Letter from Norman Donaldson to his mother



Letter from Norman Donaldson to his mother


Writes that holiday in Oxford would not be a good idea and relates recent activities including a trip to Marlow. Catches up with acquaintances news and upcoming leave. Catches up with family news and motorcycling difficulty. mentions that all old friends have now joined up or are making munitions.



Temporal Coverage



Four page handwritten letter


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[RAF Crest]
17 Aug 43
Oriel College,
Dear Mama,
Many thanks for your letter. I imagined that you would probably be in a banned area, but if you are I have no doubt that there will be no difficulty about a pass. I don't really recommend Oxford for a holiday – the place is absolutely packed out.
I went over to Marlow on Saturday, for a dance that the Whalleys gave, and had the greatest weekend that I've had for years; Gwen confessed that she had blued almost all her available points on it, but she did it in truly marvellous style. We were even mad enough to bathe in the river by moonlight afterwards, & we spent most of
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Sunday morning rowing up the river. I also went and called on the RAF station, all my old friends (incl, I'm glad to say, Ted Beard) are now CSMs or staff- [word deleted] sergeants not that they look a penny the more imposing for it! One of them [deleted] off [/deleted] is going to get his commission without any WOSB, which has caused a little ill-feeling, I think, especially since another has just failed is WOSB. However I received the good news that I am going on leave at the end of this course (9 days, beginning [deleted] at [/deleted] on Sept 1st – I'll probably be home on the evening of Tues aug 31st) and that I am returning to [word deleted] my old job with paid acting rank of [word deleted] full lieutenant. How long I stay there depends on present chit-chat in Quebec, I imagine.
Will you thank Ian very much for the letter & registration slip? I didn't get
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over to see Molly while she was here, as Lathbury Rd is 3 or 4 miles away & I happened to be motor-cycling both evenings. However, I hope to get over there next Sunday afternoon – Pangbourne, I mean. I simply have not time to go and see Lettice, I'm afraid. I think I'm fairly happy on the rough & on the water-splash, now, but [word deleted] night-riding is still distinctly unpleasant, especially when the tail lamp in front of you goes out, and I am consistently unable to start the machine again once she has stalled. However, at worst it's a quick death, and at best it is comparable to horse -riding as a sport.
Is there [underlined] anyone [/underlined] left in Southampton of
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the old crowd whose parties we used to ask one another to? One of the less welcome influences of the Army is that I'm mixing with people of an average age of 30 the whole time, & consequently I have a[character deleted] nastty suspicion that I'm ageing (mentally) beyond my years, which is very bad for me, in my opinion. (I hope that doesn't sound too precocious!) I suppose the boys have all joined up and the girls are making munitions; not that I can think of any that still lived in S'oton anyway. I think I shall have to try and get in touch with the Crocketts again.
Love to Ian & Papa. I should be able to get up and see Eliza when I'm on leave.



Norman Donaldson, “Letter from Norman Donaldson to his mother,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed March 5, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/14912.

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