Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother



Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother


Catches up with news of family and friends. Mentions dairy farming in local area. Describes photo reconnaissance work and other flying activity. Talks of journey home on next leave. Writes of bad news on Libya and good news on RAF bombing operations.




Temporal Coverage



Six page handwritten letter


IBCC Digital Archive


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No 1436220 L.A.C. AKRILL,
HUT 20,
R.A.F. Station,
W. Freugh,
Sat. 27.6.42.
Dear Mum,
Many thanks for parcel & letter. How did you manage to make the rolls? Not much washing this week but its my “clean [underlined] undershirt week” [/underlined] so am sending that.
Had a letter from Dave & one from his mum who was very shocked to hear that he was to be 5 whole weeks at Skeg. without leave & thought somebody had made a mistake. Afraid I had to smile, bless her heart. Dave’s finding things a bit strange but I hope he’ll settle in & find a good pal.
Yes I bet our young ‘un showed the Thompson’s up. Joyce told me in her letter he
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is as brown as a berry & Mrs. Hiffe said Joan was taken up with him. You see I hear about him from all quarters. Hope Mary thanked Joyce & Harry for their letter. I will write back [underlined] some [/underlined] day.
Wonder how you’re getting on with seeds. Think it’s an early season isn’t it, saw some oats in full shaq the other day & plenty of fields of tates up.
Sorry about Mary’s abcess. [sic] Hope its O.K. by now. You must all get better for when I come on leave. Tomorrow begins the 7th week here so with luck I may be coming home 3 wks or a month as last night. Time’s going quickly enough. How is the garden off for lettuce, radishes &c? Go down very nicely with cold rabbit pie & a big glass of milk. And what about a Berry Pie & Custard? Good old Ben Brust knew what was good!
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Once or twice lately as a special concession the aircrews have been allowed milk at supper. (Think they must have had some likely to go bad) It was jolly good too – from the farms near I guess. Dairying’s the big thing here. I passed one of Nestlés factories the other day. My! What a smell of creamy chocolate. Bit of black-market there I bet – it was right in the middle of the country. Wonder where it was going?
Thank you for sending me the flower. Are [deleted] they [/deleted] all the plants alike?
Nothing very exciting happening here. Days & weeks just come & go. We’re getting on to more involved & interesting work now. Had a lovely trip the other day doing a photographic reconnaissance of places in N. & S. Wales. – over the I. o Man, Angelsy, [sic] Holyhead, Caernarvon (that’s lovely I guess) near enough to see Aberystwyth, & down
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to do a reco. & take photos of harbours &c in S. Wales. Yesterday the Sqdn/Ldr went on leave / & they came to our classroom to ask for 2 volunteers to navigate his plane to Hendon (N. London.) Unfortunately I wasn’t sitting on the front row so missed it. I’ll wait until the Group Captain wants to visit his grandmother at Lincoln! As our boys landed at Hendon Sir Archbld. Sinclair was taking off to come to W. Freugh. Saw his plane come but not seen him. Heard some thing about the King & Queen in N. Ireland. Wonder if they left in the old [deleted] bo [/deleted] train-boat from Stranraer. It’s very likely. Didn’t think of looking up the poor lads at The Freugh on the way.
Expect when I [underlined] do [/underlined] come on leave, I’ll get the Carlisle train, change Carlisle, Crewe & then get the Derby train & change for Nottingham & get there at some unearthly
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hour. There’s another of our boys from Nottingham & one from Mansfield.
Well must go & get a button stitched on my Battle Dress & chase up the pilot as I let him share my bike last night & he’s not yet returned it. He said it was a matter of National importance last night – something to do with the W.L.A. I think!
Love to all,
See you soon
[underlined] Bill [/underlined]
Got Liz back alright – Don’t think she like Sgt Pilots!
P.S. A course “passed out” last night. You should see them stitching on stripes & brevy’s. Oh for that day!
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Yes Libya has been a bit of a blow – it will wake us up a bit I hope. We seem to have been forgetting we’d still a war to win & be thinking about treaties, pacts & post war problems while Jerry was thinking about war. Now they’ve staged another mass-raid to bolster up morale & get us into that old feeling of our own strength. Afraid I think all this talk about American production is just plain lies.
Still these raids are terriffic. [sic] I was up that night. It was grand. We took off just after midnight & later when the moon got up it looked perfect shining over the water. I thought something was in the wind when we were given various precautions at briefing. Gee when I looked down on the picture of the moon on the water & the islands I wished it was the coast of German occupied Europe we were heading for – with a good load of bombs. (Started Bombing Course & should be dropping our first bombs before I come on leave)



William Akrill, “Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed July 2, 2022, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/18048.

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