Letter from Douglas Hudson to his parents



Letter from Douglas Hudson to his parents


Acknowledges receipt of their latest letters and mentions sending them a able and expecting their next one. No news of note but writes about the weather. Contemplates life in England and mentions catching a tarantula. Comments he has spent as much time in Laghouat as at El Kef and it is coming up to two years in North Africa. Remembers first days in North Africa and comments on interment by the French. Catches up with home news.




Temporal Coverage



Two page handwritten letter


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Royal Air Force. 755052. Sgt. J.D. Hudson.

℅. Consul Général des États Unis.

Rue Michelet.

Alger. Algérie.

2-6-42. Afrique du Nord.

My Dear Mother & Dad,

When last I wrote to you it was to acknowledge receipt of your letters Nos. 37 & 38 which arrived on May 28th and also advise the dispatch of a cable I sent on the same day advising you of the letters I had received etc. I am now awaiting your next cable which is about due. Since your birthday telegram arrived informing me that you had received seven letters, I have sent two to you, one a pre-paid reply & the other I sent off my own bat as the spirit moved me. There [sic] very little news for you because nothing has occurred since I sent my last letter. The weather now is getting hot. After 10am it is too hot really to be outside until nearly 5pm, and the nights are fairly warm. To-day there is a slight breeze blowing which makes a difference. When you write and tell of the greenish Spring countryside and say that your lake is rippling in the wind, it makes me realise more than ever what I have left behind when I contemplate the sand and bareness surrounding this spot. Oh to be in England now that spring is here! Last night we caught a tarantula in our room. It had a body about the size of a shilling and hairy legs each about three inches or more long. It is the first I have seen and I did not realise that they thrived in this part of the world. It is just over a year since we left Médéa for [one indecipherable word] We came here the third week in October which means

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in about a fortnight’s time we shall have spent as long at Laghauat as we did in [one indecipherable word] It will not be very long before we shall have reached our two years stay in North Africa. Thank God I did not know at the time [inserted] what [/inserted] was ahead of me. You will probably recall at the time I did not wish to leave England. I remember so clearly the first morning I was on African rail. The Arab crowd which seemed to gather so quickly and from nowhere and our feeble efforts to try and make ourselves understood in French which even the French themselves found difficulty with. I remember how hot it seemed with all our gear on, yet actually how cool it was then to this present June day. The flies, red wine and smell of garlic which seemed to be everywhere, and which since we have begun to take so much for granted. How indignant we were at the thought of having a guard in French North Africa, and now how lonely we should be without [underlined] them. [/underlined] I suppose one begins to feel that in them we have protection. When I get home I shall charter my own constable to look after me. Poor old George Formby, or whoever it was, in whose Window Cleaning “Song” the line occurs “Always on the outside looking in” That man surely didn’t know just how lucky he was. I’ll tell you the whole story one day and I can assure you it will make good telling and maybe even better listening. So for the present let us continue with our chatty conversation as it was in the past. My thoughts are over with you both, and no matter how difficult the mail may be in arriving you can & must rest assured that I am keeping well and only waiting for that day when we meet again. All my love.

[underlined] Douglas [/underlined]



J D Hudson, “Letter from Douglas Hudson to his parents ,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed September 23, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/22709.

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