Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother



Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother


Writes of daily activities and course progress including marks for exams. Notes if he fails as pilot he would be happy as an observer. Worse subject is Air Force law. Mentions other subjects such as hygiene. Only 3 weeks before leave and discusses route home. Catches up with family and friends news. Mentions they will get flying kit soon.




Temporal Coverage



Four page handwritten letter


IBCC Digital Archive


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1436220 Akrill WE.
A Flight 4 Sqdn.
6 I.T.W. Raf.
Tues [inserted] ? 28th [/inserted]
Dear Mum,
Got your letter at the end of week. Was beginning to look out for one. Yes I got Mary’s parcel, suppose she has my letter by now.
Writing this just before going out for games. Its sleeting nicely so it will be fun in singlet & shorts! Feeling in very good form at the moment – getting on well with the course, feeling in the best of health and – what’s better it won’t be long – we all hope – before I come on leave. Flight Lt. Dickey gathered us together this morning and told us with a beaming face that we’d all passed Maths. and Gas Exams. I got 87% in Gas and 84% in Maths so I’m quite satisfied. We get the rest of our Exams a month as this week. We’ve started Navigation and so far its extremely easy & I like doing it. If I fail as pilot I shall be perfectly happy as an observer. Their’s is really the harder job. Getting on quite nicely at Signals & can take down 7 – 8 words a minute pretty
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easily. Aircraft Rec. should be easy for me. We did a test the other day with another flight who were taking the Exam the next day and I got 85% right which means an easy 100% mark. I happened to have bought [deleted] all the [/deleted] a lot of the photographs we got in a book so it was memory more than knowledge that helped me. The worst subject we’re taking is Air Force Law. I’ve already a book full of notes and there’s plenty to come. We’ve got to get through to get our LAC but we can take it again if we fail. I should manage it first time. Hygiene’s quite interesting – all about Camp Sites, lats, cookhouses, tell Mary; as well as hygeine [sic] in the Tropics and health conditions when flying. The other subject is knowing a machine gun off by heart. We get our Navigation Exam on Nov 21 I believe and [deleted] I [/deleted] its usual to catch a train that same night for a week’s leave.
[underlined] Later. [/underlined] Have just got Mary’s letter at tea-time. A few minutes left before reporting for Guard Duty, so will finish this. I should think I did feel down in the dumps last weekend. Who wouldn’t? Fortunately it didn’t last long. But with only 3 weeks to go before leave and with everything looking bright & 3 exams
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[underlined] 3 [/underlined]
finished behind me I’m feeling on top form. Its going to be a fag getting out of this lost spot. I suppose I’ll have to get to Birmingham & then change lines – get the L.M.S. I suppose. We talk & think about leave a goodish lot now! I expect when it comes to Nav. Exam we’ll be too excited thinking about [deleted] lea [/deleted] leave to concentrate on the paper!
I met the old friend of Miss Holmes at Chapel last Sunday morning – a very shy old gentleman with a beard who didn’t know what to do with me so he handed me over to the Minister whos [sic] [inserted] wife [/inserted] inviteded [sic] me to tea in the afternoon. We had quite a party. He had 3 young children & a German refugee girl studying at the University, 2 girl students, 1 male student, 1 soldier & me.
Please thank Mary for very interesting letter. Glad you’ve got another Ferdie. Give my love to Auntie & Peter if they come on Sunday. Guinea fowls will go down very well. Perhaps [deleted] we [/deleted] you’d better have Lucy as well, in case I’m not home for Xmas. I think it’s the 21st. Anyway it’s a Friday about then. Gosh I can hardly believe it’s so near. Time flies when your so busy. Hope the weather’s good – By the way nearly forgot – We get our flying kit in a week or two. Think if it’s cold I shall come home
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in a nice fur lined leather jacket and furlined boots – what a hope! I believe we can wear them for guards.
Well getting on for guard time must press my flash which I’ve just washed also been giving buttons & boots an extra polish. Will you have cleaning stuff at home - & any brylcream left? Must look ornamental at home anyway. We have to be perfect here. Ours is the Show Squadron & we’re the show flight. Sorry about Mrs. Baines. I must write.
Best of love see everybody very soon (I hope!?!)
[underlined] Bill [/underlined]



William Akrill, “Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed October 1, 2022, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/18095.

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