To Jessie from Harry Redgrave



To Jessie from Harry Redgrave


A letter and envelope from Harry Redgrave to his wife Jessie. Harry writes about life at Redbrae including his flying training, flying rifles to Edinburgh, a Fokker plane crashing with no serious injuries and an air raid exercise.




Temporal Coverage



Four handwritten sheets and an envelope


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[postage stamp]

Mrs H. C. Redgrave
Oaken Grange Drive

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[Reverse of envelope]

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Dear Jessie,

By the time you read this I suppose I shall have heard how you got on going home but at the time of writing I hope you found it as comfortable as can be expected. Did the Frenchman sit in the corridor all night? After leaving you I [deleted] sprinde [/deleted] sprinted round to St. Enock [sic] and managed to catch my train and was here in Redbrae by eleven very tired and rather miserable.

I have been very busy since you went, flying morning and afternoon on Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday afternoon I was on a special job carrying rifles from Turnhouse near Edinburgh to Carlisle. The job was made rather difficult by having to reach Turnhouse by 1435 and after all the calculations being made the pilot read his course wrong and eventually landed at 1434. While there I learnt that an air raid exersise [sic] started at 1435 and soldiers and airmen [deleted] wh [/deleted] were running round with rifles

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and others were going into the shelters. Later we arrived with our cargo at Carlisle and got back to base about quarter past five. It was six oclock [sic] before I got home to tea and I was so tired I fell asleep immediately after tea until supper time.

Today I did a supposed operational reco [sic] flight and after making our objective we were to be attacked by anti aircraft fire and climb to 7000ft. I made the objective all right and we glided in with engines throttled back and started the reco and suddenly the pilot gave a shout and said “I am going to climb to 7000 and at 100 indicated air speed on the new course and at 7000 flatten out and fly on a new air speed.” At 7000’ he decided on 140 I.A.S. and by then we were over a great bank of strato-cumulus and by good navigation and furious calculations made [deleted] out [/deleted] our second objective and so back to base. It doesnt [sic] sound much when written down but it requires a hell of a lot of work as the higher you climb [deleted] the [/deleted] with the Air Speed Indicator on say 100mph the faster your speed though it doesnt [sic] show it. But still I did it well and was praised by the pilot when we landed.

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You [deleted] remb [/deleted] remember G-AFZP the biggest Fokker well she crashed yesterday when taking off and although she had a crew of 40 aboard nobody was seriously hurt. Just a few bruised legs and some badly bumped heads. It appears she was about 50 feet off the ground when her engines cut and the pilot brought her down just behind the big church on the main road and she crashed across the burn and between the trees. She looks a mess now, wings broken off, undercarriage ripped away and her engines laying [sic] about nearby. Fortunately the fuselage lies straddled across the stream unhurt. Those boys had a narrow escape and I am glad my time in Fokkers is finished.

We are on guard again next Sunday night and everybody has to work all day Saturday now so it looks as if poor Dick will not be home much. Tuesday night he was on guard all night and things [inserted] are [/inserted] really beginning to move this last day or two. I think they realising there is a war on. From the newspapers it seems you arrived home in time for things to start humming in the

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estuary. I hope you found all well at home and that Pam had been good. I bet she was glad to see you again. Give her a big kiss from Daddy I meant to ask you to on the station but I felt it would only have upset us and its [sic] so much easier to write these things on your own when you can swallow hard and carry on. Its [sic] lovely and quiet here at Redbrae, all the boys are out and I keep thinking of the happy times weve [sic] had this last two weeks and in fact ever since [inserted] that [/inserted] lucky day we met. Come what may, if we are spared to be together again I shall be satisfied because I am so completely happy when you are with me. Keep your chin up darling and we must look forward to [inserted] our [/inserted] next leave.

Give my love to all and you know you have my everlasting adoration and I will always be
Your loving husband
Harry xxxxx


Harry Redgrave, “To Jessie from Harry Redgrave,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed March 1, 2024,

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