Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother



Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother


Writes of importance of getting their letters, especially in a new place and catches up with news. Describes journey to Theale and new location. Writes about his how his flying training is going as well as time in a link trainer and how poor the ground instruction is. Mentions flying accident which led to the pilot being court martialled.




Five page handwritten letter


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1436220 L.A.C. Akrill
No 26 E.F.T.S
Nr. Reading,
[underlined] Wed.[/underlined]
Dear all,
Very glad to hear from mum & Mary today. Been looking out for a letter. I’m quite shut off from the outside world here & letters are even more valuable.
Poor old Maim & Smokey. It always seems to be my favourite. Remember Midge Minor? Hope Tub’s O.K.
Sorry about May’s teeth and cold. Hope they’re better by now. Yes I left my cold in Aber. The climate there was very sticky and mild. Here it its been frosty & my cold’s quite gone so that’s no need to worry you.
Mary says “ Fancy going up in
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a plane.” Well, after all that’s what I joined the Raf for isn’t it!
Yes as you say mum, the Raf certainly [underlined] is [/underlined]thoughtless as far as personal feelings & comfort are concerned. Tired wasn’t the word after working all Tues. travelling all night & rushing round all Wed. & guard until 11.0! Yes this is a lovely spot but of course the gardens & park & woods are very definately [sic] out of bounds. The garden’s full of birds & squirrels & the park has a fine herd of dairy shorthorns, & scores of cock pheasants walking right up to the lecture room windows. So you see its quite like home (except that that pheasants have a very undisturbed life)
I’ve done an hour or two’s flying now but our group’s always been unlucky with weather conditions & day’s non flying & we’ve done much less than the others
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My instr. also seems to have his hands full elsewhere so I don’t get much in. I’m getting on O.K though & it’s grand while it lasts. I have to work hard while I’m up too – no joy riding with my instr. I’m at the controls all the time (after he’s taken off I’ve not done that yet but may get it tomorrow [underlined] if [/underlined] weather [indecipherable word] is ok) I’ve done straight & level flights climbing, gliding, turning, stalling and pulling it out of stalls & also I land with his guidance & assistance. Weather conditions make all the difference. On my second trip it was very bumpy & I met my first clouds & got quite muddled for a while. Stalls are great. You pull back the throttle, pull the stick back into your stomach & the nose goes right up & the plane stalls. You lose all control & down you go nose first. Luckily its easy to regain control
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I’ve also had a coupe of hours on the link. This is far more advanced than the tiger & a hundred times more difficult to handle. If you can fly a link you can fly anything. We’re not supposed to start on it until we’ve done 30 hrs sols, so you can guess we’re finding it difficult. My first 2 attempts were hopeless & nearly turned my instrs hair grey but I managed to grasp it more today. You have a whole panel full of instruments to watch & the thing is so delicate & sensitive that the slightest movements send the thing of course. I was like a bull in a china shop & my instr. kept yelling “ Don’t treat the stick like a beer pump handle”
Lectures are boring & the instructors have no idea how to teach. We don’t have to do much but we get an exam at the end. I think its definate that
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whatever happens we’ll be gone at the end of 3 weeks. Grade 1 & leave I hope!
Alright Mya I’ll be [underlined] very [/underlined] careful!! There have been a very few minor accidents here & one serious one when a bright young chap “shot up” an A.T.S. camp near here & was flying low over the parade ground with eyes on the ground & suddenly saw a tree in front & ended up in the next field on his nose. He wasn’t hurt but the kite was “written off” & he was Court Martialled yesterday & has now disappeared from no 26 EFTS. So that should be lesson enough!
Well, nearly tea time I’ve got off early today been having [one indecipherable word] & so missed flying again, we usually work until 6.0
Best love to Rose, Harry & Paddy & all. Love to Kelsey folk. Afraid I haven’t written.
[underlined] Bill [/underlined]
P.S. Yes I’ve got on thick pants thick vest and pullover



William Akrill, “Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed May 26, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/17994.

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