Letter from Ian Donaldson to his parents



Letter from Ian Donaldson to his parents


Written from 27 Squadron India. Writes of life in India, that he has had many letters from various people. Mention lack of social life and catches up with family news.




Temporal Coverage



Three page handwritten letter and envelope


IBCC Digital Archive


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Written in....English
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Oct 7th
27 Squadron RAF
Dear Mama & Papa
This is rather a hurried letter written on a Saturday night, hurried because I have just heard of someone who is going to Delhi in the morning, and have managed to get him to give me a lift; so weather and other things being favourable I should be able to spend an evening giving Norman the once over in the very near future, which will be very nice for me.
I have had quite a lot of [deleted] people [/deleted] letters from various people this week; I think the last from you was Sept 25th; everyone seems to think your holiday has given you a bit of a rest & change of scene, I hope it has. I am glad to hear of Hugh Arnold, I wondered what had happened to him, he seemed to have vanished altogether, like everyone else who starts a family.
No; I fear there is no social life where I am now, in truth there is very little anywhere in India except up in the hills where one does not get stationed anyway, at any rate not for people like me who are inclined to be lazy about it. I agree with you, it has occurred to me that my guardian angel must have sniggered a bit when he got me posted to India, if he remembered my flippant remarks in 1942 about joining the R.A.F to get married. Still by 1947 I
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should have lost all sense of discrimination and so have no difficulty in satisfying myself with the first reasonably white woman I set eyes on.
I suppose David is with you by now, I hope he is well. I trust Joyce will be able to talk him into a bowler hat, if he is offered one - & if he needs any talking into it. Its time a few of these young chaps got out of it & gave us old men a chance of promotion, and anyway we don't reckon much to chaps just out from England, they do have such extraordinary ideas.
I feel so much better up here I have ceased to worry about how long it will all take; I was going to take myself off for an all day walk tomorrow, I have been meaning to do some in the evening but have taken to playing cricket instead, which is not so exercising but more sociable. We don't get the newspapers here which I think is a very good thing, one settles down and ceases to wonder if we've got any further; and there's always the hope that one day you will wake up & find it all over, even if its not for years.
We are getting a bit more organised here, in spite of a lot of rain. We have managed to get my gramophone mended – I don't know how long it will last but at the
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moment we find it very luxurious to lie in two inches of reasonably warm water & listen to the Unfinished Symphony I was even thinking of starting bath time concerts à la Myra Hess; 8 annas for a bucket full of warm water and a symphony – money refunded if the spring breaks before you get to the end – or something of that sort.
Though the town does boast a , or rather a tent in which there is a variety show; it was much patronised by the mess for the first week or so as theres[sic] a beautiful dancer there – comparatively speaking that is. It was the most incredible performance – I don't think I can describe it, which makes this paragraph utterly pointless – like something out of a book is all I can feebly say, but it just didn't seem to fit into an Indian town at all.
I was pleased with Joan's encounter with the Brave New World, as exemplified by the works Dentist – its nice to think of the Elms being reinvented a bit. I [sic] How is Smith these days?
Hope you are all well
[underlined] No 57 [/underlined]



Ian Donaldson, “Letter from Ian Donaldson to his parents,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed August 10, 2022, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/14931.

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