Letter to David Donaldson from Esther Hale



Letter to David Donaldson from Esther Hale


Wishes David the best for 1945. Catches up with family news and a relation who has been posted to England. Enquires as to whether Ken has started his fourth tour yet and comments that he is stretching his luck. Mentions he was very kind and helpful when Warrie went missing. States news from Germany is bad and not all reports have gone to next of kin. However they are not giving up hope. Sorry to have missed meeting David's brother while he was in Canada. Also mentions a mutual RAF friend, Ken Lawson, who was with David in 156 Squadron until June 1943.




Temporal Coverage



Two page handwritten letter and envelope


IBCC Digital Archive


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[postage stamps]
To: Wing/Cdr David Donaldson D.S.O., D.F.C
42 Peartree Avenue
Bitterne Southampton
[page break]
Mrs. H.W.K Hale
3193 Westmount Blvd
Montreal P.Que
[page break]
December 28, 1944
Dear David,
This is just to wish you a very happy and safe 1945. I would have written before to wish you a Merry Christmas, but I had mislaid your address. I am not sure whether I found it in time to give it to Jacqueline before she left for Britain. She asked for it especially, I remember, as she wanted to see you and your wife and your mother. In case you have not heard from her, I think it would be very cheering for her if you could drop her a line. She has been in England nearly four weeks now. Her address is: Ldg/Wren J. M Hale W867; C.F.M.O; 24 Haymarket, London. She has been in the Wrens for nearly two years now, and she was tremendously pleased when she and two of her friends were drafted for Overseas this autumn. Jackie is now 21 years old.
How is the little daughter? When last we saw Ken Lawson he had not seen her but said that “from all reports” (no doubt her father's) she was the finest baby in England.
We had Will [word indecipherable] with us for over three weeks in October. It was very nice having him. He spoke a lot about you, and the visit you spent with them in Porta Down, Ireland. Will is still in Bermuda, and is very pleased to be there.
Has Ken started on his 4th tour of operations yet? He is stretching his luck pretty far, I am afraid. He was [underlined] so [/underlined] kind in endeavouring to find out all possible information about Warrie, [underlined] after [/underlined] he was reported missing. You have, of course, heard of that. The later news has been very bad – but it is from the Germans – and there are certain inconsistencies about the reports that make them, to my husband and myself, very inconclusive. These reports have not, in fact, been given out at all to the next of kin of the two British crew members, by the British Casualty Branch, and merely reported, as such, to the New Zealand mother with the comment that the report was vague, unconfirmed and unevidential, and that the classification in the case
[page break]
of the N.Z. boy F/O Johnnie Fall would not be altered from “Missing”. The [deleted] evidence [/deleted] report, however, that came “from a secret source, from which no further information can be obtained” said that “all the crew” had lost their lives and yet Ottawa is the only Casualty Branch that has accepted the report as conclusive. So we are not giving up hope. Neither are any of the other next of kin. But it is a very long time – over six months.
We were very sorry to have missed meeting your brother while he was in Canada. I wrote him as soon as you gave me his address, but I rather think he didn't get to Montreal.
Hoping that you and your wife and your mother may all have a very bright, healthy, safe, and happy new year. I am
affectionately yours,
Esther M. Hale.
I don't believe I ever congratulated you upon your latest recognition of the fact that you are a hero – the medal didn't make you one, I send my love



E Hale, “Letter to David Donaldson from Esther Hale,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed December 3, 2021, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/15029.

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