Letter from Bill Akrill to all



Letter from Bill Akrill to all


Bill writes before having to take part in an inter-squadron run that afternoon, which he is not looking forward to. They are all getting excited about the prospect of leave, but if they fail exams this will be cancelled for them.

He describes the run-up to an inspection by the Wing Commander which they have to go through every week, but it went very well.

Writes about news from home and the trains he will catch when he comes home for leave.




Temporal Coverage



Four page handwritten letter


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1436220 Akrill WE.
A Flight, No 4 Squadron,
No 6 I.T.W. R.A.F.
Sat. 1 Nov. ‘41
Dear All,
Just got mum’s letter. Had a nice easy morning and have an [word deleted] hour to spare before dinner so I thought I’d better get this off. Have to go in the inter – squadron run again this afternoon though I don’t feel at all like it. It’s a terrible course up & down the biggest hill in the district. I’m expecting a gentleman calling on me at any moment. I don’t know who he is but I suppose it will be either Mr Eliner, the old gentleman or, most likely Mr Bray, the Minister.
Wer’e [sic] all getting excited about leave. It’s pretty certain we’ll get it from the 21st. though if we fail in Signals or Armaments Exams we don’t get any and if we fail in Navigation we’ll be recalled by telegram. So for the sake of leave if nothing else I’m doing my best to get through!
We’ve started with the Aldis lamp which doesn’t seem too easy at first. We’ve only a fortnight to learn it & perfect our buzzer. Navigation is getting involved but not difficult.

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Wish you could have seen us yesterday morning. We have become the “Bullshit” (that’s not being rude – it’s the usual term) of our Squadron. This means that every Friday morning we have to be inspected by the C.O. and give him an exhibition of drill on the front. He gives marks for this & for the condition of our rooms & there is a Challenge Cup for the best Sqdn. Each month. 4 Sqdn has won it for 5 months in succession. It’s up to us now & if we still do well wer’e [sic] [underlined] hoping [/underlined] for extra leave sometime. Yesterday we were marched out to the front with boots & buttons & faces shining, flashes clean & everything perfect. We took up position on the front and felt extremely important when our RAF armed guard was mounted round us. Then N.C.O’s & Warrant Officers came fussing round us in crowds, adjusting ties & caps etc. then up came the Sqdn Ldr & started issuing commands in a voice like a dying pig & N.C.O.’s & W.O’s took up positions behind us & in front of us was first the S/L then behind him the Fl/Lt. the S/Leader’s commands were so funny I nearly disgraced myself by laughing outright but just then the wing commander & his escort appeared & the inspection began. By this time half the population
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of Aberystwyth had turned up to watch. Then we put up a show of drill & apart from our slow march it was really good. For the first time Sergt. Brown gave us a word of praise & said our Quick March was very good indeed. The Sdn: Ldr. Was in raptures & we got a note in D.R.O’s congratulating us on our excellent show. We shall now have to go through this every week until we are posted. Our F/L is leaving us today & going to E.F.T.S. so may see him when we get there. Don’t like our new one much but at least he has wings.
You seem to be having plenty of weather at home. Hope it changes soon. Not too bad at all here. I got a letter from Phyllis today. You seem to be having plenty of visitors. I was ever so upset to hear that Mr Henry was leaving. Wonder why they change about so much. Is there being another change round at the drome I wonder. I suppose he will have gone before I have leave. I was so much looking forward to seeing him. Sorry to hear about Mrs. Baines. I am going to find out about trains soon. I believe there’s one leaves Aberystwyth about 1.30, so I should get somewhere near home by night & with luck get there by Saturday morning. Have to leave again on the next Saturday morning at the latest.
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You may think I’m getting it soon but I don’t. Some people such as ACW Blow seem to be home every other week. Oh yes I should get a day or two at Christmas if I’ve time to get home.
Well, best of love to all,
[underlined] Bill [/underlines]
P.S. Mr Elinor hast just called to ask me to tea tomorrow.



William Akrill, “Letter from Bill Akrill to all,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed December 1, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/18000.

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