Letter from Douglas Hudson to his parents



Letter from Douglas Hudson to his parents


Catches up on mail received and sent and notes arrival of two more photographs making ten overall which he keeps in his wallet. Mentions photographs of himself that he had with him. Compares weather in England with his and mentions they had had some rain. Reminisces over past holiday. Writes that another Red Cross parcel had arrived and lists contents mentioning swapping some for more cigarettes. Comments on preparation of special celebration supper with bottles of wine. Mentions some activities including whist drive. Concludes with gossip, news and tells them not to be concerned over the cost to him of sending them letters.



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,
Since I wrote to you last on the night of Dad’s birthday acknowledging your letters dated August 10th & 13th, I was pleased to receive your letters of the 17th August enclosing two more snapshots taken by Miss Chester’s camera. This brings the total number of photos I have received to ten, and I am very proud of my little picture gallery. Most of the chaps who receive photos put them up on the wall, but I always keep mine in my wallet and refer to them as I wish because they get terribly soiled when exposed. I have quite a collection of snaps now because I brought a fair number out with me taken by John & myself at different times when out together. I wrote to John for the first time a few days ago & told him that the only letter I received from him was one written almost immediately he knew I was safe. In your last letter you mention the severe weather experienced in August. August was an extremely hot month here but with the advent of September there was a marked change in the weather & it became considerably cooler. Yesterday we had the first real rain since we came here on May 31st & in five minutes the road below which slopes was literally a river, & ground which had previously been baked was running mud. This morning it
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is damp but the ground has absorbed all the moisture. Yesterday I wore long trousers for the first time since my arrival at Aumale. Whether this is just a temporary break in the climatic conditions I do not know, but it is very much cooler than when we landed here just over twelve months ago. I believe Tunisé is hotter than Algérie however. In your letter of August 17th you ask me if I remember two years ago – our holiday. I shall never forget that holiday for so many reasons. Firstly that it was such a personal holiday & such a break for Mother, not to mention its success & the good weather we had. Secondly it was the last real opportunity we had of being together before our lengthy separation. At the time I was hoping that it was only the beginning of a series of happy ones to follow, but the war stepped in and so we have temporarily had to postpone everything. But note that I say temporarily. I hope you will excuse the different colours of ink but I am having difficulty with my pen which is practically hors de combat & needs overhauling, & I just cannot understand what colour the ink is supposed to be. All the Kef. chaps were very glad to receive another parcel each from the Red Cross the day before yesterday. This time I have a tin of Ovaltine & 1/4 lb packet of tea, tin of milk, packet of raisins, soap, tin of Bramble Jelly, margarine, vegetables etc. Twelve in all, although seventeen were suet, so you see five fell by the way side. We also received two large communal packets containing
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Gold Flake cigarettes in the round 50 tins, the same I used to buy in England before coming out here. The ration was 34 cigarettes per man, but I swapped a tin of meat paste with a non smoker for his ration making my total 68. The meat paste lasts about 5 minutes & the cigarettes a day or so. Tonight we are celebrating two twenty first birthdays so these parcels will come in useful because we are going to try & cook a meal for seven people. We have got in six bottles of wine – we were not allowed any more – so we should have quite a good time. Celebrations out here depress me to a certain extent there is something about them which is not quite real, I mean there is nothing really to celebrate about. I am having great difficulty with my pen now it is become completely obsturate & I have resorted to dipping it into the ink bottle. It might interest you to know that one of the fellows who is twenty one was at Miss Martin’s place when I was. I don’t mean stayed with her but was at the same town, & also followed me to my next school. The other night we held a whist drive, the first we have had & it was quite a success, but dull after Bridge. We have a table tennis tournament on now I am due to play any moment. We do all we possibly can to keep amused. Some people have even made a game of Monopoly out of card board with the aid of coloured crayons, & made the money from slips of paper. I have started growing a beard again. It has
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been on the way for two weeks now & is not faring too badly, but is irritable occasionally. John Riddick’s wife has got a B.B.C. engagement at W/1 & is living in a flat near my Old School for the time being. Something I have thought a lot about here is a statement Dad made some years ago. He bet me that when I was 28 I should start losing my hair as he did. Well I am determined to win that bet & up to date appear as though I shall be successful. I am going to keep it cut fairly short & comb it back thoroughly. At the moment I have got it to wave quite nicely. I wonder if the fact of not wearing a hat will have any bearing on it. Sorry about the blot. You appeared a trifle worried about my spending too much of my allowance on postage stamps for letters home. Please do not worry about that. Nowadays anyway we do not stamp our envelopes, & previously I did not suffer I do assure you. I am only too pleased that letters are arriving home. I remember only too vividly how terrible it was during my first four months here without any news from you, also wondering all the time if my letters were getting home. I intend writing a communal letter sometime to Calverley, I shall, I think address it to Grandad he being the oldest relative, but it will be a letter that can be passed round, & I shall make it ring & fit the occasion, tactfully & diplomatically. And now I must say good bye again, & as always send my very best wishes & all my love & thoughts
P.S. Could you tell me how I am being charged for income tax, if, ? I should like to know if possible.



James Douglas Hudson, “Letter from Douglas Hudson to his parents,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed January 25, 2022, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/22557.

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