Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother



Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother


Bill writes of bad train journey to RAF Upper Heyford and how no one was expecting them there, so problems with billets etc. Since arriving have been doing a lot of physical exercise.

Continuing letter on following day, they have no started their course, which looks like it will be difficult, but at least only on navigation. Food is better than at last posting RAF West Freugh. No much to tell her yet.




Temporal Coverage



Four page handwritten letter


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[Royal Air Force crest]
Sgt. Akrill 1436220
c/o Sergeants’ Mess,
R.A.F. Station,
Upper Heyford
Wed. 21.10.42.
Dear Mum,
I havn’t [sic] managed to get written ‘til tonight. Missing the 1.36 at Nottingham meant chasing all over the place & I got in via London & Oxford, about midnight. Another time [underlined] IF [/underlined] there is one, I shall either get an earlier train into Nottingham or catch the 3 something from Newark to Kings X. [deleted] X [/deleted] Found my bed made & was just saying that it was nice of somebody & flopping on to it when I found it occupied. Well its a case of first come so I had to chase after another & slept in an empty house on my own last night but have moved in with the rest today. Hadn’t any kit either so it wasn’t comfortable but it was like a bed of roses to me. The billets we have are really the worst I’ve ever had but of course they’re only temporary.
Altho’ the telegramme [sic] never arrived there seems no reason why it shouldn’t have done as they’re still not ready for us. There’s no room for us
[page break]
in the billets and there’s no room for us in classrooms so we’ve to kick our heels for a while which doesn’t suit me in the least as you can guess. Unfortunately though there doesn’t seem to be any more talk of leave!! Instead they seem to be concentrating on our physical fitness (or otherwise) & today we’ve been chasing all over the countryside like a crowd of commandos.
[underlined] Thurs. [/underlined]
Afraid I didn’t get this off last night. Glad to say we’ve got started at last on lectures. Our course looks like being pretty hard but anyway we’ve only Navigation to worry about.
Food looks like being not at all bad. It doesn’t compare with the shocking filth we got at the Freugh. I enjoy meals here but there it was as much as I could do to eat. We miss several things we had there tho – the Scotch Hut more than anything. There’s no canteen for Sgts on this station & the Mess doesn’t cater for everything.
[page break]
[Royal Air Force crest]
We really had a very good time at the Freugh apart from food & its situation. Havn’t [sic] been out of camp here yet – don’t think I shall worry much sooner stay in and work hard and get all the gen & experience I can for Ops, for the more I know the better chance I – and my crew – will have of getting back. My tapes & brevet may look nice but there’s no doubt I’ve taken on a biggish job with the.
I did enjoy my leave & didn’t feel at all like coming back but once I get settled down you know that I’m happy enough. I think we’ll be getting a 48 in 5 or 6 weeks, & 9 days at end of course which, if the weather’s [underlined] VERY [/underlined] good [underlined] may [/underlined] be over by Xmas.
It was lovely being home – especially on those glorious afternoons.
Is Miss Moakes still with you? Hope her cough is better – Mary’s cold too. Did I hear something about Miss Witham turning up at the week-end.
Had a letter from David. He’s
[page break]
very thrilled over his very first flip on Sunday. I shall always remember mine – every one after it has meant hard work. They won’t be much of pleasure-trips in future. Chiefly at night and the Navigator is completely shut in & can’t see out so there’s not much enjoyment there. We don’t fly for another 3 or 4 weeks
Well, havn’t [sic] much to tell you yet. Must get some more letters off – if folk know my address I [underlined] might [/underlined] get a few letters back.
Sorry I’ve been late getting this off but if you don’t hear from me you know I’m O.K.
Love to you all
[underlined] Bill [/underlined]



William Akrill, “Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed December 11, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/18067.

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