Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother



Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother


Writes of mail received and complains of time taken but will be worse when he gets to Scotland or California. Christmas approaching. Went to chapel and had good carol service. Catches up with home news. Speculates on future as aircrew and possible postings in Scotland. Mentions visit to national library of Wales which is repository for items from London and other blitzed areas. Writes of clay pigeon shooting and rifle drill. Will be sorry to leave Aberystwyth and 6 ITW.




Temporal Coverage



Seven page handwritten letter


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No 1436220 LAC Akrill
A 6 Flight No 4 Squadron,
No 6 I.T.W. Raf.
Dear Mum,
Just thought I’d write you all a letter to wish you all the best for Christmas. I don’t know whether it will reach you in time. If not it will have to do for the New Year! I suppose mum wrote at the week end but the letter hasn’t turned up yet. Mary’s parcel took a long time. I expect it will be even worse when I get to Scotland in the New Year and as for California – well I think you’ll have to write piles of letters before I go & then I can take them along
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and open one a week!
I’m just beggining [sic] to realise that it’s Christmas. Last week I was thinking we were still a month off and it came as a shock to find it was only a week, to the 25th. I went to chapel to night and we had a very good carol service. Mr. Bray (the minister) asked me up to the Manse for Christmas Day so it won’t be so bad but, oh dear, I give anything to be home. Anyway I’m glad all the rest of you will still be there keeping the flag flying. Well, I shall be thinking of you all so just imagine I’m there will you. Of course when you look at Lucy after dinner you’ll realise that [underlined] somebody’s [/underlined] missing!! And Harry will be able to make himself really
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bad with the pudding trying to get a good share of sixpences. I expect is [sic] shall have a jolly time at Mr. Bray’s. They are grand folk & usually have a happy crowd of young folk there though I expect the students will be at home. I didn’t like the thought of Christmas Day at the old Lion Royal. Luckily I’m not on guard but I believe Max & Joe are.
So much for Christmas. The New Year’s certainly starting off well for me. I should know within those first few weeks just whether or not I’m going to do any good as air-crew. If I get to the U.S.A. I think I can count on being O.K. Theale is the place we are posted to & we’ve been told that it’s near Dumfries
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which, as far as I know, is in the very North of Scotland. One fellow we were talking to seems to know it. He says it’s 25 miles from Aberdeen and is an operational station used for ferrying from America so it should be interesting if the weather’s all right. I expect though it will be snow-bound or at least not very good for flying. I hope it doesn’t mean we’re there longer. I believe we have to do a bit of flying ourselves though not much of course. If we get through alright as pilots then its America and what an oportunity [sic]! Well I’m going to do my best & if I’m no good well, I’m no good & I’ve had it. Maxy & a few more
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out of the flight are going to somewhere in Yorkshire a few days after us. We’re all being split up I’m afraid. Poor old Max was very cut up because he didn’t get posted with us. We’ve all been such good pals. I hope Joe & I can stick together still. Expect we’ll have another choice journey through Wales, England & Scotland.
Last week the flight was taken on a tour of the National Library of Wales. It’s a marvelous [sic] place & most of it’s now given over to the storing of [deleted] N [/deleted] our National Treasures from London & other Blitzed parts. We had a demonstration by a very clever old fellow in the repairing of priceless old books and manuscripts. He was an absolute magician.
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We went clay-pigeon shooting one day last week. It was a terrible day. [deleted] not [/deleted] The range is by the sea & great gales kept sweeping in [deleted and [/deleted] with blinding rain. I got soaked & caught a cold but I managed to bust two pigeons. It was good fun.
We’ve been doing rifle drill lately. Our Air Officer Commanding is coming down sometime & we have to form a guard of honour but I hope we’ve gone before then.
I shall be quite sorry to leave Aberystwith. [sic] Everyone’s been very good to us & it’s a fine spot. I had a glorious walk this afternoon through the mountains, & along roads & tracks cut through great woods of beech & ivy & holly. But I’ve no regrets at leaving No 6 I.T.W
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I spent an evening up at Mr. Elenor’s the other day.
Well, time I went. I’ll just get another cup of tea from the canteen & go. I shall miss the canteen. Expect my winter comforts will come in useful now!
So I’ll be thinking of you all on Christmas day.
All the best & lots of love [deleted] you [/deleted] to Harry & Ros & all of you.
[underlined] Bill [/underlined]



William Akrill, “Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed February 22, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/18093.

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