To Jessie from Harry Redgrave



To Jessie from Harry Redgrave


A three-page letter from Harry Redgrave to his wife Jessie. Harry is impressed by the amount of food they are getting, but has not had much opportunity to see the local area yet. The training course will be hard work and he is due to fly for the first time in a Fokker aircraft shortly.




Temporal Coverage



Three handwritten sheets


IBCC Digital Archive


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 and




[RAF Crest]

L.A.C. Redgrave H.C.
c/o Mrs Anderson
Red Braes
Wed. 17.1.40

My Darling Jessie,

Well dear I’ve had time to gain a few more impressions of No1 Air Observer Navigation School and the results leaves me with the impression that I’ve got sixteen weeks of damned hard work. From morning to night is one long rush from subject to subject with plenty of homework in my spare time. Ive [sic] been too tired each night to go out so do not know anything about the town What little I saw from the station did not impress me much. It was typicaly [sic] North Country drab although I hear that the houses are very nice inside. All the boys being in billets gives one an insight to local life that one did not get in Bexhill. On Friday evening I am going to Ayr to see an ice hockey match at least it will make a break. There will not the opportunity to go out here as in Bexhill which perhaps is just as well. Incidentally the pubs shut at nine here and are closed all day Sunday which I fancy is pretty religous [sic] in these parts. Scotland is supposed to be the country of cakes and I think Ive [sic] never eaten so many. Theyre [sic] delicious. During our fifteen minute break in the morning I eat four of them. They only charge a halfpenny and I can afford it and also get a cup of tea for a penny. Whilst on the subject of food we are doing much better than at the Sackville. In fact I’ve never had so much good food you know the sort of

[page break]

[RAF Crest]

stuff we could never afford and also little dishes I’ve never seen or heard of they must be Scottish dishes.

Having just resumed writing after tea I do not feel like saying any more about food being full right up to the neck. Has it been cold in Southend because here its [sic] like the north pole and everything is freezing hard. By the time you read this I shall have had my first flight. We are going up on Thursday in the Fokkers. These collosal [sic] machines hold 30 pupils 3 instructors and a crew of five. Before the war they were civil air liners and are four engine monoplanes. I have never seen an aircraft so big. We have forty hours to do in them before we fly in Ansons. The range of subjects in the school are Navigation, Dead Reckoning, Maths, Maps and Charts Magnetism and Compass, Instruments, Photography and Reconnaissance, Signals and Wireless with monthly exams to see how you are fairing [sic]. The one or two I have spoken to here say it is one long cram for the whole sixteen weeks. Oh by the way we also do a course in Meteorology. It all seems very frightening doesn’t it Dear. But still I shall do my best darling but if I do fail well I shall be home all the sooner. As it is you seem so far away and having no letter so far makes it worse. You remember me asking you knit [sic]

[page break]

gloves as well would you alter that to a scarf in the regulation wool. You probably wondered why your first letter from here arrived so late. The reason was that after writing it Monday night it had to be carried around in my pocket all day Tuesday as we cannot get out of the aerodrome until we have finished for the day and so it did not get posted until Tuesday evening. Whilst writing this the planes are roaming round on night flying. Poor fellows I do not envy them. We are sitting round a big fire in arm chairs in a lovely room and have just been asked by Mrs Anderson if we had any complaints. After the Sackville this is heaven. [deleted] On Friday [/deleted] Well dear I think that’s about all for now and I will write again on Saturday. Tell Mum all the news and I will try and write to her over the weekend.

All my love to you darling I’m always thinking of you and happy times we’ve had and hope they will soon roll round again. Kiss Pam for me.

Your always loving husband

Harry xxxxx

P.S. Please forward my National Identity Card in your next letter dear.


Harry Redgrave, “To Jessie from Harry Redgrave,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed May 25, 2022,

Item Relations

This item has no relations.