Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother



Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother


Catches up with news and tells his mother not to worry about him.

Bill is interested to hear about the 'fellows in the caravan', who seem to be conscientious objectors. Says he has sympathy for people with genuine objections and has talked with several of them in Collingham.

He is detailed to fly at 2.30 am that night, so will not have any sleep before then, although the weather might cancel it. Mentions that flying can be treacherous due to the frequent fogs. Discusses death of Duke [of Kent?] in a Sunderland, when it crashed into a mountainside.

Mentions yesterday's visit of Lord Trenchard (Marshall of RAF) and today's of an Air Marshall and the Commander in Chief Training Command. They had stayed for dinner, so Bill wonders what they were given, as the men had just had a terrible meal.




Temporal Coverage



Four page handwritten letter


IBCC Digital Archive


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No 1436220 L.A.C. AKRILL
Hut 20. A.T.W.,
R.A.F. Station,
W. Freugh,
[underlined] evening [/underlined] Friday 28.8.42.
Dear Mum,
Thanks a lot for letter which turned up this morning with one from Miss Mary. You seem to be having plenty of trouble with the old binder & the reaper. Still you’r [sic] doing pretty well & I expect you’ve had some reasonable weather these last few days, unless the[deleted]re’s[/deleted] thunder down there has caught you. We’ve actually had 3 perfect hot, sunny days but I think the end is in sight. For 48 hrs at the [deleted] beggining [/deleted] begining [sic] of the week it came down in a solid sheet. I’m looking forward to seeing little Peggy. I must chase the mushrooms up when I come. Yes we did D.D. again & I enjoyed it but didn’t stay in Girvan. Glad you heard the service but you wouldn’t hear my sweet voice. It was the first I’d missed – it started earlier than usual. Don’t start worrying about me yet. I’ve [underlined] months [/underlined] before I go bombing yet - & I may never do so of course. And even if I do I shall be safe enough. We’ve got
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[underlined] 2 [/underlined]
to be prepared for anything & I think I am, but we do worry when we think you may be worrying. Anyway we’ll forget all about it until it’s time!
Are the fellows in the caravan staying long? I must call on them. My sympathies are always with a genuine C.O. I’ve had a talk with a number of them at Collingham & they seem very good souls though I think they do wonder when they see that I’ve volunteered to bomb & kill! But there’s no other way. Sorry Mary’s duties are’t [sic] so good. Hope Jerry isn’t keeping you awake but I expect he’ll do his best this winter. Yes I can believe you’r [sic] busy with teas and meals – gosh I’d like to intercept a tea basket on its way!
We are detailed for flying at 2.30 in the morning so can’t get [underlined] any [/underlined] sleep tonight Don’t get back ‘till 6 on the morning or our day off. For the [underlined] 3rd [/underlined] time our Saturday will be spoiled. However there’s a lot of low stratus cloud coming up so it may be cancelled. Flying is rather treacherous round here these nights – conditions being ideal for the formation of hill fogs &c. These Scotch fogs are terrific. I can quite understand the Duke’s Sunderland
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[underlined] 3 [/underlined]
hitting a mountainside if it was flying low but I can’t make out [underlined] why [/underlined] it was flying low. It’s suicide to do it voluntarily & a kite like the Sunderland shouldn’t be forced down like that. We can certainly sympathise but we feel proud to know that he died in sharing our own dangers.
Don’t think I’ll do the same tho’ – they don’t send us into bad weather & we have good pilots & I should be a good navigator by now!
We’ve had lots of brass-hats up here lately (in connection with a recent incident we guess) Yesterday the biggest of all came and gave us – without any silly ceremony, a very good talk in a hangar. He was Marshal of the RAF Lord Trenchard who you’ve no doubt heard of. I believe he gives War Commentaries. Today a not so big wig turned up an Air Marshall and the Commander in Chief Training Command. He came almost unexpectedly & went into the cookhouse where they were serving a terrible dinner & I’d like to know what happened. With these visitors the higher the rank the less the “bull” & panic there is I think its much more sensible for them to turn up unexpectedly & find out just what is
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[underlined] 4 [/underlined]
I can’t get hold of any brown paper so the tin & Harry’s sigs [cis] will have to wait till I get the bag
Well, there are lots of stars showing tonight so while I’m waiting till time to go for briefing or else able to get to bed when the “tannoy” announces that its cancelled I’ll go out & take some sights on some of them – provided I can see thro’ the sextant tho’ my eyesight seems a bit shakey there at times. Gosh it [underlined] has [/underlined] to be good for some of the stars.
Love to all, think I’ll be seeing you 3 weeks tomorrow
[underlined] Bill [/underlined]
P.S. Tell Nip I keep looking out for a nice breezy letter.



William Akrill, “Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed January 26, 2022, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/18058.

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