Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother



Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother


Bill catches up with news, referring to someone who he hoped would answer Bill's question about how difficult it was to get into the Pathfinder Force. Urgently asks his mother to send down his bicycle by train. Borrowed one the other day and would be able to travel around more.

PS two days later in which he describes the day before (Sunday), how he went to chapel and was invited to tea by the Bates family, who were very hospitable. There were a number of people there and they had a most enjoyable time.

Today they were moved to Armament Flight and hope to start flying again tomorrow. Describes his crew and how he feels about it - 'I trust I may be worthy of their trust and capable to undertaking my duty in their safety'.




Temporal Coverage



Four page handwritten letter


This content is available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0). It has been published ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre. For more information, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ and https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/legal.





Sgt. Akrill.
c/o SGTS. Mess,
R.A.F. Station,
Upper Heyford.
Sat. 28.11.42.
Dear Mum,
Just got your letter. Thought I’d get of [sic] the enclosed £7. Think I should manage 150 certs by Christmas & then I shall have half the number allowed.
Yes it was a bit annoying about the train but I got there O.K so I didn’t worry. No we’re still not flying but hope to be next week.
Glad you’ve seen Mr. Henry again. I should think every one would be agreeable to coming there – we’re all keen on getting on to Lancs. but it depends on how things go. He doesn’t seem to have told you much about P.F. tho’ of course we can’t write about it. What I wanted to know was how easy it was to get into the Force. I’m not good enough yet but it’s
[page break]
a thing to be proud of to get in. I suppose he’s got hold of the fairy-tale about it being dangerous.
Pleased it was Trixie and not Sam that went. She didn’t seem up to much. I like old Sam.
Hope Mary get on O.K. with her teeth – Harry and Ros as well. Yes, it will be a very good idea to give the new roses something to keep them warm – the old ones too.
Now an S.O.S. Can you send Lizzie down as soon as possible? Think I may be able to find use for a bike in the next few weeks & it would make such a difference. I borrowed an ancient iron on Tuesday afternoon when a gang of us had a chance of doing a cycle tour instead of P.T. We had a lovely ride & I think we may have other chances as well as odd Sundays off [inserted] if weather keeps bad. [/inserted] & odd half hours when I could slip out or into Bicester. So if you could send it to Lower Heyford (G.W) station please, I’d be very pleased. Could you ask Mary if she’d oil it well first?
Have got tomorrow off. Love Bill
[page break]
[underlined] P.S. Monday night 30.11.42 [/underlined]
Afraid this won’t get off ‘til Tuesday’s post. Had yesterday off. It was a glorious day & I had a lovely time. Went for a walk in the morning thro’ a very beautiful part. I was invited out to tea & went to chapel at Lower Heyford in the afternoon & to these folk’s for tea. They’re a nice homely family – the bakers in the village, so very busy but made me very welcome. I went round again in the evening after evening service & there was quite a crowd of us – 2 ground staff sgts. & a grand fellow – an airman – from Wales as well as one of the Sgt’s wives whose got a couple of rooms with the Bates’s (the people who asked me out) and their boy and girl. We had a sing-song – which made me think of home – (Another thing which reminded me of P.H. was having chickens to shut up) We stayed supper & then the 3 of us walked back to camp. [deleted] It’s [/deleted] It makes you feel so much more settled & happy when there are people like that who are glad to share their fire & company
[page break]
once in a while. We all hope to go down to the chapel again on Thursday.
Today we’ve moved into Armament Flight & tomorrow if all goes well we may even fly. It’ll be an absolutely new experience again after all this time. I’ve got all my crew & I think we shall do well enough. Pilot seems a very capable sort &, most important, I think he’ll appreciate a navigator’s difficulties and problems. He’s a Scot & so is the W/Op I believe. I hope he turns out alright. Bomb-Aimer is a Londoner ([underlined] not [/underlined] Ginger who, as mad as ever, got mixed up!) Tail-end-Charlie hails from Canada & seems a keen, likeable sort. I trust I may be worthy of their trust & capable of undertaking my duty in their safety. It’s really a great & serious moment. Of course they may not be with me right thro but its likely.
Love to all
[underlined] Bill [/underlined]



William Akrill, “Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 22, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/18074.

Item Relations

This item has no relations.