Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother



Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother


It is pay day, so Bill is sending money home and asking his mother to send his comb and diary which he left there.

Now senior course so lots of cross country flights. Dropped his first bombs, which he describes in some detail. Continuing with bombing and navigation flights. Mentions that he is taking swimming lessons since all navigators have to be able to swim.

Remarks that aerodrome near home (RAF Swinderby) is very noisy and 'a horrible place - like a festering sore smothered with flies'. He hopes it will be replaced with farms and woods again after the war.

Finishes with thanking mother and Mary for all the food they made for him to bring back with him.




Temporal Coverage



Four page handwritten letter


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No 1436220 L.A.C. Akrill
Hut 20
R.A.F. Station,
West Freugh.
Wed. 29.7.42.
Dear Mum,
Pay day today so I’m sending off £7 right away. A bit short this last month.
There are 2 things I left at home & which I forgot to ask you to send when I last wrote. My comb is in the top breast pocket of my brown jacket & my diary is on the right hand side on top of the books on the bottom shelf of the book case in the dining room.
I’ve let Miss Mary have the snap of me & Ma. Hit. So perhaps Mary would get a couple more done in case of further urgent demands & send the bill to mum in charge
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[underlined] 2 [/underlined]
of the treasury. Miss M.’s kept asking me for one. She wrote a lovely letter which I got yesterday.
Settled down to work again now. Got a couple of pretty hard months before us. We are senior course here now & it means we’ll get all the long X country flights – particularly by night and also fill up plenty of bombing details. In addition there’ll be even more of the usual swotting.
We had to rush off to fill in a bombing detail on [deleted] Tuesday [/deleted] Monday. & I dropped my first 6 bombs. It’s good fun messing about with them, & safety pins & things and a real excitement dropping them and whatching [sic] them to down & down to the deep blue water, to disappear as a speck until the final impact when a smoke puff showed their position from the target. I didn’t do anything startling of course but I should get something like tomorrow. Oh dear its
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[underlined] 3 [/underlined]
going to mean baling out from my little bunk terribly early to be ready for “bombing up” at 7 a.m. And then bombing all day!! Who’d be an observer?
Had my first Navigation flight since getting back yesterday, [deleted] over [/deleted] on my favourite route over the Western Isles to the Hebrides. Rain stopped flying today so we’ve been having signals & plotting tests. Ended up the day with cleaning out the swimming pool. A number of us have to have swimming lessons as no observer is supposed to leave here who isn’t able to swim. I shall be glad to learn though the pool is a horrible hole!
Wonder how the hay’s going. And what sort of a dance the Terrible Infant is leading you! Hope them confounded noisy Lancasters haven’t been keeping you awake lately
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[underlined] 4 [/underlined]
I wish I could think the aerodrome would just disappear & be replaced with farms & woods again after the war. It’s a horrible place – like a festering sore smothered with flies. (That’s looking at it as a lover of the countryside)
Well there’s nothing to write about so I’ll toddle off to the Scotch Hut to invest in a glass of lemon squash & a couple of biscuits. Thanks ever so much Mum & Mary for all those grand things you made for me while I was at home & for the cheesecakes, sausage rolls & eccles cake I brought back. They’re grand & nearly gone. I havn’t [sic]found an appetite yet but it’ll work up gradually!
Love to all
[underlined] Bill [/underlined]



William Akrill, “Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed June 24, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/18053.

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