Letter from Douglas Hudson to his parents



Letter from Douglas Hudson to his parents


Updates them on mail received. Sorry that it had been delayed and that the radio he wanted them to get for Christmas was unobtainable. Writes about exchange of cables and mentions their content. Wonders why they cannot get the radio, if temporary shortage hopes they can get one when they reappear. Mentions arrival of Red Cross parcels but many items had been stolen so they pooled and redistributed. but shortage of tea, milk and soap. Writes of swapping food items and a little of what he has available. Mentions Christmas nearly there but no idea what will happen at Laghouat. Writes that they no longer have friends like at previous camps to help them and about obtaining some wine for festive occasions. Concludes with Christmas best wishes.



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,
Since last I wrote to you I received on the 14th December, your telegram dated December 6th. I was very glad to receive it, but sorry to learn two things, firstly that it had been delayed seven days, and secondly that the radio-gram I so much wanted you to have as a Christmas present was unobtainable. On the telegram form I received, four words had been mis-spelled and corrections added in red ink. A note was also added in red ink to the effect that these corrections had come from Nelson on Dec. 13th so you see how much delay had been caused. I wonder if the telegrams you receive from me are always quite clear? Anyway your message read:- “Deeply moved message twentyninth gift unobtainable still eagerly await letters eleven weeks all love” The telegram I despatched to you left my hands on December 23rd, that is the day your earlier one arrived, so the delay both ways is very annoying. In spite of all this it is good that the news has got through but let us hope that the telegram I sent to you on Dec. 15th is more speedy. It read as follows:- Cable received fourteenth still writing all love wishes Christmas New Year sorry gift unobtainable keep trying.” I am wondering why you are unable to buy this radiogram. If it is just a temporary shortage I hope you will get one as soon as they reappear for sale. Several Red Cross parcels arrived during the last two days but such a terrific percentage of items had been stolen that the whole lot had to be pooled and re-divided for each man. Consequently my shortage of soap, tea & milk has been
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remedied for the time being. In each of these items we came off quite well. Fortunately tastes vary and consequently quite sensible changes can be made. Sometimes the situation is [indecipherable word] and as a Lt. Commander here is particularly fond of [indecipherable word] Card a chap with a small tin can do a handsome exchange for a tin of salmon, etc. I reaped two tins of milk for a packet of oatmeal porridge & a small tin of Ovaltine. I have some Weetabix which will be useful with the milk, and our tea & cocoa should last a week, or so, thank goodness. The tea & milk will last longer, we have quite a lot now. At the moment our stocks run high because we made another 3 lbs of Marmalade taking advantage of a temporary supply of sugar. Fancy making headline news of “Grocery items” things one regarded as being commonplace, & when it came to buying them, rather a nuisance before the war – However, the changing face etc. Christmas is nearly here now, what will happen at Laghouat down in the desert where it does get cold in winter, I don’t know. We have no longer the aid of our dear friends of last year in Tunis, they cannot help us now. They were generosity itself last year and I shall never forget them. We bought some beer & wine the other day for festive occasions, but Jimmy & I have drunk the beer, so we have ordered some more in hopes. It is very difficult to get, and bad for the stomach being very much chemically prepared. From the tone of this letter it sounds as though we [deleted] lif [/deleted] live for nothing but our stomachs. This is far from being the case, but as there is so little I can tell you about in it all goes. Our small culinary preparations are our present high lights. There will be plenty to tell you about one day & it won’t be just Red X. parcels. With every thought and best wish for Christmas, New Year & Mother’s birthday. All my love, Douglas.



James Douglas Hudson, “Letter from Douglas Hudson to his parents,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed May 27, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/22576.

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