Letter from Douglas Hudson to his parents



Letter from Douglas Hudson to his parents


Catalogues and comments on letters and cables sent and received. Mentions that letters are better by now going through the American consul in Algiers. Make comments on weather at home and in Algeria as well as some mention of daily routine and activities. Writes that they got a very pleasant surprise for all that had been at El Kef received Red Cross parcels of which he lists contents. Comments on his health and of life in North Africa in general.



Temporal Coverage



Four page handwritten letter


IBCC Digital Archive


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Royal Air Force. 755052. Sgt. J. D. Hudson.
c/o Consul Général des Etats Unis.
Rue Michelet.
Alger. Algérie.
Afrique du Nord.
My Dear Mother & Dad,
The first part of this letter is to deal with a few necessary explanations, so I sincerely hope it will not take too long to get through. Firstly, I received your cable of July 12th on the 13th reading as follows “Cable sent pre-paid reply June 20th no response delighted letter to-day Médéa June 15th all love” I did receive your cable of June 30th on July 1st & cabled a reply the same day, later enquiries proved it was despatched and I am at a loss to understand why it did not get through as did my earlier ones. On July 14th, that is two days ago, I sent a cabled reply to your last wire explaining that I had wired replies to all your pre-paid cables and I do hope that by now it will be in your hands, I also hope most sincerely that my cable channel will not be frustrated, especially at a time when we had just got a pre-paid system under way. But there is no comprehending the vagaries of our postal & other systems at the moment. Another point in your cable of July 13th that has puzzled me is the letter dated June 15th which you say you have received from Médéa, because
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as you must know I have been here at Aumale since May 31st. Perhaps it is a letter I have written from here. I was very pleased to receive to-day your letter dated June 25th & to learn that summer has come to England at last & that you were managing without fires. Now the footnote to this letter refers to my cable in which I say “writing twice weekly” & you say “suppose it should read twice monthly”. Well I am hoping by now that you will have received sufficient letters from me to show I meant twice weekly. Since April 25th when I was established at Médéa, & up to date I have written by Air Mail through the American Consul in Algiers, twice a week, & I hope to be able to maintain this regularity in the future. It seems a great shame that letters from here take so much longer to get through than yours do, so lets hope the Censor will do all he can to expedite delivery of this one. I think that is all, of the explanations but I will just point out that I have given you my address c/o The Consul, I think it may be advisable to address all your correspondence to me through him.
Well I am very pleased to receive all your news, letters & cables, it is good to know that you are keeping well & that things appear to be going smoothly under the existing
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circumstances. It is a pity your strawberries & raspberries are so small, especially when they are so dear to buy, but may be it is the result of a cold winter and spring. You mention the terrific thunder & lightning, you should have witnessed the storms we had last September & October out here. I have never seen such lightning or such heavy rain, it was terrific. The storms have not started yet although it has been hot recently. Yesterday, although it was rather hazy, the temperature was 97o F in the late afternoon ie, at 4.30. It must have been hotter in the earlier part of the day. I wear nothing but shorts now, & don’t go out anyway after 11 o’clock, our walk is over by then & sport does not start until 5.30 pm. I had another fight last night – I still cannot win, & accordingly the other man got the decision on points. My nose is tender this morning, but his body is covered with bruises. I am told I have a very [deleted] [indecipherable word] [/deleted] [inserted] heavy [/inserted] punch, but do not guard myself sufficiently. It is difficult getting men to fight, there are a number not too keen. I have got to the stage when I will do most things. I have won 110 cigarettes in the last two weeks 40 for boxing, all fighters get prizes for their pains, & 70 for beating the Officers in the Spelling Bee.
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I got a very pleasant surprise the day before yesterday, when I and all the chaps who had been at Kef, received a parcel from the Red X. in London containing fifteen items chiefly tinned food, ie, a tin of jam, paste, margarine, cocoa, glucose, a tinned pie, tin of Ambrosia milk, [inserted] powder [/inserted] Heinz Soup, & a block of Rowntrees York etc. but no cigs. Every item most useful, especially the milk. I really cannot understand why in this hot climate, & minus many things the doctor ordered I have gained weight. My body is beautifully sun-burned, completely golden & is darker than my face. I would give a £ willingly to retain this till I come home. Beyond the experience gained, my sun burn is the only thing [inserted] for which [/inserted] I shall ever say thank you to A. du Nord. You ask can we get fruit – yes we can – plums apricots, little apples & now grapes in fact our diet is mainly fruit & vegetables. I buy tomatoes, & we get marrow now. Oh, believe me I can eat anything, have learned to eat carrots & cabbage. When I get home I shall not present a single problem, I’ll do the cooking if you wish. But I tell you & have improved on my arguing. Hope we turn every topic inside out. I shall probably find my experience here has been of real value, who can tell. It makes one think. And now goodbye until next letter (twice a [underlined] week [/underlined]) With every best wish, also for Dad’s birthday.
All my love, Douglas.



James Douglas Hudson, “Letter from Douglas Hudson to his parents,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed January 18, 2022, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/22541.

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