Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother



Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother


Bill writes that he is about to be posted within London for a short period. [page missing] Have been given food to improve night vision but he really misses getting fresh milk. Are about to move and really feel they have left 'civvie street' now.

Catches up with family and farm news as well as his daily activities.

Gives new address at the end (but only for a week). Has passed his exams and will be posted to Initial Training Wing soon.




Temporal Coverage

Spatial Coverage



Five page handwritten letter


IBCC Digital Archive


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Cadet. NO 1436220 A.C.2. Akrill,
9/12. No 4 Squadron,
Friday night 26 Sept. 1941. Bentinck Close,
Prince Albert Road,

Dear Mum,

Glad to have a letter from you this morning. Also had one from Rosie, much to my surprise. I had written to the boys but they havn’t replied. I thought I’d better get most of this letter written tonight as we’re moving tomorrow & will perhaps not have much time. I don’t know yet where [deleted] we [/deleted] I am going but I am not moving from London just yet. Only 3 of our flight have been posted. They went off to I.T.W today. Our flight will be split up & go either to Avenue Close to await posting or to Viceroy Court (next door) for a Maths Course. I’m really not bothered what happens. At Viceroy we get a very good course of lectures in Maths. Aircraft Recognition & Morse, at Avenue we just wait about feeling “browned off’. Well I’ll enclose my new address, but it won’t be permanent.

I’ve completely recovered innoculations [sic]. I felt practically no effect & went out to the chapel in the evening & had a sing song with five other Cadets & I

[page break]

[missing page]

[underlined] 3 [/underlined]
about every meal too to improve our night vision. I’ve never drunk so much tea before or eaten so much chocolate which is very plentiful. We buy pounds of apples & I’m devouring one now. I always seem to be hungry though I ‘m eating nearly as much as usual. Fancy talking about tomatoes. I must buy some. All the window boxes are full here. But how I could do with a few glasses of [underlined] new milk [/underlined]. That’s one thing I don’t think we can get here & I’m dying for one (well not quite). We hardly dare drink the tea as its liable to be strongly doped. Kept everybody awake one night on the rum! It was like dynamite!!!

Ro I’ve not seen Mr. Woods. I don’t suppose I’d know him but he’s not in our flight. There are hundreds coming in every Monday.

Glad you’ve got Phyllis there. Hope [deleted] she gets [/deleted] it does her good. Hope Peter likes being at school.

Hope you’ll soon be able to get the barley. What a job. You should be having our scorching weather! What a sensation about Bill. B! Where did they get it? Who were they? I could just

[page break]

do with one of your Bramble Pies! Glad to hear Joyce is back. Give her my best regards. And [underlined] please [/underlined] I wan’t to hear from everybody. I’m sure daddy could manage a few minutes & I should appreciate it. I hope Mary will write. Tell Nip I’ve just been singing “Good Bye Dolly” in the bath & that like her everybody admires my brown back! Our bathrooms are gorgeous  especially when we’ve polished them up for C.O’s inspection. Which reminds me. I scrubbed the floor of our room the other day. Got up at 5.30. to do it & hadn’t time for breakfast. But the old Boy told us it was [underlined] very [/underlined] clean. Gosh! Its surprising what fellows will do in the hope of becoming pilots! Nobody grumbles about scrubbing & polishing & we do make a good job of it. Well (to continue) I was going to say that I’d be glad to hear from Nip too. Heard from H & R. Letters always acceptable. Must go to sleep as boys are waiting to & I’m tired after a strenuous day’s [underlined] drill [/underlined].

[underlined] Saturday [/underlined] Waiting now for the Squadron Parade in full Kit. We’ve just got it all packed up.

[page break]

[underlined] 5 [/underlined]
I feel like a pack mule & I can sympathise with those fellows who did pack drill at Collingham. We have three rucksacks full, steel helmet, gas cape, water bottle, respirator all strapped on & in addition to this our kit bags & cases. Fortunately we’ve not far to go. Don’t know where yet.

We sent off our civvies yesterday. They will be at the Station sometime next week I expect. We’ve quite left “Civvie [sic] Street” behind now. We gave up our Identity Cards on Wednesday & got blue pass books, so I can’t ever pretend to be a Civilian again. We had pay parade on Thursday. 30/- for a fortnight. They pay to the nearest 10/- & the rest goes over to the next fortnight.

This morning my vaccination is beginning to burst & make a nasty mess.

Give my love to everyone, will enclose my new address with this letter when I know it. Cheerio. [underlined] Bill [/underlined]

[page break]

P.S. Have you sent off those books &c yet? And have they replied?

Here is my new address  (for I hope not more than a week).

Cadet [underlined] No [/underlined] 1436220 A.C.2. Akrill W. E.
5 flight
P squadron.
Posting wing.
You will see that I Avenue Close.
have passed my Exams Avenue Road.
and am still with Joe, Ken London NW.8.
& Phil, billeted in a [underlined] kitchen [/underlined] of another luxury flat [deleted] in a [/deleted] some distance from Bentinck. A number of old chums are not with us. We expect to go to I.T.W a week today. Very very [deleted] stickt [/deleted] keen on discipline here. Yes I can do with a clean pair of pyjamas but wait till I get to I.T.W. [deleted] Write /deleted] If you write write as soon as you can, at least before Wed. or Thurs. so that I’m sure of getting it. [underlined] Bill [/underlined]



William Akrill, “Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed March 27, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/17999.

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