Letter from Douglas Hudson to his parents



Letter from Douglas Hudson to his parents


Catches up with mail and cables set and received, comments of frequency of letters sent from England and tries to deduce if any have gone astray. Comments on heat and weather in general. Mentions meeting a young lady he knew at previous camp and of sunbathing. Writes he cannot include much detail in his letters as he is concerned censors will destroy them and it is more important that arrive at both ends. Reminisces about life at home and make climate comparisons. Writes about camels and that lack of grass at that time of year make it difficult for cattle. Asks whether his letters to other recipients have arrived.



Temporal Coverage



Four page handwritten letter


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Royal Air Force. 755052. Sgt. J. D. Hudson.
c/o. Consul Général des Etats Unis.
Rue Michelet.
Alger. Algerie.
Afrique du Nord.
My Dear Mother & Dad,
The last time I wrote to you, that is four days ago, I acknowledged receipt of your letter written on July 6th enclosing the snaps taken of the “Old Lady & Old Gentleman” sitting in the rockery garden. A week yesterday I received your letter of July 8th also enclosing two snaps taken in the garden, & in my last two letters I told you just how pleased I was to have these photographs. They mean such a lot these days when we are so far apart. Now I am looking forward to the other photos you say will be soon on the way. According to the letters received recently I gather you are writing about twice a week so another letter should arrive anytime. I have not had any wire from you since yours of July 12th informing me that you did not receive a reply to your earlier pre-paid cable sent on June 30th. In my latest letters I said that I received all your pre-paid cables & sent a reply off to each. As I have not heard from you I am wondering if another reply has gone astray; I sincerely hope not because I was feeling so pleased that we were in such quick communication. Anyway I can assure you that I am
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still keeping well, but should be a lot happier if I was back in Old England once again. It has been very hot during the last few days, more oppressive than before. The air has been heavy in spite of the wind & this afternoon for about 5 minutes we had thunder rain. The first rain for five or six weeks, but everything is dry again immediately. This afternoon we had a visitor, a young lady we all knew at Médéa, & she said “Doug you have gone sunburned” & was surprised when I told her I did no sunbathing apart from the walk. Having overcome at Le Kef. the initial sunburn trials I find my skin takes it very well, for me a little sun goes a long way in browning. In my letters nowadays I am practically reduced to the same platitudes, ie, the weather & the sunburning, wish I could tell you just what I do wish, but I prefer all my letters to get home than be destroyed by the censor en route. Letters received regularly, if not very interesting, are of great mental healing value these days. I am still making rice puddings (of a kind). We find rice is good for the inside & during these hot spells one has to be exceedingly careful. Here one peels plums, & always spits out grape skins, because fruit can be dangerous as well as beneficial. We are running a Ludo competition tonight & tomorrow. It is a knock out affair, & Tony & I have just qualified for the second round. This used to be a very popular
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game in the Sgts’. Mess in England, in fact it was quite a pastime in the olden days. One of which I did not think I should partake in North Africa. I find it very difficult to know what to say when I have not a letter from you to acknowledge. I explained in my last few letters that I was addressing all my correspondence now c/o. The Consul in Algiers. I think that is a safe address for mail to be forwarded to. Here I often think of the times in England when we used to examine the sky & wonder if the weather would be fit for our Saturday or Sunday, or may be evening motor cycle trips. Here the sun shines practically 14 hours every day uninterruptedly & we have to crawl away from it because it gets too hot. It reminds me very much of the uneven distribution of so many things in this world. Did I mention before that when reading a geographical book we have here I came across a table showing the mean annual temperatures as well & I was surprised to learn that in Gt. Britain the average temperature was 50o F. North Africa 70o F & all Equatorial Regions 80o F. I did not think the difference between here & the Equator was less by half than between here & England. We find it hotter now than when we arrived last August but we have got far more accustomed to it. Aumale does not lie very far from the desert, & I believe
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that South of here there is little cultivation. In fact the region around here is extremely barren in several places, & one sees quite a number of camels about. The camel is a most supercilious looking animal. Some of these around here are filthy dirty, others are quite clean & look more or less wholesome. This is a difficult time of the year for cattle because the grass is all burnt – not a blade of green anywhere. If you ever come here for a holiday make it during May – then the weather is beautiful English summer, & the country side is most verdant. But why come here for a holiday ever. I’ll tell you all about what it has been my fortune? to discover, & then we’ll let North Africa be a closed book. I wonder if E.W.7 has received any of my letters? Will you tell him I have written & send my love & wishes etc? I have not had any news from him for a long time now. Just in case this letter arrives in time for Dad’s birthday I send him every best wish. I have mentioned this in many letters now, so surely I can rely on some getting through in time. And now I will say good-night. It is getting quite dark [deleted] now [/deleted] at 8.30 pm. The clocks do not get put on here, & as we are 1 hour in advance of England (geographical [indecipherable word]) & you have 2 hours daylight now it will be 9.30. B.S.T. [deleted] now [/deleted], & I expect quite light. Hoping you are both fit, safe & well, All my love & best wishes as ever, Douglas.



James Douglas Hudson, “Letter from Douglas Hudson to his parents,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed June 6, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/22546.

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