Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother



Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother


Writes of life and events at his current location (NW London), and upcoming posting to Initial Training Wing. Says he will be glad to get away but has made some good friends. Mentions a recent air raid and anti aircraft guns sounding throughout the night. Catches up with family news. Sends a flight photograph with the letter and identifies various people on it.


Spatial Coverage



Four page handwritten letter


IBCC Digital Archive


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1436220 Akrill W.E. RAF
Avenue Close, NW8
Thursday afternoon
Dear Mum,
I thought I may as well write home again this afternoon. I have a bit of time & we’re not allowed out of billets. We have another Posting Parade at 4.30 in an hours time. We had one this morning [deleted] and [/deleted] but all I know is that I am being posted presumably to some I.T.W. either tonight, the small hours of [deleted indecipherable word] tomorrow morning or tomorrow night or Saturday morning and that, luckily I’m still with what remains of our old flight except that Ron[?] isn’t with us. I’d have been very sorry if [deleted word] I’d been parted from Phil or Joe. They are a grand pair. Joe’s aptitude for seeing the funny side of all our trials & troubles keeps us from getting too “browned off” We’ve been very happy billeted together & I do hope will still be at I.T.W. I’ve not the faintest idea where we’re going and officially we’re not supposed to know until we get there but we may find out from our Corporal.
[page break]
I shall certainly be glad to get away from this place. Receiving Centre was bad enough but “P” Squadron is service life at its worst – or so I hope. We were all absolutely “browned off” before Posting Parade. Some of us had just finished a 24 hr guard and were just about all in & hadn’t even the energy to wash & clean our buttons when we were called out. In [underlined] theory [/underlined] we’re excused all parades today. My shoulders & legs ache with supporting gas capes & masks, tin hats, water bottles & webbing straps for hours on end. I don’t know what I’ll do if we’re called out in the early hours! My vaccination’s rather a mess but my cold didn’t develop.
We’ve opened a new Cookhouse here – a vile place but it doesn’t worry me because I don’t go if I can help it. I’ve found my heart’s desire. There’s plenty of milk to be had in London, though I was rather surprised. I don’t think there is any rationing here. Everything is plentiful. There’s a nice bakery here where you can sit outside and eat lemon curd cheesecakes & drink milk to your hearts content. This place is a great favourite with Joe & me.
[page break]
We had Jerry over here last night and the guns were sounding throughout the night but there was no warning. Nobody bothered about such a trifle but I could imagine what a raid must have sounded like. The guns were terriffic[sic]. A number of fine buildings around here have been hit & part of thee flats are unsafe. There are whole rows of empty houses in St. John’s Wood.
[underlined] Later [/underlined] Have got our flight photographs & am sending one home. Wish I had time to tell you about all the boys. They are a grand lot & I’m glad that about ½ of us are still together. The Corporal isn’t our own, he was a great chap. Phil is 4th from left on top row. Joe 2nd from right front row. Ken 5th from left 2nd row down. As you can see I’m having trouble with this hat. It’s always falling off backwards or sidewards
[page break]
I’ve just had mother’s letter & also one from Annie B, but haven’t got Mary’s. What a pity she sent the parcel now. I may get it in the morning, and I hope I get the letter but it may be a long time. What a pity the weather’s so bad. It’s not quite as boiling hot here now but very fine & warm. Very pleased with mum’s long letter. I’ve not had time to read it thoroughly yet. I usually read them over a good many times. I had one from Mick the other day but Dave’s not replied.
Am [underlined] not [/underlined] sending washing as I said, as I’ve not been able to get it sent off. Will see what happens at I.T.W. Will send my address when I get there.
Hope everybody’s O.K. How’s Dear Henry?
Best of love.



William Akrill, “Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed September 22, 2021, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/17988.

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