To Jessie from Harry Redgrave



To Jessie from Harry Redgrave


A letter and envelope from Harry Redgrave to Jessie. Harry writes about life at RAF Upwood, including his intensive training, the lack of leave and a trip into Peterborough. He also discusses where Jessie could live and includes a description of the town of Ramsay.




Temporal Coverage



Three handwritten sheets and an envelope


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Mrs. H.C Redgrave
Alice Road

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Sergeants Mess
R.A.F. Station
Mon 5.8.40

My dear Jessie,

I see you have got used to addressing my letters to Sergeants [sic] Mess now and I have got your last too O.K. After writing to you on Friday it dawned on me that perhaps from habit you had sent it to L.A.C. so I scouted around and was overjoyed to find one waiting for me. Its [sic] nice to hear everything is tikiti-boo [sic] in Dorchester and that you are quite happy. You seem to be getting plenty of alarms though I think that is general all over the country. As for moving up here I feel sure you would be happier in Dorchester as Ramsey is such a miserable little place and only has tiny little houses with no washing arrangements or baths and I know you would be lost to know what to do with yourself all day. There are only about half a dozen shops and one cinema that shows terribly old films. It would be almost like living at East Lulworth. Peterboro’ [sic] is not a bad town at all but is about sixteen miles away and the buses only run there Saturday and Sunday so if you lived there I could only see you one of the two days as I should be flying in the afternoon of [deleted] one of them [/deleted] the other. It shook me considerable to find we fly seven days a week and on Saturday I was up from

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five to eight in the evening and on Sunday morning was in the crew room just after eight and got down in time for dinner. Some of the squadron had to be over there by six. Just fancy six o’clock on a Sunday morning. You would think there was a war on wouldn’t you. I was fortunate because it gave me a [deleted] haf [/deleted] half day off and Taffy, thats [sic] a fellow who shares my room, and I [deleted] hich [/deleted] hitch hiked to Peterboro [sic] and got in there about seven. We had a pleasant stroll around and it was nice to see some people again. Did my eyes good to see all the young ladies in their summery dresses walking out for an evening stroll by the river side. And did your handsome sergeant observer make a hit. [sic] We couldn’t keep the admiring girls away and after taking our choice two nice young ladies showed us round the Cathedral Garden and you must see the Cathedral some time darling I think its [sic] better than Canterbury. They also showed us where the bombs dropped a little while ago which damaged the swimming pool and knocked part of the walls down nearby. Whilst talking about bombs dear these things Jerry is dropping around are pretty poor stuff and we hear incredible stories of small ones being dropped which dont [sic] even break windows and sometimes not even wake people up. So keep your chin up dear they aren’t so bad as you would think. These small ones dropped at random are only to put the wind up people and are not so serious.

As I told you I am getting plenty of hours in and most of my trips take me down Oxford way and across to Cheltenham and Gloucester. I am finding navigation easier on these overland trips

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than the mixed mountains and sea flights at Prestwick. Having a wireless operator aboard is a help too as they can get you W.T. bearings when we are above cloud and it makes it much more interesting too.

It appears that these evacuation officials have made a mess up but you carry on drawing it while you can. Norwich is about fifty miles away dear. Thanks for asking your Mum about the key and tell her to arrange for Tickett to collect [deleted] it [/deleted] [inserted] the Beam [/inserted] as soon as possible. I have written to him and he knows what wants doing to it.

I think this immediate posting to C Squadron has finished my chance of 48 hours leave which the Pool are getting next week end. Just my luck isn’t darling. They say theres [sic] bags of leave at operational squadrons though, so it wont [sic] be long.

I bet Pamela looks pretty with her hair cut; almost as pretty as her Mum. You looked fine when I saw you last. Just as young and pretty as ever and I am just longing to see you for at least a week very soon. Give my love to all at “Emorf” and heres [sic] kisses for you sweet xxx from

Your loving husband

P.S. When you write to your Mum tell her I may pop down one day soon to [deleted] el [/deleted] fetch my byke [sic] and will call round to her for the key to “Redwood”.


Harry Redgrave, “To Jessie from Harry Redgrave,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed May 22, 2024,

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