Letter from Douglas Hudson to his parents



Letter from Douglas Hudson to his parents


Writes of telegram he sent for father's birthday. Had nor received any letters or reply to cable. Mentions changes in camp numbers over the last months, now too large for comfort. Says his own situation is better than most NCOs as they are occupying the camp office. Describes other occupants including naval master at arms who introduced them to interesting recipes using Red Cross ingredients. Describes inviting one of their officers to a small party with music and red wine. Mentions photographs of camp newspaper, arrival of a calendar with pictures of England. Comments on hot weather and just wearing shorts but it was now cooling off.




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,

I wrote to you last on Aug. 27th and later that day I sent a telegram for Dad’s birthday which read as follows:- “Many happy returns Dad’s birthday latest letter received sixty six just received large calendar all love thoughts wishes Douglas Hudson,” I have not received any letters from you since then, neither have I had a reply to my cable sent on Aug. 13th acknowledging receipt of the first Red Cross clothes parcel. I have sent three cables, dates Aug 13th 17th & 27th and I hope they will all reach you safely, and especially I hope the last one will arrive in time for Dad’s birthday. My thoughts will be very much with you on that Day, & I hope it will pass happily. There have been changes here during the past months and our family is now a very large one indeed, too large to be comfortable. [underlined] We [/underlined] still remain reasonably well placed & have probably more privacy than most N.C.Os & men. We undertake a certain amount of clerical work and seep & eat in the room we use as our camp office. There are four Sgts. & one Naval Master at Arms together. A M.A.A is on board a ship in a similar position to Station Warrant Officer in the R.A.F. This one is a decent chap, young for his position & we get along very well. He introduced us into the art of making a “Naval Duff” or should it be “Dough.” Recipe stale bread soaked in water. & raisins, prunes, sugar & whatever suitable similar ingredients are available, depending upon the Red Cross. This lot is well mixed & taken to

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the Galley – no longer cookhouse or cuisine because we are on board H.M.S. “Laghanat” – and steamed or baked according to the temper of the cook. We have made four or five of these and they have been quite satisfactory. Last night we invited one of our officers to spend an evening out here and he brought his portable gramophone & records. For the first time for a long time I heard many old favourites including “Ave Maria” & “Selections from Lilac Time” which revived many happy memories of the past. These tunes together with a bottle or two of Red Wine (its beastly stuff but all we can get) which we saved from our issue, managed to help us forget the ennui & misery of internment? for a few hours. I have ordered p.c. enlargements of 12 different snaps taken of our old “Camp Echo”, & when, or if, these come along I shall try & send these out to you. I was very surprised to receive the large calendar sent before the end of Dec. This arrived during the week and is now decorating the wall, showing to advantage the bit of England which is more alluring than I ever imagined a picture of our own country could ever be. You surely have to lose a thing before you appreciate its value. I would give anything to listen to a 12 hours heavy downpour of rain. For five months now I have been going about wearing nothing but a pair of shorts or underpants & sleeping at night under a single sheet. It is still almost too hot to go about in the early afternoon, but there is a definite slackening off of the July heat & oppressiveness of early August My page is finished so I will say good-bye. I have been persevering with my old pen again but it is not very satisfactory. With all my love, thoughts & best wishes as ever. Keep smiling, it may not be very long now. [underlined] Douglas [/underlined].



J D Hudson, “Letter from Douglas Hudson to his parents,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed February 24, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/22835.

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