Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother



Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother


Bill writes that it was good to find her parcel and letter when he landed last night and has been eating the plums, tomatoes and cake.

After catching up with home news, pleased to report that they now have good news on leave: since the photography exam has been postponed, he can go on leave as originally planned.

Describes one night's flying when the weather was very bad and one of the planes, with course instructor and two men, got lost and had to land in Blackpool.

Remarks how much he misses everyone on a Sunday and thinks about them having breakfast together.

Had their Station Sports Day today, which was rather spoilt by the wind and rain.




Temporal Coverage



Four page handwritten letter


IBCC Digital Archive


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[deleted] Po [/deleted] No 1436220 L.A.C. Akrill,
Hut 20, R.A.F.,
West Freugh,
Friday 4 Sept. 1942.
Dear Mum,
It was good to find your parcel and letter waiting when I landed last night – especially as I was too late for a decent tea. I tucked in at the plums – which were a very pleasant surprise & I wondered where they’d come from (are there many this year? There looked like being a bumper crop) When I’d finished them I set to work on the tomatoes and some little carrots which I can carefully sort out from the allotment when it gets dark enough. (Just criminal thieving I’m afraid) That was good and I finished up with some of the cake, which is a bit of all right. Bless you all you’re too good you know! The cucumber & tomatoes will come in fine [deleted] f [/deleted] at teatimes About a couple of the tommie’s just bust but they were OK except that the stain seems to have got around the washing. By the way I always have a job detatching [sic] my combs. from the bag & label which seem to get stitched together!!!!
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Hope there’s some plums around for leave You know its unkind talking about hot weather and David actually wrote complaining of being reduced to a spot of grease in a heat wave!! Winter’s setting (or set) in here good and proper. Expect you’d be having a busy time threshing the barley on Wednesday or Thursday.
Pleased Mary saw David tho’ sorry he didn’t come up. Still I expect he prefers to stay at home every minute he can. Expect you’ll see him when he gets his 7 days. Must say Joyce Blow is lucky but after Ballyhalbert she certainly deserves to get near somewhere Its about 30 miles from here & I’ll believe it’s a dump. Hope I’m spared anything like that.
[underlined] Leave News [/underlined]. Well for this letter the situation has definitely improved since last writing. The Photo. Exam which looked like upsetting things has been postponed after all so – it looks as if we’ll be coming a fortnight today after all. [underlined] Won’t [/underlined] I be ready for it – and with dear old David home too (I hope) its going to be grand. You can’t guess what the very [underlined] thought [/underlined] of leave can do. I can strongly recommend it as a keeper-up
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[underlined] 3 [/underlined]
of morale! So tell Michael to be ready to meet me at the station - & I hope its not raining
Been pretty busy this last week – raking out of bed at 6 in a morning & then night flying means you don’t get to bed again till 6 the next. Still tomorrow’s Saturday & a “lie in” day. Weather’s been bad for flying too. One night when we were briefed the Met Officer gave us a shocking report & everyone listened in deathly silence & when he asked “Any questions” we had to laugh. Anyway most of us risked it tho’ we couldn’t see a thing. We were recalled after 2 hours & ran into shocking low cloud & rain squalls & I can tell you I patted myself on the back and heaved a sigh of relief when we came out right over the aerodrome. That was my part of the job over but the next was getting down as we couldn’t see the flarepath half the time. However we all crossed our fingers & sat tight & came down safe and very thankful. One of our kites – with our course instructor & 2 of our boys in got lost & the searchlights – scores of them – picked them up & guided them to Blackpool where searchlights & rockets & signals showed up all round to get them on to the drome. The
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poor folk in Blackpool got the wind up thinking it was an air-raid!! Anyway the boys had to stay in Blackpool all next day ‘till the weather improved so everybody’s hoping that they’ll get lost & have the wireless set go wrong another night!!! We’ve also done a lot of bombing, which reminds me I must go and collect my flying kit for flying on bombing first thing on Sunday morning. What a way to spend a Sunday!!! I always think of home at Sunday dinner time – all day Sunday in fact I’m wondering what you’re all doing & wonder if you’re wondering what new antic I’m up to! And just as we’re taking off – especially on first detail Sunday, when I know you’ll be all together having breakfast, I’ve just time to be there in spirit anyway!
We’ve had our Station Sports Day today and it would have been a great success if only the weather had been good but it was miserable shivering in the wind & rain. The Pipe Band was there - & the Dancers Kilts & plaids & bonnets – I wish you could have seen them.
Well, Think I’ll brave the wind & rain & make for my warm little bunk, a tomato & a bit of cake.
Cigs for Harry enclosed Love [underlined] Bill [/underlined]



William Akrill, “Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed December 4, 2022, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/18060.

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