Letter from Bill Akrill to Mary



Letter from Bill Akrill to Mary


Thanks her for parcel including half a cheese-cake. Describes in detail afternoon ground school activity practice plotting an attack on Saarbrucken in Stirlings. They are using the instructors actual logs to do the plots. Notes there will be a stiff medical exam at the end of the course - eyesight in particular has to be perfect. Mentions seeing a convoy of ships with barrage balloons during the morning. Writes about the firing of coastal guns and tanks and Spitfires on exercise.




Temporal Coverage



Two page handwritten letter


IBCC Digital Archive


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No 1436220 LAC Akrill,
2 Flight D. Squadron.
No 1 E.A.O.S., R.A.F.
Thursday. 19.3.42
Dear Mary,
Just to let you know I got parcel O.K. last night, for contents of which – many thanks. My! The sight of half a cheese-cake was good & the taste better! All arrived in perfect condition. Hadn’t time to write before – just scribbling this while having a few minutes breather from afternoon lectures. It’s a grand afternoon & we’re all busy plotting a raid a [sic] Saarbruken in Sterlings. I’m having a great time I’ve just successfully reached the target and have dropped my bombs up-river & photographed results.
Sorry mum’s coming in for the work. Hope she doesn’t knock herself up. Poor old Harry he seems to be having it pretty bad. Surely Dr. knows what to do about it? No I didn’t know Bill Blow was going. It’ll seem strange without him. Suppose he’s retiring on his means? Well must get on – I believe the rear gunners sighted some Messerschmits!
[underlined] Later [/underlined] Well we dodged the Me’s all over France, Luxembourg, Germany & Belgium and got back to dear old England to find that the weather was bad that I couldn’t see our [deleted] way [/deleted] home aerodrome & as I couldn’t quite decide how to begin a search for it we’ve still not yet landed. If you see a Sterling wandering round its me!!
[page break]
I’ve enjoyed this afternoon. Some good work on a plot always brings some satisfaction. We’re doing plots from actual logs kept by our instructors now. We’ve been told that it’s most likely we’ll be trained for long-range work – that means heavy bombers. Actually I’m not counting on anything as there’s a very stiff medical exam at the end of this course and I’ve got to get through that (& the exams) before I can be sure of carrying on. Eyesight has to be perfect.
We saw a convoy of between 20 – 30 merchant men & several destroyers sailing very slowly by early yesterday morning each ship with its own barrage balloon. It was a grand sight. The coastal guns had been firing a few minutes before. They started when we were in bed one night & made a deafening row for a quarter of an hour. That with the tanks charging about & the Spitfires practising with their cannon off Beachey Head makes this a far from peaceful spot.
Glad you think I can get a late train. Think I can get to Kings X about 7.15. p.m. so if there is a train I’ll not be home much before midnight. There may be one at 8.
I envy you the privilege of seeing such old dears as Mrs. Cooke Margaret, Miss Browne &c. tucking a Remington into their shoulder & snapping the bolt up & down!!
Love to all,
[underlined] Bill [/underlined]
What a luxury to have clean pants after 3 months worn ones. Glad you can’t see them. Bet they shake the laundry!!!



William Akrill, “Letter from Bill Akrill to Mary,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed October 16, 2021, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/18017.

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