To Jessie from Harry Redgrave



To Jessie from Harry Redgrave


A letter from Harry Redgrave in RAF Upwood to his wife Jessie. He writes about how good life is now that he is a Sergeant with extra pay and better food. He has been training in a Bristol Blenheim.




Temporal Coverage



Three handwritten sheets


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743047 Sgt. [sic] Redgrave H.C.
Sgts Mess
R.A.F. Station
Mon 29-7-40

Dear Jessie
I hope you had a good run home last night and found Pamela had been good whilst you had been away. If you felt like I did you went back quite happy and with a comfortable feeling of contentment. We arrived in camp about half past [deleted] 1 [/deleted] nine and after a bit of running around got nicely settled down in the Sergeants [sic] Married Quarters. These are nice little houses just outside of the camp and it only wants you there to make me feel quite at home.

Well dear at last I feel really somebody and I must say that withal my rawness I receive all the defferance [sic] due to a full blown Sergeant. Life has suddenly become much easier, meals are eaten like human beings and the mess is large and comfortable with plenty of armchairs and other comforts I have not seen before in the service. Meals are served by stewards in white coats and we no longer have to wash our own mugs or cutlery. On the contrary we use relatively dainty cups and saucers. My first appreciation of the change came last night when as late as eleven o’clock I went to the mess and had bread and cheese and

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pickles ad.lib. [sic] That washed down with a glass of beer, which incidently [sic] is sold up to eleven, brightened me up no end. Breakfast this morning consisted of grape fruit bacon and tomatoes tea and bread and marmalade. At lunch time you help yourself to coffee and after a three course [deleted] lunch [/deleted] [inserted] dinner [/inserted] followed if you wish by bread and cheese coffee is again served. As a Sergeant I am free of a lot of restrictions and can come in any time of night I like and dont [sic] even have to book in or out.

As for living out as usual there is not much in the way of accomodation [sic] down here. Ramsey is the nearest town and is rather small and I shall find it rather difficult I imagine to find any room still I wont [sic] give up hope. I would have no difficulty in living out I am sure. If I can get my bike here Peterboro [sic] or Huntingdon would be near enough to see you pretty often though and I must do a bit of scheming.

Leave seems as difficult as ever and I think I can only hope for forty eight hours whilst at Upwood. A party of crews have just had two days leave before going to the Near East so service abroad is not ruled out yet. My compulsory allottment [sic]][deleted] have [/deleted] has been increased to 2/6 a day so you should soon be drawing £2-0-6 a week from the Post Office. What a blow dear they wont [sic] let me keep my rise will they.

I cant [sic] tell you much about the training here as a lot of it is very secret as you would expect operational training to be but I can tell you I am going to be a pukka observer and not a gloryfied [sic]] air gunner. We do advanced navigation and

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bombing in Bristol Blenheims and are being trained [deleted] f [/deleted] for service in them. I am quite happy about it as they are grand kites and I think they have put up a pretty good show in service up to now. The first two weeks are in the Pool where we do lectures only and the remaining six weeks are spent in flying nearly every day navigating and locating targets in all weathers and in general simulating operational conditions. Hard work but very interesting.

If my lighter is sent down to you from Teddington you can send it registered post to me or if you like hang on to it until we meet again.

Well I want to go and air my stripes down the road so I will pack up until Wednesday. Give my love to All at Emorf.
from your loving husband
Harry xxxx


Harry Redgrave, “To Jessie from Harry Redgrave,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed June 16, 2024,

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