To Jessie from Harry Redgrave



To Jessie from Harry Redgrave


Three-page handwritten letter from Harry Redgrave to his wife Jessie. Harry writes about life in the RAF in Dumfries on a training course. He dislikes the station and especially the lack of food. Mentions cinema trips but too expensive to go out very often.




Temporal Coverage



Three handwritten sheets


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L.A.C. Redgrave H.C.
11 Air Observer Course
Nithsdale Mill
Tues 16.5.40

Dear Jessie,
The address above will find me so please write to me by return and bring a little brightness into the awful life I am enduring now. I tried to describe to you on Sunday the horrors of this louse infested hole and believe me as our acquaintance grows I like it less. We are doing nothing but general duties and our instruction is at a standstill. Monday morning was spent laying about at the mill waiting for a decent meal, which turned out to be stewed corned beef, and in the afternoon we were taken down to the aerodrome for some work. A gang of us were detailed to fill palliases [sic] with straw but I had the good fortune to be taken off that and put on to lorry driving and for a few hours I really enjoyed myself. We got back about half past six and managed to raise some bread and jam for tea, but as usual it was not enough. I have been hungry ever since I have been here but am raising hopes for tomorrow as the Warmwell cooking staff have arrived. The first half of this morning was spent sweeping and cleaning this place up and after that I managed to slip out and get a haircut and one or two odds and ends I needed. This afternoon to keep us amused we

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were taken on a route march. That was quite good, at least the air was fresh and plenty of it, and we were headed by a band of drums and bagpipes. Talk about the circus comes to town. Everybody turned out and waved to us and all the kids from miles around followed us through the town. This evening I am staying in as going out proves expensive and I am going to be hard up before next pay day though heavens knows there is nothing else to do. Last night I went to the pictures and saw “Dark Rapture” and “Day Time Wife”. Dark Rapture was an interesting film of an expedition into the Belgian Congo and there was some amazing shots of the capture and training of elephants and an interesting record [inserted] of [/inserted] life [deleted] of [/deleted] amongst the pygmies. Day Time Wife was a racy comedy of American married life with Tyrone Power, and was very funny. There are three cinemas in Dumfries so if the cash lasts out I may find some relief in a comfortable sit down away from the filth of the Mill. Well dear I am sorry to have to write to you in such a miserable way and hope that very soon Sgt. [Sergeant] Redgrave will be headed south to somewhere very near you and that I shall be posted to a decent Pool where I shall get some leave. I dont [sic] know whether I told you on Sunday but our posting here was cancelled but arrived too late.

How are things in Dorchester. [sic] Had any more air raids? I can imagine you all tonight having a nice tea and supper. Gee dont [sic] I wish I was with you. Is Horace still pulling your leg dear. [sic] We had some good fun then didnt [sic] we. Remember your ride on the crossbar of Bills byke [sic] and our walk out together. Is [deleted] the [/deleted]

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Pamela keeping good and having a jolly time with the children [sic] Tell her Daddy is thinking of her and hopes to see her again soon. Give Ethel and Horace all the “gen” on my new station and that it only increases my gratitude for the very kind way they took us into the family and made me feel as if Dorchester is the only home I have at the moment.

As I shall be leaving here in a few weeks I think I had better keep the case by me for my next journey so I will return case and book when I am settled. When you send my pyjamas and that vest on could you manage to pack in a few cakes or something a bit nice. [sic] By the way I am sorry if you had pay [sic] a surcharge on my last letter but that was all the stamps I had and I thought you would rather pay up than wait another day. Its [sic] getting rather late dear so I must pack up now and try and get this posted off tonight. Goodnight Sweetheart all my love is for you. Remember me to the children and Ethel and Horace.

From your loving husband
Harry. xxxxx


Harry Redgrave, “To Jessie from Harry Redgrave,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed May 28, 2024,

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