To Jessie from Harry Redgrave



To Jessie from Harry Redgrave


Letter from Harry to his wife Jessie. He describes one of his training flights, what would happen if he failed his exams and meeting people from the Southend area. Jessie has sent him a scarf and he is sending her a jumper with a tam o shanter hat for Pamela.




Temporal Coverage



Six handwritten sheets and an envelope


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[postage stamp]

Mrs H. C. Redgrave
[inserted] 43 [/inserted] Oaken Grange Drive

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Sun. 18. 2. 40

Dear Jessie,

Thank you darling for my scarf which I received with a letter and Standard yesterday. Its [sic] a lovely thing and when I am flying in Ansons I shall be able to use it. That wont [sic] be very long dear as I am doing quite a lot of Fokker flying.

On Thursday I had two hours in the afternoon doing a wind finding exercise and on Friday a Nav 3. Nav 3 was a three legged [sic] course and a reconnaissance over Cumnock and Maybole. The reco was very interesting and is a job I think I will like.

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[underlined] 2 [/underlined]

We came down to about 4000' and circled around Cumnock. At first everything seemed quiet in the town but then I noticed a goods train and made a report on it like this. CUMNOCK RAILWAY STATION goods train facing N.W. At Maybole the only thing to report was train with 20 goods trucks ½ mile out MAYBOLE STATION moving EAST. I shall be flying all day Monday so my hours will soon mount up.

Theres [sic] a Blenheim Squadron here doing a lot of flying and one of the gunners is a Southend VR. I do not know who he is but he made enquiries off some of the chaps in my course if there were any Southend chaps here and

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they told him I was the only one. He knew my name and that I was related to Tom and I am hoping to come across him we shall have plenty in common. It gives you a real thrill to meet anybody from home and yesterday when I bought your jumper I was talking to the assistant and the proprietress who was in the department upstairs came down and said she had heard English voices in the shop and that she had come from Croydon [deleted] 6 [/deleted] six years ago. Well in the course of our conversation it came out that she had lived in Westcliff for some years. That calls for the small world comment doesn't it.

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I hope you like your jumper and if I [deleted] remb [/deleted] remember right I finally chose one with a neck like the News of the World picture. It seems a warm one and I think the colour will match the skirt but if you dont [sic] like it just send it back and I will get it changed Pamela's tam o'shanter is in the box and ten Tenners which you and Mum can smoke between you.

The long dreaded Mid Term exam will be held definitely on Friday and Saturday. The [corrected] maths [/corrected] paper depends on the R.A.F. Central Examination Board so I do not know when that will arrive. Those who fail the Mid Term are suspended from further training and eventually become A.C.s to spend the rest of the war pushing planes out

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and doing general duties. Not so thrilling but considerably safer. It makes me wonder what makes us try so hard when probably we shall get a bullet up our backsides for all our trouble. It must be the ignominy of failure for most of us and for me the added fact that the rank and pay will enable me to keep you and Pam free from money and food troubles. If I was an A.C. you would only get 29/- and I would not be able to send you any out of my seven shillings. I feel I know all we have been taught and if only I can convey it into words I shall get through. The [corrected] results [/corrected] will be through by Wednesday week so I

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I shall not have long to wait to hear how things stand. Think of me darling Friday and Saturday and thought of you will give me added strength.

The lad who went home on a fortnights [sic] sick leave Wednesday received a telegram on Friday to report Monday morning poor devil payed [sic] 55/- on fare and then had to come straight back

We still know [corrected] nothing [/corrected] definite about Easter leave but I intend to do something for the 9 [underlined] th [/underlined] March if we dont [sic] get our leave. If I miss a letter this week you will understand wont [sic] dear as I must put all my time in swatting. [sic] Give my love to Mum from
Your ever loving [sic] husband
Harry xxxxx


Harry Redgrave, “To Jessie from Harry Redgrave,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 25, 2024,

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