Mere Gen March 1944



Mere Gen March 1944


a 29 page duplicated magazine produced by the personnel of Branston Mere Y station. All the items are original, mainly 'in' jokes consisting of stories, jokes, poems and cartoons.



Temporal Coverage




A 29 page duplicated magazine


This content is available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0). It has been published ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre. For more information, visit and




Mere Gen

R.A.F. Insignia

March 1944

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From the Editor’s Chair

Editor: Cpl. Liddell. Associate Editors: Cpl. Speak. L.A.C. Bolt. Cartoonists: Cpl. Batley. A. C. Potts

While this issue has suffered some delay owing to illness and contributory causes, we hope its quality atones for the delay. We must thank you all for your splendid support of Xmas Number and accept with due modesty your approbation and helpful criticism. In this issue we have endeavoured to introduce new ideas, and at the same time rejuvenate favourite features. Morag Morrison, the “Mighty Atom”, has written a dramatic flying epic in serial form – a new venture in our Editorial policy, and once again “people in the news” have been fearlessly if somewhat ruthlessly “quizzed”. Our “John Bull Sheet” offers unlimited moaning scope and please let us have your views through our Letter Bag, together with contributions of any type.
The Editor.

[Underlined] FIVE WAAFS GAVE ME SPLIT MIND – RAF Sergeant. [/Underlined]
An ex-R.A.F. sergeant successfully appealed at Liverpool Pensions Appeal Tribunal for a pension because “great mental stress and stain” had caused him to develop a split personality.
“I was all right with my five airmen and storekeepers until they were replaced by five W.A.A.F.s” he said. The Waafs were intelligent, but it took me two months to make them realise they were not at home. It was a hard task to teach them the business. I often worked late at night correcting their mistakes”.
[underlined] P.S. [/Underlined]
N.B. As Sgt. Thacker submitted this item, we are wondering if he doesn’t feel so good himself! (Editor)
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[Underlined] A MOONLIT MORNING [/Underlined].

A scene from a little village on the Bonny Banks of Loch Lomond.

A perfect moonlit morning, so perfect as to give a theatrical look to the familiar scene.

The wan waters of the loch lie still, below a sky of rich blue, with its full metallic moon, and a few stars here and there to emphasise her splendour. The hills rising from the lochside show dark and clear-cut. Farther off are two peaks, each with a sprinkling of snow, while at the limit of vision stands a white-mantled sentinel, its superior height hardly noticed at other times.

Across the hard white surface of the road the shadows of oak and lime are cast, in detail unbelievably clear, while overhead the birch, dainty as ever, stands etched against the blue. The sound of trampling feet on the low road breaks the stillness. Lost for a minute, it comes again, clear on the hard road, accompanied by the cheery whistling of the Pioneers marching to work.

Wisps of smoke from the morning chimneys hang motionless above the darkened houses. A few clusters of faint lights mark the sites of the camps on the hill.

Across the Loch comes the steady clip-clop of Meg’s hoofs. She is on her milk rounds, so that makes the hour just half-past seven. Passengers for the Train for Glasgow are figures, and not just shadows, this morning. Even the train itself, when it puffs in, is something more than three fiery red eyes.

J. Tweedie.

“Mere Gen” has made its assault on the Navy now. In a recent letter from Wren Walker, M.H., “B” Site, R.N.A.S. Eglinton, Co. Derry (a young lady who did sterling work on the reproduction of the Mag. before volunteering for the W.R.N.S.) she tells us that the copy her parents (Messrs. Walker) send her, goes right round the cabin and the office, and they have lots of laughs out of it.
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[Underlined] In which we fly [/underlined]

(Serial by Morag D. Morrison)

Dedicated to ‘Mac’ and Him (R.F.C.)

It was late evening in January at a Bomber Command Station somewhere in England. Patches of heavy cloud obscured the moon at intervals making the night perfect for the fully-loaded bombers, lined up ready on the concrete runway, to do their deadly work over enemy territory.

Shadowy figures moved about the tarmac making last-minute preparations, while the bomber crews received their briefing in Operations Room and discussed the best route to be taken according to the military objective. At exactly 11.30 p.m., No. 1 machine, a four-engined [sic] Handley Page Halifax long-range bomber, piloted by Flight-Lieutenant Temple Ainsley, took off with her load of “eggs”. After circling the ‘drome to get the feel of the controls with the six members of his crew standing around him, chatting and arguing through the ‘intercomm’ he headed out east over the Channel, slowly gaining height. The crew went to their various positions and a few minutes later came the sound of machine-gun fire as the front and rear gunners tested their guns to make sure they were in perfect order. The target that night was Ermerrich aerodrome outside Emden.

On the way over Northern France they ran into quite a display of searchlights. As Temple throttled down the A.A. guns came into action. Keeping well on the edge of the searchlight circle, he zig-zagged about to avoid the white puffs which appeared ominously all round the plane with amazing accuracy. Then, suddenly, the bomber captain put the Halifax into a sweeping dive, while his front gunner poured tracer down one of the beams. A few moments later it went out – and stayed out. At 10,000 feet the pilot eased her on to an even keel, too low for the A.A. or searchlights to have any effect, and then beat it out to sea and safety for the time being, getting away with only slight damage to the starboard wing. Turning inland again, Temple climbed and set course for Emden. Thereafter it was fairly quiet up to within a few miles of their specified objective. There was no mistaking that, because the Nazis were already preparing a really hot reception round the aerodrome area. Phillips, the wireless-operator, got in touch with the home base and gave the receiving operator their position in code. Once the message was through, Temple came down to 17,000 and circled once more over the target, trying to get his bearings, despite the intense barrage. Petrie, the bomb-aimer, lay flat on the floor of the
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nacelle, trying to pick out the camouflaged hangers, his hand ready on the bomb release button. Temple called through the ‘Intercomm’ to his crew that he was going in to have a crack at the runway first, and as he put the bomber down in a steep dive, the moon came into view from behind a cloud patch in all her full glory, showing up the hangars and a number of scattered aircraft on the runway in perfect detail. Petrie chuckled with delight at their luck and released a stick of incendiaries just before the pilot pulled the Halifax out of the dive and climbed to a safer altitude. The rear gunner reported that one of the hangars was blazing madly and that some of the machines on the runway were taking off – probably fighters. Coming round in a steep bank, Temple prepared for another quick run in, but got caught in a couple of searchlights beams. Bending down low so that the glare would not blind him for the instrument panel, the pilot manoeuvred to get free. He almost succeeded, but not before an A.A. shell burst within a foot of the starboard engine. Almost immediately it misfired, connected again for a minute, and then cut out altogether. The Halifax began to lose height. But Temple was determined to have another go at the target, even if it meant risking the lives of seven men. He handled the damaged bomber admirably. Holding her at 8,000 feet with great difficulty against a devastating barrage, his bomb aimer released the remainder of “eggs” which were high explosive only, on the runway. “Bombs gone” came the call from Petrie. A second later there was a vivid orange flash followed by an upheaval among the remaining stationary aircraft on the ‘drome. Several were blown to pieces, the petrol tanks of two others exploded, craters appeared in the runway and all that was left of one hangar was a mass of twisted girders. But that last gallant attack by the British bomber lost Temple his only slender chance of getting away to safety. Try as he might the Halifax couldn’t be coaxed to climb. Things weren’t going too well. A faint drone from the rear warned the rear-gunner of the approach of enemy fighters. “A spot of trouble coming up behind, skipper” came over the ‘Intercomm’. The A.A. Guns ceased, but the searchlights continued to play over the sky. A formation of Focke-Wulf’ F.W. 190’s bore down on the crippled bomber, their guns hosing lead into its most vulnerable spot – the tail. The Halifax’s altimeter needle flicked over the 6,000 mark and Temple was thinking of abandoning her as their only means of escape when the bomber suddenly lurched, side-slipped and dived into a spiral spin – temporarily out of control. Not content with seeing their prey going to its inevitable doom, one of the Focke-Wulfs broke formation and followed in the wake of the Halifax – typical of Nazi warfare. Temple fought to regain control in the hope of pulling her out in time to pancake. The plane responded very slightly to his pressure on the control column, the strain of which caused perspiration to stream down his face inside his oxygen mask, momentarily blinding him. And as it happened at
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moment the pilot of the pursuing fighter was in the act of pressing the button which fired his machine guns, but the unexpected change of the bomber’s angle caused him to pause for a few seconds and in that time his fate was decreed. Although wounded, Anderson, the rear-gunner, pulled himself upright with a supreme effort and fired a long burst into the nose of the Focke-Wulf. The German fighter rocked with the impact of the bullets, then sagged, lost way and went into a steep dive, smoke pouring from the engine cowling. A minute later the Halifax crash landed into a belt of trees which surrounded the bombed aerodrome of Emmerich.
To be continued.

[Underlined] “Quote” [/Underlined]
How often do you use familiar expressions without giving a thought to their origin? Here are one or two of the better known and their sources. How many did you know?
“Mind your Ps and Qs. [sic] 17th century public house expression, indicating “mind your pints and quarts”
To be or not to be, That is the question. Hamlet. (Shakespeare)
Here’s looking at you! Casablanca! (We apologise for this Hollywood intrusion)
‘Tis a wise father that knoweth his own child! Merchant of Venice.
If I should die, think only, think of me. “The Soldier” (Rupert Brooke)
It is a far far better thing that I do now than I have ever done before. “Tale of two Cities” (Charles Dickens)
A thing of beauty is a joy forever”. Keets.
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[Underlined] “Quote” [/Underlined] (continued)
“More sinned against than sinning” Hamlet.
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet!” Coriolanus.
And now abideth these three, faith, hope, charity, but the greatest of these is charity 1. Corinthians. Chap. 13. v.13
Ancient fight unnoticed as the breath we draw. Kipling.
The sets must be left in a tidy condition, and a chit put in for a change in “Day off”. The Gospel according to W.O. Alcorn.

[Underlined] India calling. [/Underlined.]
S/Ldr. Cushion, lately O.C. of this station, writes from Ceylon to congratulate us on “Mere Gen”, and sends good wishes to all at the old Station! Among other things he mentioned running into that bunch of trouble Cornelius (Casanova) somewhere in Calcutta, and points out very gently that life out there with camp conditions, palm leaf sides and roofs to the quarters is in very sharp contrast to conditions on the Branston front!
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[Underlined] Leap Year [/Underlined]

While we shudder for the welfare of those airmen still in a “single” state of blessedness, in view of the matrimonial weapon placed in the hands of our emancipated, yet alter-minded Waaf owing to the incidence of Leap Year, we look forward to the news of the Fall of some Airman. A rather interesting sidelight on Leap Year proposals was given us recently by Frank Potts through the medium of his grandmother. Apparently the custom was that, if a girl taking advantage of the calendar and the weakness of man, proposed and was rejected, her rejector [sic] was in duty bound to buy her a pair of gloves, while she in turn showed him her pink petticoat!

We pass this information on for what it is worth, but we hope you young people don’t attempt to modernise this custom!

[Underlined] Our Letter Bag [/Underlined]
The Editor.
It is a matter of regret that the Hostel Xmas parties were marked by two surprising features. The first, and perhaps the least disturbing, was the regrettable lack of organisation, and the second was the surprising indifference displayed by some airmen and airwomen. The height of this indifference was reached when certain people with deplorable bad taste, left the Hostel party to attend some other neighbouring party!
Five Waaf.

Could some effort be made to persuade the Lincolnshire Road Car Coy. to allow us to return to Branston on the 10.15 bus? If, as we understand, their objection is based on their assertion that Branston personnel deprive “Through” passengers to Blankey/Digby of transport, we can readily and concretely refute this charge. Here’s hoping.
All at the Hostel.

(We understand the O.C is making representations in the matter. Editor.)
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[Underlined] Letter bag (continued) [/Underlined]

A very commendable Xmas number was to our way of thinking marred by a rather deprecating article headed “The road to Promotion”. We carefully read and re-read this, and as mere “duration” minions can only interpret the gist of this diatribe as being a not too cleverly camouflaged detraction from the efforts we non-regular personnel are making. Admittedly, there was a reluctant admission that we had done splendidly, [underlined] but [underlined] – (and it is to these buts that we offer battle) – we have not done splendidly because we are [underlined] highly efficient [/underlined] but because we are doing our best after a short period of training! This, coupled with an immediate reference to our faults, enumerated as incapability, lack of pride in our jobs, tendency to discard faulty equipment (a charge which even if substantiated could not be levelled at the tradesman, but at his immediate C.O. whose policy this was) and an expectancy of promotion without exertion, removed all doubts G.H.F.H. was not on our side! It is a matter of historical record that non-regulars have in this war held pride of place operationally, scientifically and academically, with peace-time personal, and it must be remembered that the majority of us had already established ourselves in some civilian calling before taking up our new service task. Perhaps in sagacious if embittered conclusion, we ought to remind G.H.F.H. that there is a war on!

[Underlined] Yesterday [/Underlined]

As I fell asleep one winter’s night,
The room was filled with a soft blue light,
And there in this transparent hue,
I saw myself that once I knew.

Though it seemed a body, a soul I saw,
Or a mind, with its secrets laid bare and raw,
Yet naked as birth it knew no guile,
Shone sweetness and innocence all the while.

Years as a stream of water passed,
Still the spirit in my room held fast,
Then I saw myself as I am to-day,
Fell on my knees for I wanted to pray.

Let something of innocence, a ray of light,
Stay with me from the once-was night,
Let not my childiness [sic] be gone,
With years let innocence live on. Mee.
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[underlined] 2that’s a Flight Sergeant [/underlined]
Than Was2!
With apologies to Shell.
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[Two pictures]
“a rank injustice”
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[Underlined] STATIONALITIES.[sic] [/Underlined]

[Underlined] W.O. Alcorn [/underlined]

Pride of place in this month’s Stationalities [sic] goes to W.O. Alcorn who since our last issue has been promoted from F/Sgt. to W.O. and in addition has become the first Waddite to be mentioned in despatches. To mark this double event we have asked our cartoonist to draw a special cartoon.
Congratulations Flight – er, beg your pardon, Sir.

[Underlined] Arrivals. [/Underlined]

We extend a cordial Branstonian welcome to the following persons who have recently joined our ranks:-
A.C.Ws. Crossley, Pell, Whitwham.
Cpls. Bennett and Stevens.

[Underlined] Departures. [/Underlined]

L.A.C.W. Kathleen (Kasher) Langley left us on the 6th February on her discharge from the W.A.A.F. and we feel sure that her many friends will join us in wishing her good health and good luck. Cheerio, Kasher!

[Underlined] Births. [Underlined] Congratulations to

Mrs. Monica Bell ( Ex Waddite) on the birth of a daughter.
L.A.C. Fred Bolt on the firth [sic] of a Son – William Fred.
Cpl. Liddell on the birth of a son – Keith, and our best wishes for Mrs. Liddell’s speedy return to health.

[Underlined] Marriages [/Underlined]

In our last issue we had only time to shoot a little “Quiz” flack at Sgt. And Mrs. Norman. We take this opportunity of recording our first “combined” operation in marriage when Sgt. M. Norman was married to L.A.C.W. Phyl Carr at St. John’s Church, Welling, Kent, on 22.12.43. We wish them a long and happy life together.
Our best wishes go to L.A.C.W. Bunny Ryan on the occasion of her marriage to the Rev. J.H.J.D. Galbraith M.A.C.F., on Jan 29th at All Saints Church, Kings Langley, Herts.
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[Underlined] STATIONALITIES (continued) [/Underlined]

[Underlined] Promotions. [/Underlined]
Or perhaps this should read “Apology” for we owe one to Cpl. Eric Brame whom we omitted to mention in our list of promotions in our December Issue. Congrats, Eric.

[Underlined] C.M.F. Ex-Waddites. [/Underlined]

We hear that ex-Waddites L.A.C’s Bromley, Christie and Marsh have been exalted to the rank of Cpl. and we send to them and to all our comrades in the C.M.F. our best wishes for 1944.

[Underlined] Sick [/Underlined].

[Underlined] L.A.C. Black. [/Underlined] Our latest news of Hugh Black is that he is in a civvie hospital in Oxford and that his arm is progressing favourably.

[Underlined] Christmas Carols. [/Underlined]

We feel that we should give the “Honourable mention” to L.A.C. Stan Akers and all who took part in the Carol Party at Christmas when the sum of £30 was raised for the Prisoners of War Fund. Congrats to Stan and his Silver Songsters.

[Underlined] Postings. [/Underlined]

We must make special mention of the posting of those two stalwart “Normans” – Cpls. Laycock and Royle. Good luck and Godspeed wherever you may go.
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[Underlined] “Raffology” [/Underlined]
[Two pictures]
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[Underlined] THE SCOTT COUNTRY. [/Underlined]

The Border counties of Scotland, sometimes known as “The Scott Country” are full of charm and interest. The countryside is not merely one of great natural loveliness; it is rich in historic and romantic associations as well. First of all, we will visit Melrose, a quiet town lying in the very heart of the borderland under the protecting guardianship of the three mountain peaks, “The Eildon Three”. The river Tweed, like a broad, silver ribbon, winds down its picturesque valley. The Great Minstrel who is so closely identified with it has said:-
“If thou woulds’t [sic] view fair Melrose right,
Go visit it by pale moonlight.”
That we cannot do. By day, however, it is every whit [sic] as enchanting. It is region renowned in ballad, legend, song and story and glorified by the genius of Scotland’s Wizard of romance, Sir Walter Scott. His “Lay of the Last Minstrel” has filled the Border country with romantic notes whose echo never dies away. Abbotsford, the great romancer’s lovely Tweedside Home, is a castle of enchantment. Everything is practically as he left it in 1832. In it are a wealth of relics and mementoes, each with its strange and thrilling tale. Here are the keys of Loch Leven Castle which were thrown into the Loch when Queen Mary escaped, the sword of Montrose, the gun of Rob Roy and the drinking glass of Robert Burns. There are two superb armchairs, the gift of Constable, carved with groups of children, fruit and flowers in the Italian style; they came from Rome and are much admired. In the grounds is the effigy of his favourite dog, Madia; the head of Tom Purdie, carved by one of the masons who built Abbottsford, and a host of other features of interest.
Returning to the inside of the house, we visit the library which has an oak ceiling and contains countless treasures and relics, a chair carved in bogwood presented by the Pope; Napoleon’s writing case, taken from his carriage at Waterloo; momentoes [sic] of Flora Macdonald, Rob Roy, Robert Burns and Mary Queen of Scots, locks of Nelson’s and Wellington’s hair; several pictures of the poet’s home and 20,000 volumes.
The story of Abbotsford is a tragic drama in itself. No sooner was the great house finished and the dream of Sir Walter’s life complete; than the crash of ruin fell on his fortunes. The dreamer proved himself as great a hero as any his pen had portrayed. The effort cost him his life, but it made him the most heroic literary figure in the world. He died in his beloved home on the 22nd of September 1832. And in the peace of St. Mary’s aisle in Dryburgh Abbey, amid verdant lawns sheltered by ancient trees and caressed by the soft twining of honeysuckle and clematis, repose the remains of one of Scotland’s greatest sons.
Morag D. Morrison.
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[Underlined] OUR “JOHN BULL SHEET. [/Underlined]

From time to time we are appalled at the paradoxical inconsistent happenings that are incredibly enough being enacted in this 5th year of war. In order to allow you to cite such cases (after several appeals by individuals)we have introduced a new feature – “The John Bull Sheet” into our columns and though its medium you can voice such experiences as you consider are worthy of ridicule, criticism or appreciation! Here are the first batch.

An L.A.C. musician, giving his services free in the dance band, at a Sergeants’ dance, approached a Waaf of his acquaintance for a dance at the interval. In the middle of the dance the S.W.O. (bless ‘em all) approached him aggressively and ordered him from the floor! Surely this was completely unnecessary and showed a deporable [sic] lack of taste and good manners on the part of a senior N.C.O. who at least owed his rank if not himself a greater degree of courteous self control, and that it is time that this rank complex which is more deeply rooted than ever in certain mushroom-like promotres [sic], should be checked, and finally that it is always well to remember that the war won’t last for ever!

Our second effort appears to have been cribbed from a letter sent to the Daily Mirror live letter box. In this an ex-soldier, 1914-18, states that as a coppersmith, post war days found him unemployed and virtually destitute. Came ’39 and with it immediate employment in his own craft and in consequence he was able to marry, furnish a home and save money. In conclusion he asks with naïve bewilderment – who is responsible for this fortuitous change in my affairs – Hitler? Our reader asks “Is there an answer to this?”

Blackpool Watch Committee recently had two important items on their agenda. The first business was a motion to increase the Chief Constable’s salary from £750 to £1000 a year. After 10 minutes this was agreed to. The second business was to consider the award of some form of a pension to a former Blackpool policeman, who had volunteered for paratroop duties, and as a result of active service, had been discharged from the Army, and was unable to continue in his former position as a policeman. After 90 minutes heated dissension, by a small majority it was agreed that he should be award a temporary allowance of 6/- per week! So much is heard of empty phrases like “equality of sacrifice”, “democratic progressiveness” etc. that we wonder !!
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[Underlined] Competition Page [/Underlined]

In an effort to revive our interest in one another – be it inimical or amicable, we offer you a rather unusual competition. If you were to be shipwrecked on some remote desert isle and had to choose 8 companions from among personnel on this station, that is 4 Waaf and 4 airmen to share your isolation, whom would you select? On the entry forms (issued separately) you are to put down your own name followed by the 8 selected and at the side of these a brief remark as to why you made such a choice, viz. A.C. Plonk – Reliability. A.C.W. Blank – Cheerful personality, etc. There will be two prizes awarded for the best entries received, and a general summary of the answers printed in the next Mag.

BE [Underlined] BREVITIES [/Underlined].

[Underlined] Cpl. Jewell [/Underlined] states with feeling how superior (in all spheres) air-borne troops are to R.A.F. personnel.

[Underlined] Gen. (Quiz) [/underlined] wanted on that exclusive Guffite “Lindy Lee” Newton! All contributions in confidence to Editor.

[Underlined] Platonic Friendships. [/Underlined] Wanted by several Waddone personnel since recent posting of Waaf.

[Underlined] Will Someone [/Underlined] (preferably a Yank) teach Margaret Pickup how to ride a bicycle?

[Underlined] Joyce Porter [/Underlined] offers life-story with all its trimmings, to any enterprising Editor (except Editor of this Mag!)

[Underlined] Congratulations [/Underlined] to “Joe” Links on his recent marriage.

[Underlined] Welcome [/Underlined] to our American friends and may they have a pleasant and profitable stay with us. “England expects that every Waaf —“
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Lost – Pump One – W.O – For The Use Of
[two pictures]
This Picture Is Dedicated To Pat Buckingham & Daisy Wiles The “Hyar [sic] Joe Whadya [sic] Know” Girls.
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[Underlined] “WHAT HAS THE SERVICE DONE TO/FOR YOU?” [/Underlined]

In yet another “Mere Gen” Mass Psychology Quiz, we offer you the analysis of your answers to the questionnaire we circulated. To each of the following twelve questions we invited you to give the direct answer “More” or “Less”. Well, here are the tabulated results.

[Mass Psychology Quiz results]

It has been suggested that to give the direct answer “More” or “Less” was in some cases difficult, and we appreciate this and welcome the interest the questions have aroused. The results were more or less as anticipated – surprising features were (1) 3 people admitted appreciating home “Less” and (2) 56% avowed they grumbled less – we have our doots [sic]! (3) 1 person had apparently lost all interest in this life, answering “Less” to each question except No. 9. (4) while another entry showed “no change” to each question. (5) and finally, we must question with a little more than Editorial authority
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The statements of “Johnny” Dale and Morag Morrison that they take less interest in the opposite sex! However perhaps Service life does foist upon us a Jekyll and Hyde complex in some instances! Anyhow, thanks, everybody.

[Underlined] A MIXED GRILL. [/Underlined]

Two Englishmen met in Aberdeen. The first Englishman said to the other “No use coming to Aberdeen to make a living”. Second Englishman – “I’m not coming to make a living, I’m coming to finish my education”.

Two Scots, on seeing Nelson’s signal –
1st. “Just as usual – nae [Sic] word of Scotland”.
2nd. “Do you think Scots need to be told to do their duty?”

[Underlined] Church Notice. [/Underlined] “The speaker for the evening service will be nailed to the door”

An intimation from the same Church – “The flowers in the church will be distributed to those who are sick after the evening service”.

“You’ve got a model husband”, said the minster.
The wife looked up the dictionary – “A small imitation of the real article”.

Two Highlanders were discussing the fall of France. One said “Jock, it will be a stiff fight for us if the English give in next”.

A farm servant joined the Forces and seemed to lose his name; he was just 167. 167 do this, 167 do that. The climax was reached on Sunday. He heard the minister say, “No.167 – Art thou weary, art thou languid?”

We strongly suspect the perpetrator of this “grill” was no Sassenach! (Editor)
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R.A.F. Newbold,
Revel (Pailton)

Hello Waddyites,
I am writing this from my lonely WAAFless (mixed blessing!) outpost of the Empire in the heart of England.
As I write I can almost feel the vibration and hear the throb of the mighty engines of our war factories (but not quite!)
It is certainly a change of scene here though, as from my comfortable billet I can look over rolling undulating country, lanes with high hedges, fields sugar-beetless, and with hardly a “tate” in sight.
I am still following events at the Mere with close interest, through the medium of your excellent mag “Mere Gen”, which I am lucky enough to have sent on to me. I have been asked to put down a few impressions and incidents which have stuck in my mind during my 2 years 9 months at Mere, so here goes.
(A) Thanks to a certain Geordie civilian for his patient initiation of me during the halcyon days of “the few” (1941) at Mere.

(B) Apropos the Radio Ops “Sines I shall never forget”. “Twasna her-r-r fault Geo-rge! [sic]” “Friends! – are there any in this world?” “What [Underlined] did [/underlined] I tell you!”

(C) My “fellow cads” breathless first-night query :-

(D) “We must have bags of bodies on days next week you blokes”.

(E) “But [Underlined] darling! [/Underlined] – you know how frightfully rude these dirty big L.A.C’s are!

(F) Memories of hectic (?) days at egg-packing with the Branston R.A.F.

(G) My unbounded admiration for Bill Reynolds’ good natured stand in the face of a continuous heavy barrage from W.I.

(H) Happy recollections of good times spent at
(a) The pool – with the sun-worshipping types.
(b) The B & B – Many’s the time and oft......[sic]
(c) The Plough – Branston Booth.
The Red Lion – Dunston. Branston “Palais de Jive”.
(d) The “Hostile” – whoo-ooo! and lots more places where we sought relaxation awhile, and found it.
Thanks blokes for companionship and esprit-de-corps which I really think is difficult to surpass elsewhere. As for the WAAF – I can only echo the words of the old song “Bless ‘Em All!” Cheero.
Cpl. Geoff Hickman, Old Waddonian.
(Thanks a lot old man. Very glad to hear from one who was always a stalwart in our ranks. – Editor)
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[Underlined] QUIZ [/Underlined]

“Gig” Young’s brazen “oomphensive” on that civilian technician left even the most seasoned campaigner breathless.

Dot Wallace defending – among other things – her title as the “most kissable Waaf of the year” made a grand come-back. But then look at the practice she has had with the crew of P for Peter.

And, by the way, the most daring diabolical Jezebel-like man poaching ever experienced went to “Glamour Girl Gledhill” who literally swooned her way into the arms of that P.O. and froze Anne! This gilded “G” swaying sensuously to the swing of her alluring ear rings admitted that she wore the latter to give her “poise”. We thought the spelling was “BOYS”!

Perhaps the most astounding affinity of the festivities was that of the usual “frigidaire” Burbury for Johnny “Zero” Sale. Frank Potts assures us that it won’t happen again!

The passage of time has revealed our Xmas Quiz to be at fault. Our reference to V. Lee and Boom Town A.J. should be amended to read “and is not A.J. brushing up his basic Gallic in order to “Hogmonhay [sic]” with Pud Rice”. However, at the material time, Vera was “bobbing” in that direction!

Cpl. Jarvis – (yes, It’s taken some time to pin you down, Chas.) seen in friendly escort of a charming blonde Dianne!

That little black-eyed bundle from “Hell’s Kitchen” Chris Paterson taking a very healthy interest in “Oh Johnnie – oh!

S/O Scott, a normally very discreet individual, somewhat challengingly described herself in our hearing as a “blameless woman”. We accept this assertion, but we would like more details of her trip to Nottingham and even more details of “John”!

Playboy Simmons doing the rounds with a striking civilian brunette.

Luscious Laura showing great concern for the Padre’s shoes at the Xmas Party. Quite a shoe-shine-boy effect!

Cowgirl Standford now in love with a far distant A.C.2 – described as a bird fancier. Or is this propaganda to stir Bernard Wynn from “evasion” into “action”?
[Page break]
Maisie Bassford on a man hunt at the Astoria!

Perhaps the most pleasing of the tail end of ’43 was the “friendship” which “embraced” Cpls. Akenhead and Robertson.

“Honey chile” Billington, after assisting Bunny Ryan to renounce single blessedness apparently got lost with the best man, a U/T parson in London. She denies she persuaded him to consider a conversion course.

Anne Thompson asks us to make public her intense disapproval of this “Quiz Biz”. We can’t understand why!

We commiserate with the Waaf who was advised by her doctor to exclude potatoes and bread from her diet! Did he realise this would have meant “day and night” starvation?

The Gledhill-Beard combine are keen to cultivate the acquaintance of any sailor. We must warn any suppliant Matelot however that it is only a means to an end – the end being the purchase of some blankets at reduced prices, through some sailor’s stores!

Andy Adamson settling well in Branston’s social whirl!

Our condolences to the airman who when taking his landlady’s dog for an airing omitted to salute the officer in charge of a passing squad, and as a “Salut”ary [sic] punishment was made to fall in plus dog, with the squad!

A news flash from Cheadle “Quiztapo” tells us that Johnny Dale left behind him a trail of broken hearts, on his not so “detached” visit to our “Alma Mater”!

Joan Carruthers unusually talkative to her Yankee Cpl!

With Sgt. “Spike” Hughes in our midst again, we warn all Waaf to pay particular heed to warnings (a) Gypsy (b) Maternal!

Eunice Austen progressing by “leaps” and bounds with a paratroop N.C.O! However, she refers (in orderly room fashion) to another paramour as “Charlie” among her friends. (But of course that’s not how we got we know).

Our commiseration with Fred Palin who in an endeavour to discover the programme at the Regal Cinema, approached the shadowy figure of the commissionaire with “What’s on mate?”, to find he was addressing a R.A.F. Officer!
[Page break]
General surprise is expressed at the acceptance of a “Yankee” blind date by a certain diminutive “steady” L.A.C.W. We accept her explanation of the circumstances, condemn the influence of the two Waaf who accompanied her, and commend the efforts of the L.A.C. Harrison/Allman to prevent the date and guide her in the paths so few of us want to follow!

“Davey” Jones blushing in his own “mechanical” fashion admits the “chase” of a certain Joyce!

Cpl. Robertson having no difficulty with Waaf “transport” these days.

“Wee .Three” Mesdames Crossley, Pell and Whitwam have started a new fashion in Hut 1 by kissing each other “nightie night”! Very touching kid – don’t you fink?

Blackout conversation piece. Scene – Canwick Hill. Time 2250 hours. A Yank mutters something unintelligible and out of the inky night floats the voice of Blondie Barnes, “Can you see any green in my eye?”

L.A.C. Lott deserting his democratic principles and dancing attention on ? Very sporty – Oh, Scotty!!

Lost – one ground sheet belonging to L.A.C.W. Fitz. She would welcome its return but takes a poor view of the suggestions forthcoming as to how it might have been lost!

Bunny Galbraith taking a very commendable interest in a learned treatise on Theology. It has been rather unkindly suggested by a certain senior N.C.O. that she would be more profitably employed in the study of a handbook on “The Art of Handwriting!”

[Underlined] THEY SPEAK NOT WITH THE TONGUES OF MEN---! [/Underlined]

Some current peculiar expressions heard on the Station which we think warrant your attention.

(a) She’d make a smashing wife – but a rotten sweetheart!

(b) Dim! He’s as dim as a Toc H Lamp!
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(c) Oh, yes. He’s in a “deserved” occupation!

(d) Now these fellows had never even heard a bullet fired in anger!

(e) He “jived” with his boots on!

(f) Now I like to call a spade a shovel!

(g) I get around – I’ve got a bike!

(h) My landlady continuously described herself as a working woman I didn’t get it, because that was the one thing she didn’t do!

(i) I used to look after the W/Commander’s cat when I was at Cheadle!

(j) Have you ever been with, or alternatively, have been done by?

(k) If you go off without a pass you’ve only two things to worry about – and S.P’s are both of them!

(l) We had cab horse rissoles at the Naafi – you eat one and the other moves up!

L.A.C Harry Davis (late cartoonist “Mere Gen”) now with the R.N.A.F. writes to say

“Thanks a million for the copy of Mere Gen only just received. It has apparently travelled all round North Africa and done a few round trips from Tunis to Algiers! Wish I were back at the Mere again helping with the “Gen” “

(Thanks a lot Harry – we haven’t forgotten you. Editor.)

[Underlined] COLLECTED JOKES [/Underlined]

Two airmen sat on a pyramid reading letters from home. “Hurrah” yelled Bill, “the wife’s had another baby son!”.
“But you haven’t been home for 3 years”.
“What’s that matter, there’s was three years between me and our George!”

[Page break]
[Underlined] COLLECTED JOKES (continued) [/Underlined]

Overheard in a Waaf Hostel —
1st Waaf. “I’m going to have my fortune told. Do you think I should see a phrenologist or a palmist?”
2nd Waaf. “I should go to a Palmist. After all, you have two hands, haven’t you, dearie”

Put the milk down, boys.

A wise man is one who has never allowed a woman to pin anything on him since he was a baby.

It’s a stiff neck that knows no turning when a short skirt passes by.

The doctor stroked his chin and looked rather worried. “H’m, this is serious” he said, “have you told your husband?”
“But doctor, I’m not married!”
“H’m. That makes it worse, have you told your young man?”
“But I haven’t got a young man – as a matter of fact doctor, I’ve never been out with a man in my life”
The doctor didn’t answer but went to look out the window – then out of the door. This went on for some time until the patient’s patience was exhausted.
“See here doctor, what’s the idea leaving me half dressed while you look up and down the street?”
“Well miss, last time this happened, three wise men came from the East – I was looking to see if they were on the way again!!!



“Mere Gen March 1944,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed June 16, 2024,

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