Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother



Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother


Catches up with family news. Writes of life at RAF on Initial Training Wing at RAF Aberystwyth. Tells her what scores he got in tests, how much he’s earning and how leave is looking more unlikely. He also tells her about being interviewed by the Wing Commander for a commission but he is not interested. Dreams of Christmas leave fading and bemoans lack of postings.




Seven page handwritten letter


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No1436220 LAC. Akrill WE.

A Flight. No 4 Squadron,

No 6 I.T.W. R.A.F.


Friday [inserted] ? 17th [/inserted]

Dear Mum.

Very glad to get your letter at dinner time. I was looking out for one! Glad to know that Mary’s found out she’s exempt. I’m afraid she was worrying about it. Its [sic] definately [sic] not the life for her & she’s doing a thousand times more where she is. There’s a lot I’d sooner do than see her in uniform - not that I‘ve anything against the women services for those they suit. Glad she’s going to the R.T.G.O. it will do her good. For heavens sake tell her not to go & kill herself in that old garden. Its [sic] a brute to manage & she’ll not get much help or encouragement.

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That digging’s too hard for her to do. “Mind my props!!” I’ve not got them stitched on yet - going to the tailor’s tomorrow -. Some of them just ran all the way down the street and arrived back with them on, very important and breathless! Very funny! I expect we’ll be getting L.A.C’s pay on next payday. - a fortnight today -. We get back money from a fortnight ago when we finished exams. Pay’s better than I thought. 5/6 a day. Not bad when we get it all & still £1 [inserted] leave [/inserted] ration money to come. Don’t you think £2 was easily earned money on my weeks leave? [underlined] When [/underlined] we get to E.F.T.S. & start flying I think we get an extra 2/- a day flying pay. I must decide how to save it best. If we look like leaving soon I shall see

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what we do & then get some paid to home. I’d better tell you my exam marks:- Law 64%. Hygiene 66% Aircraft Rec. 92% Navigation 79 1/2% Armaments. 86%. Signals I don’t know but except for lamp receiving I think I got 95% at “sixes”. Law & Hygiene ain’t very good but I’ve passed & that’s all I cared. I counted on 100% in A. Rec. but the test was pretty hot. Everyone lost marks over one question in Navi. On Conventional Signs on maps. I bet I lost [deleted] 15 [/deleted] a good 15 on it so did quite well.

We don’t do a thing these days in the way of work or lectures. Just spend the days messing around in the rain doing drill for Group Captains and Wing Commanders (and Sergeants.) dear old Brownie

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[underlined] 4 [/underlined]

having room inspections &, we read or talk & mess about in all lectures except Navi. where we’re having an easy time with a supplementary Course. Also having lectures by the Padre pretty frequently. Today we started a jolly interesting course in ju-jitsi (Mr. Henry will explain what that is) with special references to Japanese methods. What’s more we don’t need to parade until 8.30 or 9 for lectures so have a long stay in bed & also finish at 5.30. What a change - there’s no working at nights either. And all for 5/6 a day.

On Tuesday we had our interviews with Wing Com. re commissions. I’m not interested but had to undergo the torture which wasn’t so bad after all.

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[underlined] 5 [/underlined]

You just stride very noisily into his room, stamp like mad on the floor, salute & stand like a wooden dummy while he squints at you & wait for questions which never came except for idiotic ones like “how old are you” & “where do you come from” We both knew the answers as he had my papers. Then he dismisses you & with himself, the Sq/Ldr & Newell looking on you stamp a salute again & stride out. From that he’s supposed to know whether or not you deserve a commission!

Well I seem to have written as much as anybody’s likely to want to read all at once.

Dreams of Xmas leave are fading rather. Very much afraid we’ll still

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[underlined] 6 [/underlined]

be here. Overseas postings uncertain and Home posting will grow more & more impossible as the weather gets worse. Talking of applying for New Year leave but not counting on it so we’ll look forward to next March anyway! Story going round that 50% of flight at Hatfield have failed through air sickness. Gosh [double underlined] how [/double underlined] I hope I [deleted] can [/deleted] am O.K in that direction. I don’t drink or smoke & I’d give up eating if I thought that would do any good. Suppose I can only wait & hope for the best. Well as the boys are saying every day longer we stay here prolongs our life so why worry?

I [underlined] did [/underlined] have a good time at home. Felt a bit lost & queer for a couple of days - every one seems to have done but was just getting into it when it was

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[underlined] 7 [/underlined]

over. Could just have done with another week. Well, March isn’t so far off & it’ll be great at Potter Hill then! Wonder if [inserted] our [/inserted] baby will have arrived. Hope so.

Well its going nine. Must listen to news. Quite exciting these days.

Glad to here [sic] James turned up.

Best of love to everybody Be glad to hear from anybody who feels like writing.


[underlined] Bill [/underlined]



William Akrill, “Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed September 21, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/17989.

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