Letter from Douglas Hudson to his parents



Letter from Douglas Hudson to his parents


Catches up with mail/cables sent/received. Mentions a problem with addressing a cable which caused delay in dispatch. Writes of difficult time for them when he was reported missing and how that worried him most. Noted that many of his letters all arrived with them on same day. Mentioned that another internee had received a parcel from home by airmail. Writes of activities and how successful he had been at winning prizes for various events. Mentions obtaining a chicken from local Arab and that they had been quite successful lately at augmenting rations. Concludes catching up with family news and again suggests they should learn to play bridge.



Temporal Coverage



Two 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. Algérie.
Afrique du Nord.
My Dear Mother & Dad,
The last letter I wrote to you was 3 or 4 days ago acknowledging receipt of your cable of September 13th & telling you I was sending a reply immediately. I sent the reply off on the 15th but my telegram form was returned the next day with a query as to the address Nelsonlancs because the cable had come from Nelson. However, after explaining to the French Officer that “lancs” was short for Lancashire the cable was duly despatched. This will explain to you the reason for the delay of two days. Yesterday I was very pleased to receive your letter of August 25th in which you tell me you had been reading through all my letters sent off from Africa, & you mention that one letter in particular which I wrote from England just before leaving saved your reason during the anxious period last September when I was reported missing. This makes me realise only too forcibly just what mental torment you must have endured & at the particular time it was the knowledge of this that worried me most of all. Well, that is over and done with & [inserted] [deleted] you [/deleted] [/inserted] must try to be forgotten, & [inserted] you must [/inserted] look forward instead to a brighter & happier future. It is strange that you should receive six letters from me on the same date. Perhaps it is unfortunate that they are not more evenly distributed, but the joy of having six together must be great when the post-man does arrive. One of our men received a parcel yesterday sent direct by Air Mail. It left England on Sept. 4th, thereby only taking 12 days. The contents [symbol]
[page break]
were a few boiled sweets, three bars of Rowntrees Chocolate & 50 Players cigarettes & a letter. The cost of sending was 4s - 5d. Yesterday evening we had a Whist Drive again. I won the “Gents” prize for the [indecipherable word], and also the “Gents” prize for the Grand Total. The prize was a Large Water Melon & 40 cigarettes. I have been extremely fortunate in prize winning since I came here. I have won cigarettes on two occasions for Boxing, on two occasions for the Spelling Bee, & once for a General Knowledge Contest. This doubtless makes me sound much more clever than I really am, & I must attribute an awful lot to good luck. Prizes financed by the Officers. I was very glad to hear that you received a surprise present of £4-16-0 representing the part proceeds of the sale of two family Gold Coins. Like you, I hope they may find some more similar treasures. Tony & I were very fortunate yesterday in buying a chicken (alive) from an Arab. We got it plucked & cleaned & today are boiling it with onions on our charcoal fire. It cost us 15 francs each & is the first we have had since our arrival in Africa. Recently we have been extremely lucky in supplementing our rations, by the aid of Red X. etc. I asked you in an earlier letter to learn to play Bridge, ie, learn Contract Bridge, Culbertson convention, because it is an admirable game to play to pass the evenings when I get home & have my nights indoors. I do hope you will try. As you already understand Whist you have only to learn the bidding & that should not be very difficult. It has been considerably cooler this month, the nights are quite cool & this is a terrific contrast to the weather in Tunisie last year at this time. there is a perfect blue sky all day long but it is only warm in the actual sun. And now my space is limited & therefore I must say good-bye again until next letter. Yes keep a stout heart, things are not getting any worse. All my love & wishes.
[symbol] Contents packed in an Oxo tin.



James Douglas Hudson, “Letter from Douglas Hudson to his parents,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed May 30, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/22559.

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