Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother



Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother


Bill starts with domestic matters and catch up with home news. Writes that nearly everyone has finished course and they did last trip previous evening. Their pilot is now fit again.

Has visited his local friends, who work very hard but are so kind and welcoming. Spent day trying to get airborne, then had problems getting anything to eat. Writes that friend who left recently was killed in flying accident.

Hopeful of getting leave very soon.




Temporal Coverage



Six page handwritten letter


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No. 1436220 Sgt. Akrill,
Sgts’ Mess,
R.A.F. Station
Upper Heyford,
Sat. 30.1.43.
Dear Mum,
I thought I’d best pack up & send a few odds & ends of washing. Don’t send them back as I should be home ere long, but I thought if I sent them I’d have something clean for when I get home.
Was pleased to get your letter this morning. Thank you for forwarding the one from Charlie Aslin. He’s pretty well looked after on the Rock but says he’s tired of seeing nothing but sea & rock & burning sun & would like a nice, wet, cold ride to SW & Co! And I wouldn’t mind a bit of his scorching sun!
How’s Mary’s cold I wonder? She seems to be doing plenty of C.D. work as usual. You didn’t say how
[page break]
Harry was. Hope Daddy doesn’t tire himself too much. He ought to have some hot dinner but it’s a long way. Pleased to hear some dykes are getting done [deleted] a [/deleted] round about. There’s plenty needed it.
Looking forward to seeing the aconites, primroses &c. I saw a few snowdrops in the Post Office garden in Lower H. a few days ago & Enid has a lovely bunch of violets. Hope it’s good weather when I do get home Hope Mary manages the spraying – should have some good results next year.
Yes, if David get another 48 on the 20th Feb. it’s very possible that I shall be seeing him. Still can’t say when we’ll be posted. The only thing that’s definite is that we’ll get no 48s or days off while we are waiting.
[page break]
Nearly everybody has finished now. We did our last trip last night and were over P.H. soon after 9.30. Expect you were then all thinking of retiring. Was too busy to look out into the blackness but [deleted] I [/deleted] it was a dark, cloudy night so I’d not have seen anything. It’s something to know that we’ve finished. Gosh! training over at last (or as near over as it can be – we’re still training right thro’ Ops. I expect, these days) Jock is now out of ‘dock’.
Managed to get down to Lower H. on Thursday. They’re about better tho’ Mr. B’s still not very well. They have to work so very hard. Up at 3 am and at it ‘til nearly 8 some nights. It’s wonderful what they find time to do for the chapel
[page break]
& making me & one or two others so welcome.
Just remembered that it’s Saturday so the P.O. will be closed & I can’t get the parcel off ‘til Monday. Will finish letter off then.
[underlined] MONDAY NIGHT – or rather, TUESDAY MORNING [/underlined]
Didn’t get this off Monday as I spent the whole day at Hinton (we’re water logged) trying to get into the air. Transport arrangements are shocking & it’s a wonder I havn’t [sic] had a double pneumonia twice over by now waiting around. Finally we got here just before 8 & found they wouldn’t give us any tea. They’d also refused it at Hinton & would only give us a mouthful of dinner after much persuasion. The powers that be just don’t realise that we’re not mechanical and [underlined] have [/underlined] to eat to keep alive. However
[page break]
somebody had left a tin of ‘Golden Syrup’ in sight so I pinched it and it helped down quite a bit of dry bread – which is fortunately not rationed yet – here, though it is on some stations. I think the food situation must be getting serious – I know I’m always hungry!! I went to bed as soon as I got in – I was tired but I was wakened about 11.30 by a terriffic [sic] noise over a gambling crowd around my bed & with lights & fug & noise it’s no good trying to get to sleep again though I’m tired enough. So I thought I’d try & get this off.
There’s now quite a strong belief that we’ll be leaving here this week-end but we can get to know nothing official on the matter. Won’t it be grand
[page break]
to be home! We have been guaranteed 7 days – sometime.
We have just heard that Johnny [inserted] Amos, [/inserted] – who left us a few weeks ago has been killed in a flying accident. It upset us all – he’s the first to go. He was a grand lad – nearly 21 – I counted him as one of my best pals.
Sunday was a terribly wild day here with great gales til the rain came about 4 o’clock. I was then biking to tea at L. Heyford but didn’t get so wet. It cleared up surprisingly soon after. Sgt. Hughes has now gone on leave – possible he won’t be back before I go.
Well, will be hoping to see you before many suns have set.
Love to all,
[underlined] Bill [/underlined]
P.S. It now looks quite hopeful for leave at the week-end – somewhere between Friday & Tuesday – Maybe!!



William Akrill, “Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed February 24, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/18085.

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