Letter from Douglas Hudson to his parents



Letter from Douglas Hudson to his parents


Says he had not received any mail since his last letter to them. Catalogues recent mail and cables along with comments. Is expecting a letter the next day. Comments on weather, heat and sirocco wind. Mentions that other internees had received parcels of Players cigarettes from home via the red cross and that these were so much better that the local cigarettes. Mentions upcoming parents wedding anniversary and comments on his current wardrobe compared to what he wore in England. Lists possessions retained and lost and reminisces over life in England. Writes of how many cups of tea can be made from Red Cross ration as well as mentioning food and bowel problems. Comments on poor quality writing paper he is using as better stuff is expensive.



Temporal Coverage



Four page handwritten letter


IBCC Digital Archive


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Royal Air Force. Sgt. J. D. Hudson. 755052.
Camp Militaire.
Aumale. Algérie.
Afrique du Nord.
My Dear Mother & Dad,
I wrote to you last about four days ago, but I have not received any further news from you since. The last letter I received from you was on the 24th July written on the 6th, & the one before that I received was on July 20th written on the 8th. That was the quickest letter to get through. Both these letters enclosed two photos of the “Old Lady & the Old Gentleman” taken at different positions in the garden, & in my recent letters I explained how delighted I was to have them & how pleased I shall be to receive the others which should be on the way. I am feeling rather concerned because I have not received any cable from you since July 12th & before that you were sending cables regularly every ten days or so. I am wondering if the reply I sent to this last cable did not get through as well as the one in reply to yours of June 30th & accordingly you decided it was not worth while cabling again. I can assure you that all cables you sent up to July 12th I received & I have sent replies to all those which were pre-paid. I hope that tomorrow I shall receive news from you. Sunday is generally a good mail day, & tomorrow will be Sunday. If you are still writing twice a week, or more, I am due at least three letters. I hope that you will have received more letters from me
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recently. You should be getting a fairly regular supply now, because I have been writing twice a week since April 15th. The summer now is getting fairly well advanced & I expect soon the weather will cease getting hotter. The last few days have been unpleasant, cloudy, hot with the Sirocco blowing up from the desert. It has looked all the time like rain & yet nothing happens. One goes about the place feeling half dead & it is difficult, particularly in the afternoon, to shake off the lethargy. To-night, as I am writing this letter, I am pleased to say it is cooler than it has been for some time. To-day, two of our fellows received “Players Cigarettes” from England. In each case sent from their home via the Red X. about 12 packets of 20 in each parcel. Accordingly I have smoked two Players Cigarettes to-day, the first since the day I landed in Africa. The fact that they were English, & the old familiar’s made the joy of the occasion. As actual cigarettes they are a dead loss compared with the ones we buy here for approximately one eighth the price. The whole room smelled scented afterwards. You have no idea just how often we have discussed these “Players” out here. Terrific store has always been placed on them, more because of what they have represented in the past I suppose. Well, yesterday was the 1st August & what a contrast to the way I spent it last year. Doubtless you will guess how that was. Before I finish my letter I must not forget to mention your Wedding Anniversary. I shall not forget to think about you on the day, although it will be well past
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by the time this letter arrives. I often wonder while I am out here how I shall like wearing clothes again after going about so scantily attired. And talking about clothes what has happened to my wardrobe? Is it being utilised? Unless I alter I don’t expect many of my suits will fit me when I do get back. I often think of the multi garments I used to wear when setting out on some of the more wintry motor cycling rides, & comparing those times with the present makes me think a lot more. I have the blue pullover out here that Mother knitted, & I wore it quite a lot at Kef. last winter. I also have the small reversible one that E.W.7. gave me. The petrol lighter you gave me is still in every day use, but my cigarette case & fountain pen are lost. The old wrist watch is still going strong, & I have with me the wallet & cuff links which originally belonged to Uncle Alec, also a number of photos taken of John & myself & different girls of motor cycling days, another of the three of us which John took on the memorable day when the Riley attempted the Trough of Boland (Not sure of the spelling of Bo? Bow? land.) So you see I have quite a number of Small souvenirs to carry about with me. The other day when ploughing through the pages of an Old Strand Magazine I came across a photograph of the village of Selworthy in Somerset & that brought back a host of memories. It is nearly two years since that holiday. I made a mistake when I said we each received a 1 oz packet of tea in the Red X. parcel. This should have been a 2 ozs.
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packet. One bloke has managed to make 120 cups of tea from his. I question the quality & the strength of the resultant brew, because although Tony & I did & are still doing well, I doubt if we have reached that figure with our joint packets. The only item over which the Red. X. tripped up was that of the tinned figs. I am still trying to decide which it was, - the figs, or my last rice pudding, which catapulted me so effectively to the “Cabinet” on a succession of occasions throughout last night. I have too much faith in my rice pudding to blame that. Explanation. For the translation of “Cabinet” refer to the French dictionary, if you find it necessary. I believe there is another parcel on the way to us from the Red X. this time containing “Players Cigarettes” We also hope they will continue to send food parcels at regular intervals. I really do praise this organisation & their work. Writing paper of decent quality is expensive to buy & I don’t think you will mind me using this stuff. One certainly can write lengthy letters on it. I was glad to hear that the little cactus plant is growing outside. There were some at Médéa with long stalks about the diameter of a drain pipe extending fifteen feet or so. They looked like giant asparagus. There were marvellous flowers there including many English Varieties, but you could grow as good flowers in Market Street as you could at this place. And now good-night & au revoir until next letter. Every best wish & all my love,



James Douglas Hudson, “Letter from Douglas Hudson to his parents,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed January 23, 2022, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/22550.

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