Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother



Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother


Bill writes that he is happier with location and work will be interesting. Little chance of long leaves. Would like to get his bike up there, so he can go on 'good rides' around the local countryside. Mentions Stranraer as a 'dismal sort of place'. Writes he has flown in Bothas but it is different to past experience in Tiger Moths. Says they are map reading but will bomb later on. Currently concentrating on air gunnery. Catches up with news of family and friends. Mentions whole Scots band playing.

Concludes with three cartoons. First of 'Reveille 6.30', getting out of his bunk bed; second of students at desks entitled 'Gunnery Lectures'. Third cartoon shows farm scenes with people animals and buildings with aircraft flying overhead with figure looking out. Entitled 'I'll be popping over to have a look at you one of these days'.




Temporal Coverage



Four page handwritten letter, including three cartoons


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No 1436220 L.A.C. Akrill,
Hut 20,
No 4 A.O.S.,
West Freugh,
Thursday 21.5.42.
Dear Mum,
I was ever so glad to get your letter just now. I thought I’d wait until I got one before I wrote again.
This place doesn’t seem so bad. I shall get used to it & be as happy here as I have been anywhere else – the work should be interesting enough anyway As you say there’s the summer before me. No there’s [underlined] no [/underlined] chance of any more than 7 days at some distant date [deleted] w [/deleted] I’ve been doing too well before – wooden huts will be good for me. Yes I managed to grab my kit. You can try sending eats anyway. Don’t see that it will be more dangerous over the sea than the land. The hills are most dangerous. Yes the pilots are really good and have to be steady.
Be glad if you could get my bike here, it would make all the difference. I think I shall risk it if you can get a chain & lock. There seem to be some good rides around here. The countryside’s rather interesting when you get out of the bog. Slightly hilly with occasional white farmhouses.
[page break]
big herds of Ayrshire cattle & hill sheep. Crops principally acres of late potatoes. Some fine Clydesdale horses.
I’ve been into Stranraer. Dismal sort of place where we could get nothing at all to eat. Still it’s a change. We shall be all the more pleased to get home.
I’ve been up but can’t say I enjoyed it as I used to do as pilot of a Tiger Moth. Bothas are biggish converted bombers and its not very exciting as a passenger but it will be better when we get on to navigating. We’re map-reading at the moment. Later we bomb small islands in Luce Bay. At the moment we’re concentrating on the Gunnery Couse. Spent this morning in gunturrets with a spotlight trainer. It was very interesting but it seems a bit too much when [deleted] you [/deleted] we have to do the Air Gunners course as well!
Pool old Mary. Hope she’ll soon have finished. Tell her to take half an hour off from gardening somenight [sic] to write. I don’t think I’ve had a letter since I left Theale. Nip hasn’t written lately either. I know you don’t get much time these days.
Wish I could see the garden – lilies and all. Glad you’ve had some warm showers. Guess the chestnuts & trees and birds and Potter Hill in general are fine now. One day – at the end of the course perhaps in September when you’re harvesting, I may fly over to have a look at you. Our longest trip is to Lincoln and Northallerton.
[page break]
You seem to have got Spring cleaning fever. Well, well so you’ve got a new carpet [deleted] at last [/deleted] after all.
Pleased Mickey’ doing so well. I shan’t know him when I see him again.
Got Annie’s letter today – all about Irene & Nellie’s baby. Believe Eastb’s had more raids. Not heard from the folk there yet.
Wish you could have been here last night. Had a whole Scots Band – bagpipes, fifes drums &c playing in the middle of the bogs all night until after I’d gone to bed. Don’t know where they’d come from.
Love to all [underlined] Bill [/underlined]
P.S. Note change of Hut. Now slepping [sic] in bunks! Reminds me of the Caravan. Remember me to Miss Witham
[drawing of men in bunk beds]
Revellie 6.30.
[page break]
[drawing of men at desks]
[drawing of pilot flying over farmyard]



William Akrill, “Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed December 11, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/18033.

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