To Jessie from Harry Redgrave



To Jessie from Harry Redgrave


A letter and envelope from Harry Redgrave to Jessie. Harry writes about his training at Redbrae including flying Ansons, an ice hockey game in Ayr and worrying about their lack of money.



IBCC Digital Archive




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Four handwritten sheets and an envelope




Temporal Coverage


[postage stamp]

Mrs. H. C. Redgrave
Oaken Grange Drive
Southend on Sea

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[Reverse of envelope]

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My dear Jessie,

I have just opened your last letter to read again and find that your hopes of “keeping it up” in Norway have been rather dashed, but still its [sic] early to see the ultimate effects of this weeks [sic] set backs [sic], and we must be prepared to have a hard fight before we can defeat the enemy.

Our moving into huts has been put off indefinitely and I should be surprised if we see the inside of them in Prestwick. Unfortunately there will be plenty of time for them at the next station but that will be only for six weeks. That means in about eleven weeks I should get my stripes if all goes to according to plan. You wont [sic] know your husband then will you. The old Mr Anderson of Redbrae died last night but as he had been unwell since last November and was eighty four it has not been the terrible shock for them as it might. We very seldom see any of the family so it wont [sic] effect our position very

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These new [smudged] budget [/smudged] taxes are the limit and increase on tobacco and postage is going to strain my pocket a bit but as you will find it difficult to write so often I am enclosing six penny stamps for you to pay the extra with. I will do this from time to time as your letters mean so much to me and I would rather go without anything than that pleasure. Must’ve it [sic] be hard for all the couples like Milly and Frank who are not getting enough to pay that extra. Poor Frank must find it job [sic] to [deleted] mang [/deleted] manage his five shillings a week and after all cigarettes and letters are the only pleasures service men can demand. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has done the rank and file of the forces a great injustice and I am surprised there has not been more agitation to right these wrongs. As for us we must be thankful that we are getting what we are.

Whilst on the subject of money I had a nasty shock on Friday when posted up on D.R.O.’s was the details of an Air Ministry Order stating all airmen were to be paid one week in

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arrears and that next Thursday we shall only get one weeks [sic] pay instead of two. If you have not yet paid Tickett that pound I sent you had better hang onto it as the £1.19 less next week makes a nasty hole in the money I had saved for your week end [sic] in Scotland. I dont [sic] suppose its [sic] much use asking you if you have saved any as with everything going up you must find it difficult to make ends meet.

I had a good days Anson flying on Thursday and the pilot gave me 90% and reported me above average. We did not go anywhere particular just trotting round the islands and they looked beautiful. In the morning we flew down the coast to Lock [sic] Ryan and right round the edge of it passing Stranraer. [deleted] and [/deleted] In the sun the rocky cliffs with numerous caves and crevasses and with seagulls snow white against the sombre sea looked indescribably lovely, the low lying cloud would suddenly drop and all would be lost in view till a break and sunshine would reveal new beauties of this craggy coast.

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In the afternoon we had to land at Port Ellen, a landing ground on Islay because the cloud was right down to sea level in places and on the land all the hilltops were covered and as some of these islands are as high as 3000’ feet it pays to be careful. My navigation throughout the day was all it should have been and the good report from my pilot completed a good days [sic] work. In the evening a party of forty of us from B course to see England beat Scotland at ice hockey at the Ayr Ice Rink. It was exciting, thrills from start to finish and at the end of the first period England was down three goals which they equalised in the second period and during the last managed to score the deciding goal of the game.

Last night I saw Anna Neagle in “Nurse Cavell” and must now prepare for a weeks [sic] swotting for my finals next Monday.

Give my love to Mum and the girls and Pam.

Your ever loving husband
Harry xxxxx


Harry Redgrave, “To Jessie from Harry Redgrave,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed August 6, 2020,

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