Letter from Bill Akrill to Ros and Harry



Letter from Bill Akrill to Ros and Harry


Bill relates how he has been showing Michael's photograph to everyone he meet, whether they are interested or not. Mentions how he has had a long day flying and has been invited to spend Christmas with friends living locally. Describes a visit to Oxford - wet and busy and nothing in the shops anyway - so hasn't been able to get cards or presents for anyone. Looking forward to the camp pantomime. Sends message to Michael about looking out for Father Christmas.




Temporal Coverage



Five page handwritten letter


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1 1436220 Sgt. Akrill. W.E.
Sgts. Mess,
R.A.F. Station.
Mon. 21.12.42. Upper Heyford.

Dear Ros & Harry,

I don’t know whether you’ll get this by Christmas, if not you’ll have to forgive me for not thanking you for letter and photograph of Michael before but opportunities for letters don’t present themselves very often.

Everybody has to look at my photo of Michael and the one of mum & him!! I don’t suppose they’re really interested - [deleted] they [/deleted]the boys prefer them of glamorous looking lady friends - but I show them all the same!! Sergt. Hughes (who is billeted with his wife and 3 youngsters at the Bates) has a baby of 4 months who’s also ‘Michael’ and a funny

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[underlined] 2 [/underlined] little mite who’se [sic] had a terrible cold and I thought it was a bit thoughtless of me to show him [underlined] my [/underlined] Michaels photo which looked so different from their poor little chap.

I got down to chapel last night for the first time for a fortnight though I had a rush as I didn’t land ‘til
late having been up since morning [deleted] 250 [/deleted] dropping 250 pounders on our target in the Bristol Channel, and had had no dinner or tea. I went to the Bates’s for supper afterwards. Both they and Sgt. Hughes asked me to spend Christmas day there. Sgt. Hughes declared the camp would be no place for me then!! He’s a grand chap & takes a fatherly interest in me. Sgt. Arding (Sgt. Hughes’s friend - they are both Link Trainer Instructors) will be there

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[underlined] 3 [/underlined] too. It’s very good of the Bates, I feel really that I shouldn’t go with rationing as it is. There’s now a rumour about having to fly over Christmas if the weather’s O.K. but I don’t think we will though it would be a great pity to miss a fine night or day. I should have quite an uneasy conscience!!

On Saturday, my monthly day off, I went into Oxford with one of the Bombadiers [sic] - “Junior” as we call him and tried to look round shops. Oh dear!! The last Saturday before Christmas in a garrison town on a poring wet day in war time. Couldn’t get near the shops which were empty anyway! So nobody’s getting presents or cards from me this year! There are lots of good book shops so I shall see if I can get in again when the rush is over and have a look round - just to amuse myself.

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[underlined] 4 [/underlined] As it’s too late now to write letters I’ve got a ticket for the Camp Pantomime tonight (W. Officers and Senior N.C.O’s & friends only - snobs night!!!!) but I feel pretty certain that the night flying detail will rather disorganise my arrangements! It’s Dick Whittington & is by personel [sic] of the Camp. They say it’s very good - lots of cracks about are various C.O.s [indecipherable word].

Tell Michael I’ve been looking out [deleted] for [/deleted] among the clouds for a sleigh and reindeer and dear old Santa Claus himself with his sack. Perhaps it’s a bit early yet. We may see him on Christmas Eve!! Maybe he’s got an aeroplane now though! Anyway I hope he’s a good Navigator and gets round to everyone alright. Expect he’s lots of

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[underlined] 5 [/underlined] things for Michael though toys seem to be out of the question. One of our boys made a beautiful model Wimpey [sic] out of an odd chunk of wood for his little lad.

Well, I’ll wish you all a very happy Christmas (if this isn’t too late!!)

Be sure I’ll be thinking about you all. Love to all [underlined] Bill [/underlined]



William Akrill, “Letter from Bill Akrill to Ros and Harry,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed September 30, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/17986.

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