can attribute it to is [corrected] narrow [/corrected] minded ignorant vanity, or an inferiorety [sic] complex given a dictatorship. It is such bunkum as this that makes any one keener to get on with the war & impatient for its end, if only just to be able to tell them where they get off. I am afraid that things have altered very little in the last twenty odd years of peace as regards that sort of thing. If this war was a commercial proposition, I am afraid there would be a good many changes

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in its administration. This is far from being a happy camp at the moment, and will remain so until the administration learn that the men appreciate a little encouragement for their efforts. There comes a limet [sic] even in the Air force to being driven

Anyway that is about enough bind. Unless you hear anything to the Contrary from me expect me some time on the [underlined] 19th [/underlined], as I am afraid I cant [sic] make it now on the 18th with this new stunt. Oh! I forgot though I am calling at Wyrley first so it wont [sic] effect you so much. Ill [sic] write you from there of course let you know when to expect me, and perhaps we can arrange for you to ring me up. Still I shall be writing you again before then.

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I didnt [sic] hear Winstons [sic] speech because I was on guard, but I read it in the paper the next day. It was typicually [sic] Wintsonian [sic]. A lot of sarcastic blarney with out [sic] telling much. However we cannot expect to hear much yet in any case, but I suppose he had to make a speech to bring himself into the public mind again. It is [deleted] def [/deleted]
devilishly difficult for him, because the public are more or less continuously expecting him to perform and pronounce miracles, instead of realizing that we are not yet properly organised [deleted] and [/deleted] despite everything [deleted] whe [/deleted] we are not yet in our stride with production & reserves of supplies that must necessaryly [sic] be available before we dare move a finger & furthermore the public do not seem to realize how serious is the

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shipping situation & that is of paromount [sic] importance to the whole war effort.
I am sorry if I am being somewhat political tonight but I just cant [sic] help it I feel like a good argument somehow.
I have just been to "supper". Cold greasy sausage & a mug of cold stewed tea. not forgetting a chunk of stale brown Bread crust. Really it is disgusting The food at this camp is terrible. Honestly it is the worst I have struck yet. The dining rooms are never properly cleaned & sometimes the tables are like pig troughs with slopped tea & porridge all over the place. Of course that is largely due to the men themselves but it is engendered cheifly [sic] through the method of serving. Imagine

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what it is like standing in a queue first off [sic] all one collects a plate of porridge (usually the best part of the meal), then a Plate of what ever [sic] else is going. Inveariably [sic] some minced up & indiscribable [sic] mess, slopped all over with some oily greasy solution misnamed gravy. From there you procceed [sic] a little further & collect a Round of Brown Bread & a Hunk of marg' & Butter mixture Still struggling & Balancing precariously the grub you have aquired [sic] you advance stratigically [sic] upon the tea urn & draw off a pint of murky leather rotting liquid. This much ackomplished [sic] the next item is to find a seat at a table. Fortunately there is quite a [deleted] few [/deleted] [inserted] number of tables [/inserted], but all are more or less populated so with one Eye on the fellows already seated & the the [sic] others on the grub lest it should fall down the afforsaid [sic] fellows necks you feel gently with one foot for the Bench having found it you must make up your mind to do one of two things. One. to do as nerveRacking [sic] tight Rope-[corrected] cum [/corrected]-trapese [sic] and balancing act or shut your eyes - Flop down & hope [self-corrected] for [/self-corrected] the best. Whichever you do you are bound to spill something, & so you hope it is the [corrected] table [/corrected]

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that gets it, and not a fellow "erk". Espeaslly [sic] if he happens to be bigger than you.
Well I feel better for discribing [sic] that as long as we can see the funny side of things we can tolerate them[?] but I am damned if I can see the funny side of working all hours as God sends without a break & then getting your passes curtailed or Rather in this case beheaded. That is just mean, and that [corrected] type [/corrected] of meanness isnt [sic] funy [sic], It is criminal

I am glad you have written to Dad again because I am sure that he feels he is nearing the end of things & it behoves us to make what little time he has left [corrected] as [/corrected] pleasant as possible. This of course cannot be done, but with out [sic] some considerable discomfort & inconvenience to [corrected] ourselves [/corrected] but such selfishness should not stand in our way. Dad has had is [sic] faults which God knows have been many. However he has always been a Generous father to me if not a wise one. He has frequently assisted us to his own cost & I cant [sic] forget that. Even though I get annoyed at much that he does now.

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That is why I dont [sic] want to cause any trouble afer [sic] R & R. I may be a fool I know but I would rather be a good [corrected] hearted [/corrected] fool [deleted] & then [/deleted] a mean natured twerp, but in any case what I would be & what I wouldnt [sic] isnt [sic] altered by [indecipherable one word] fact that [deleted] one [/deleted] I cant [sic] go belyond [sic] my nature so to speak.
Blimey! [deleted] I [/deleted] aint I writing somfink [sic]??

Gosh darling, Do you ever think of what we will do after the war? I want to go some where [sic] on a holiday with you alone. not even the two dear little chaps with us. Just you and I. Say in the Lakes, or in Wales & then finish up with a few nights in London. Just like in our Old days of palmy [sic] peace. hey? Something combining the best of all the holidays we ever had together In the mean time however (I seem to have written however a lot) I am making no plans. Lets get the blasted war over, & then get down to planing [sic]. We shall have our past mistakes to guide us for the future & God grant us the wisdom to learn

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well by them.
Think of it Dear I am 34 years old but I still feel as irrespinsible [sic] as when I was 16 yrs. I am still a boy at heart for which I am duly thankfull [sic] I should hate to be unable to join in the spirit of my lads pranks when they get older. Even if I must sometimes appear to be the Rightious [sic] - never-to be-disobeyed-father at times. I only hope I can be as [corrected] generous [/corrected] hearted to them as my parents have been to me and as tolerant.
Well my beloved I must close now with all [corrected] my [/corrected] love because it is so damned cold tonight and there is no such a luxury as a fire in the [corrected] billet [/corrected] & my little reenforced [sic] concrete bed is warmer if not more comfortable than this pew so good night dearest. Just grin & bear it till we meet once more. We have all got to do it
All my love
Ever Your



Ian Archer Wynn, “Letter from Ian Wynn to his wife,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed December 8, 2021, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/11645.

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