Letter from Douglas Hudson to his parents



Letter from Douglas Hudson to his parents


Reports letters that have arrived since his last letter to them and a cable that only took two days. Mentions letters from other people but he could not write back to them all because of his mail allowance and lack of post cards. Catches up with family news and writes about the weather as politics is taboo. Mentions that food is better and hopes that the air ministry have sorted out his allocation to them. Writes of conditions in camp, what he spends money on and that they do not have the freedom of the country but are allowed walks outside. Continues with news of himself and that French newspapers give them some idea of what is going on.



Temporal Coverage



Two page handwritten letter


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755052. Sgt. Chef. J. D. Hudson.
Camp de Séjour Surveillé.


My Dear Mother & Dad,

Since I wrote to you last, ie, a fortnight ago, I have received three letters from you dated 12th, 16th & 25th December, & the day before yesterday, ie, 5th Feb, I received your cable of the 3rd reading “Mother Dad both well send their love”. I am very pleased indeed to receive this news, especially the cable which is so up to date, & has done remarkably well to get through in 2 days. I have also received a letter each, since I last write to you, from Miss Law, Hildred, Dorothy Pell, E.W.T. & John. I cannot possibly write to any of them because I am only permitted to write two letters per month & 4 p.cs. Nowadays I cannot obtained [sic] plain p.cs. so am temporarily reduced to 2 letters per month only. I shall do my utmost to get the p.cs again & I know that you will understand. There is no need for me to say how glad I am to know that you are both keeping well. I hope Dad is O.K. & expect he is when you are able to house a guest, which I think is very kind & considerate of you. Give her my love if she is still with you when this letter arrives. Yes I was thinking about you all Christmas Day, & New Year’s day & Mother’s birthday, but of course I am always doing that. It was very kind of Jaffis [indecipherable word] to send £2, I very much appreciate it. Since the mail began I have received 28 letters from England & your cable. 16 letters have been from you, so that is not too bad. I wish I could write to you more often, but as I am in safety you need not worry. You realise only too well I cannot say a great deal in my letters but one of these days I shall have plenty to tell you both when I am back in England. I am not stagnant yet even if my winds are temporarily clipped & I am still proud to say I came from England. Politics in letters are taboo, I expect; so I

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will tell you a bit about the weather this year, instead. A few days have been warm enough for sunbathing, but this morning we had snow again and the weather is Aprilish in England. It varies terrifically. The sun is hot but we still get the cold west winds & at night it is quite cold. For an English person under normal conditions, the weather would be ideal & I am very weather beaten & look well & as I told you before weigh 10 stones 6 lbs. Our food is better now & I think we have contacted Air Ministry now & in consequence get a rather better money allowance, which of course does not represent anything approaching our normal pay. We spend everything on food, wood & cigarettes. Drink practically nothing else but black coffee, & red wine at about 3 1/2d per litre = nearly 1 1/2 pints. The beer (bottled only) is poison & we would not touch it with a barge pole. From the letters I have received it appears that several people think we have the freedom of the country. Perhaps you could explain that we are confined to the camp & only allowed a walk a day with as I told you before a “chaperone”. We can knock holes in a football in the camp yard, but that is not exactly come & go as you please.

During my stay here I am trying to get as strong as I can. Physically I am better than when I left England. I get the French newspaper every day & believe what I want to believe in it. I have quite a good idea what is going on however & my congratulations go out to all those who I know deserve them. Just to think what I have missed. I eat a lot of oranges here. It is the season now & I get about 4 a day for the equivalent of 2d. Living here is cheap but of course so much is rationed. I am sending this letter by Air Mail & [underlined] do [/underlined] hope it gets through all right. Did I tell you we have a fairly decent selection of English books here, & plenty of clothing. Well say good-bye now until next letter day, unless I can get a p.c. before. All my love & best wishes & what a celebration when we all meet again. Please give my love & regards to E.W.T. & keep your spirits going. Douglas [flourish}



James Douglas Hudson, “Letter from Douglas Hudson to his parents,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed May 26, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/22503.

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