Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother



Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother


Bill writes that he returned safely to West Freugh. They were recalled from leave because they were to be posted at the weekend but it was decided they needed to do more bombing trips. Bill had already done enough successful ones, so did not need to be recalled.

Writes of mix up on return journey with respirator cases with ATS girl and he now has two respirators and she has his pyjamas and vests etc. Cartoon drawing on fourth page of servicewomen with pyjamas and another in gas mask facing a servicewoman sergeant and a male officer who look surprised and cross.

Bill is sending his bicycle home since he does not know where he will be posted to.




Temporal Coverage



Five page handwritten letter


IBCC Digital Archive


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[underlined] The Freugh [/underlined]
Thurs. Morn. 1.10.42
Dearest Mum,
I know you’ll be looking out for news so if I get this off this morning you should get it for Sat. We got back again safely, at any rate, to this beloved home from home. As usual it took us hours from Dumfries to Carlysle. [sic] It’s a one track line & we had to wait for the down trains. Got in 3 hrs late at midnight and had to wait in a thunderstorm for [deleted] a [/deleted] transport to come from the Holiday Camp. No sooner had we nicely got to sleep (or so it seemed) when a horde of instructors decended [sic] upon us to inform us that we had to be over for bombing on the first detail. They didn’t get an enthusiastic reception
[page break]
[underlined] Thats [/underlined] the reason for fetching us back. We’re being posted “at the week-end” (whenever that is) and the Wingco suddenly decided we’d more bombing to do so off went 39 telegrammes. [sic] The annoying fact is that I’ve none to do as I’ve done enough exercises and what’s more enough successful exercises so I’ll just spend all today & most of tomorrow doing absolutely nothing. I rolled out of bed at 10. o’clock. Oh if only I’d known the reason I’d have been pretty wild when that telegramme [sic] arrived. Don’t think I’d have gone back ‘till the afternoon train anyway. You can catch the boat train at Crewe & you get here
[page break]
[deleted] 4 [/deleted] 3
only a few hours after the one I came on.
A very funny thing happened on the way. We had 2 A.T.S. girls in the compartment and when they got out at Newton Stewart one of them bagged a respirator from the rack. I asked her if she was sure it was hers. She said it was but I still wasn’t satisfied & asked her to look again. “Oh yes” she says, “it’s mine alright.” However when I got out mine wasn’t where it should be but another one – apparently hers was near there. So I’ve now got 2 respirators and she’s in possession of a pair of my pyjamas, vest, shirt &c. There’s no name in her respirator [deleted] but [/deleted] and all I know is that her name’s Peggy, she comes from Edinboro’ & is stationed at an Ack Ack camp on Burrow Head
[page break]
However there’s my ‘bag’ inside the one she has isn’t there? So she’ll be able to send that with my things & her address & I can then return her respirator I only hope she finds out before they have gas drill!!
[cartoon drawing]
We’ve all had a good laugh over it anyway. So until it turns up again I’m minus my winter pyjamas & combs and have neither soap nor [deleted] ration [/deleted] coupons.
[page break]
Then to add to things I’ve just walked into a tar spray! Don’t know where we’re going of course or when but I’ve a good idea it’ll be tomorrow night so I think I’ll ride into Stranraer tonight to get my bike off. Think I’d better send it home for I shan’t know where we’re going ‘til we get there & as winter’s coming on I shan’t find as much use for it.
I’ll write as soon as I arrive whereever [sic] it is we’re going.
Love to every body, hope Michael’s teeth arn’t [sic] giving him any more trouble Hope to see you for a respectable time before so very long.
[underlined] Bill [/underlined]



William Akrill, “Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed November 27, 2022, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/18063.

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