Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother and all



Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother and all


Bill thanks them all for the parcel which included pyjamas, a cake, a carrot and notepaper and envelopes.

They have been working very hard and have managed to get a day off tomorrow. Expecting to go into Oxford and go to a theatre in the evening.

The landing field at Upper Heyford is now unsafe, so they have had to the satellite station at Hinton in the Hedges. This has made the chasing about even worse.

Most of the Christmas activities planned seem to involve drinking, so Bill is not looking forward to that side of it. He mentions that there are some other men who he gets on with - 'nice chaps', but there are also some very loud Canadians and Americans. Most of the Canadians are not like this at all.

Sends Christmas greetings in case not able to write again.




Temporal Coverage



Six page handwritten letter


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Sgts’ Mess,
R.A.F. Station,
Upper Heyford.
FRI. 18.12.42.
Dear Mum and All,
Thanks ever so much all of you for the parcel, which was a real excitement to open. It was good of you to get the pyjamas. My!! The cake certainly looks good! Its easy to say who made it. No I shan’t keep it ‘til Christmas as they go as dry as old bricks in no time. We’ll have a quiet little party tonight perhaps and get the best out of it while we can. Thank Sis for the carrot. I thought at first it was a pear! Think she might have chosen one that wasn’t cankered! Anyway it was O.K. As you can see I’m already using Nip’s notepaper and envelopes. They’re always a problem
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and about the most sensible present for anybody in the services. I must write to her. 3 Carr have I believe.
I shan’t bother with washing til after Christmas. The razor blades by the way came just right as my last one had broke in half though was still [deleted] usable [/deleted] useable. I must be very careful but should be glad if she’d try for some more. Can’t get near any round here, though I’m going to try in Oxford, & keep asking anybody who goes out.
Tomorrow our crew is being given the day off. We’d all got so tired & fed up with the last 3 weeks that our skippers all demanded a break so 3 crews a day are having time off. I shall have a long day in Oxford and go to the theatre at night. It’ll be a change to get into town. Quite a crowd are going up to London. Flying was scrubbed early – I expect you’ve
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[underlined] 3 [/underlined]
been quiet too with the fog your getting (so we hear from “Met”.)
Our landing field is now unsafe and unuseable so we have to go to our Satelite [sic] ‘drome for flying so this makes the general chaos and chasing round even worse. Last night we messed around in [deleted] our [/deleted] the kite and out from [deleted] 3 [/deleted] 1500 hrs to 0100 next morning & got to bed at 0200. after just 20 minutes flying. When they scrubbed it was a glorious night. It makes you fed up. It was a job getting our ships from Heyford to Hinton-in-the-Hedges our Satelite [sic] When we took off the ship just plunged & slashed through mud & water & shook us up somewhat but “Jock” (our Skipper) got her off alright. He’s a good chap.
There’s all sorts of jubilation being planned here but most of it seems to concern drink. Afraid Christmas on Camp won’t be a particularly happy occasion for me though I shall
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be happy in my own way. Since I’ve been in the RAF I’ve often been thankful that I’ve a home like I have and that I’ve been brought up to find amusement in other things than drink and the like. However there are others like myself I’ve got to know some nice chaps. Most of our gang of Navigators are a fine lot – I like them all but – things will be just a bit too bright for them I’m afraid. At the moment we’ve a gang of Canadian Air Gunners in our room. They’re a disgusting, wide-mouthed crowd – we’re all fed up with them. Afraid they’re not very good “Ambassadors of Canada” Moffat, my A/G is a Canadian, too, but he’s quite a different chap – very keen on his job and a real nice fellow, - a lanky, bronzed and handsome “cowboy” type – the sort of Canadian you read about but
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[underlined] 5 [/underlined]
seldom see! We had some Yanks in [inserted] our room [/inserted] a while back & they were even more revolting. It’s very disturbing to [deleted] think [/deleted] wonder if these are a fair sample of American & Canadian manhood just what hope we have of building a new world. I sincerely hope our Allies have something better than that exhibited over here.
I havn’t [sic] been able to get to Lower Heyford lately. I was asked down to a Christmas Party last night but couldn’t make it
I’ve piles of letters ought to be written so must get cracking. If I havn’t [sic] chance again before Christmas I’ll wish you all a happy one now. You’ll be very quiet won’t you – just 3 of you. Well I’ll be thinking about you – there in spirit!!! (By the way what “Charlie” do you mean?)
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Remember me to Isobel if you see her. I expect David will be coming up. Tell him from me he’s a lucky ‘erb! Maybe I’ll be dishing out the Waaf’s Christmas Pud on Xmas day!! Imagine it!!
Will try to write again before Christmas.
Love to all of you
[underlined] Bill [/underlined] x



William Akrill, “Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother and all,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed October 3, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/18078.

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