Letter from Douglas Hudson to his parents



Letter from Douglas Hudson to his parents


Had not received any letters since he last wrote. Says he has little news to report and comments on the weather with heavy rain and cold. Mentions little wood available for heating making it cold at night. Comments on the locals and their dress. Notes he is patching his socks and still has his flying boots and uniform. Mentions they have run out of cigarettes and continues with other news about his problems and the mail. Mentions local wild life and philosophises about life.



Temporal Coverage



Two page handwritten letter


IBCC Digital Archive


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Royal Air Force. 755052. Sgt. J D. Hudson
c/o Consul General des Etats Unis
Rue Michelet.
Algar. Algaric.
Afrique du Nord.


My Dear Mother & Dad,

I have not received any more letters from you since I wrote to you last. The latest I have had from you to date was written on November 27th. There is very little news at present, Christmas & New Year are now well over and 1942[sic] has arrived bringing with it a spell of weather colder than I anticipated was possible in desert regions. Very strangely, I said in my last letter to you although it is cold it does not rain, or snow. Well later that very afternoon it started snowing in the [indecipherable word], and the following night it rained continuously. In the morning the courtyard looked like the beach after the tide has gone out, with all the sand & pools. Since then it has been cold, cloudy & windy, & unfortunately we have to conserve our[?] small supply of wood for cooking & making tea. Consequently we don’t get much heat in the rooms. As soon as the cloudy period is over it will be all right, because during the daytime when the sun shines it is reasonably warm outside, and we can hang[?] around comfortably. I have three blankets and a great coat which I pile on to my bed so the nights are passed quite warmly. The temperature differences here are remarkable, & the Arabs must be pretty tough to withstand the terrific heat in summer & the cold spells in winter. The civilian Arabs appear to wear the same clothing all the year round, a blanket and a pile of rags. Socks don’t appear to exist. I have started to patch socks. I use patches from an old pair, & also use as darning thread another pair which I unravel as & when required. I still have my flying boots & uniform.

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We have run out of cigarettes in the camp temporarily. Transport presents the main difficulty. Fortunately I have a few packets in reserve and are better off than most. I learned[?] to try & be prepared for any contingency that might arise. There are no matches and I have sent my lighter to Algar in the hope that it can be repaired. Getting petrol will then be the difficulty so you see how we are placed. The letters I send to you nowadays are supposed to go by Air Mail. They are stamped and I am debited, I think, 4 francs 25 centimes each time. I hope that this will enable you to receive them quicker than of late. Are you still retaining the envelopes as they arrive? I have all yours & hope that one day they will be of interest from the philatelic point of view. I am glad that you have managed to attract a variety of birds into the garden. There are not many birds here, except the sparrows and an occasional small specimen which I am unable to classify. I don’t suppose they will find much to eat except flies in summer, & then they will not go short. The flies here in summer are a loathesome[sic] plague – you would hate them. There have been big changes since I left home & I wonder what the big news[?] will be this year, and if they will help us on our way. The position never presents itself very clearly but we hope[?] what we hope. I think there is an improvement on the position at this time twelve months ago. Twice bitten … We wait as patiently as possible. We also look toward the horizon for the next batch of Red Cross parcels. I expect they will arrive soon, but as I have explained before, transport presents difficulties. I will say good-bye in the usual strain, by sending all my love & best wishes to you both. You are always in my thoughts.



James Douglas Hudson, “Letter from Douglas Hudson to his parents,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed January 26, 2022, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/22498.

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