Letter from Bill Akrill to mother, Mary and Nip



Letter from Bill Akrill to mother, Mary and Nip


A detailed letter from Bill to his family, explaining life and events in the RAF Camp.

Includes orderly room administration duties, being captain of squadron running team, being issued with flying kit (which he details), exams, his visit to an elderly local man (who had been Curator of the National Library of Wales) and a 1000-man church parade for Armistice Day.




Temporal Coverage



Three page handwritten letter


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Dear Mum, Mary & Nip.
Excuse me all of you for a combined letter but I haven’t much time for letter writing these days. Very glad to get all your letters though. Don’t be surprised if this turns out a bit queer as I’m writing this in the Orderly Room whilst on Guard Duty doing a spot of clerical work for a change. Have to book all the Cadets in and out and see to passes oc. so with the Cadets coming in and out and permanent staff sergeants rushing in and out it may be a funny sort of letter. Now sharing the watch with the dear Sergeant Brown who is busy asking me all about the Inter squadron run this afternoon. I have now attained the distinction of becoming Captain of the Squadron Team but as 4 Squadron [one indecipherable word] does any good its not much of an honour. Still led my team in today & we put up a better average and I’m hoping we can put up a better show next week though the other Squadrons are pretty hot.
We had a great excitement [deleted] last [/deleted] this week when we got our Flying Kit! We’re beginning to feel almost like airmen now. It’s the first connection with flying we’ve seen so far. Wish you could have seen us trying it on at night. Really. I looked quite like a pilot! It must have cost an amount. 2 suits— that is a “lining” which looks just like an eiderdown quilt and an overall with a grand fur collar which pleases me a lot! The helmet makes me look super with all its wireless whatnots dangling. The boots are the best, beautiful fur-lined things which wear grand. You don’t know you’ve got them on! Some chaps got sweid [sic] (pronounced swade but I can’t spell it) ones with zips just like Mary wanted but mine are
[page break]
Not so cissy and good strong wearable ones. When I’ve passed my exams I’ll have a photo done in it.
We start exams in just one week and so that means WORK. So please don’t expect further letters after this or you’ll not be seeing me in a fortnights time.
Now a terrific scuffle just ended one flight just come off leave and a new flight come in & the Squadron Leaders been charging in and out in a great stew. He’s a very good sort provided everything goes alright. I’m sorry we’ve lost Flight Leiut. [sic] Dickey though. Fortunately the changed their minds about minds about the stooge who was going to take over and now we’ve got a Pilot Officer whose [sic] a good sport but no more.
Had a very good time at Mr. Elinors last Sunday. He’s a grand old man. 85 but you’d think he wasn’t a day more than 60. He had a school at Eagle, then went to Winchester & the Gibralter & finally became a Curator at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth. Had tons of stories to tell & he roared with laughing whilst telling them. I had a really good afternoon. He also had a fine collection of water colours and a garden.
Had a letter from Dave this week, I think he did very well indeed. It’s hard to get into the F.A.A as a pilot.
Well mustn’t waste any more time or paper. Nothing of importance to write about. Expect me a fortnight on Sat if [inserted] when [/inserted] you see me.
Ever so glad about Sq/Ldr Henry
[underlined] Bill [/underlined]
[page break]
[inserted] [underlined] Sun Morn [/underlined] [/inserted]
Must just tell you all about our Wing Church Parade this morning – an Armistice Remembrance affair Everyone except R. Catholics, Buddists [sic] and the like had to attend. I’ve never attended church under stranger circumstances. Usually on Sunday Morning C.P. the C of Es have some sort of march past be we O D’s (other denominations) just parade to the Methodist Chapel which I attend and listen to a good sermon by the Pastor whose a Methodist and a grand chap.& then we can stroll back on our own. Today the whole Wing — all four squadrons — about 1,000 men in all — was on one parade. We give a parade just by the Church but we still had to march all round the town and back again & in to Church [deleted] with [/deleted] past files of Officers. The service was a flop but as long as we marched alright nothing else mattered. When we came out again the Squadron Leader was getting more in a flap then ever he’s quite lost without our old Flt/Lt who did all the work for him. Well the Squadrons moved off again with the Band leading the way to the Saluting Base on the front. Where the Wing Com. With Squadron Leaders had rushed up to take the salute. The band took up position behind the Saluting Base and made such a din that no one heard the eyes left as we went by & that made rather a mess of things. Still our flight had been put on the front rank & we can [underlined] March [/underlined]if nothing else.
Well that was Church Parade with a vengeance. Can you wonder if fellows say “ Well If this is religion I don’t want any. Ah well I hope I’ll be doing Church Parade on my bike in a fortnights time. It would do with a good oiling I should think if anybody feels like it.
Glad t hear about Mar. is Mrs. H. alright?
[underlined] Bill [/underlined]



William Akrill, “Letter from Bill Akrill to mother, Mary and Nip,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed December 7, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/18001.

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