Letter from Douglas Hudson to his parents



Letter from Douglas Hudson to his parents


Writes that after successful experiment with registered airmail he is sending this the same way. Announces he has received thirteen Penguin books which he much appreciated. Discusses Red Cross parcels from them which while expected had still not turned up. Reiterates urgent requirement for soap, socks, toothbrushes, and footwear. When next parcel arrived he should be well placed for underwear. Mentions weather and that he is enclosing a photograph. Catches up with latest mail received and discusses some points raised. Mentions tempers getting frayed in camp possibly due to shortage of cigarettes. Writes of good supply Red Cross parcels in June/July/August but since then they have come in dribs and drabs.




Temporal Coverage



Two page handwritten letter


IBCC Digital Archive


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Royal Air Force. 755052. Sgt. J. D. Hudson.
℅ Consul Général des Etats Unis.
Rue Michelet.
Alger. Algérie. Afrique du Nord.


My Dear Mother & Dad,

As my first [inserted] experiment [/inserted] letter [inserted] 15-9-42 [/inserted] was such a success where sent by Regd airmail I am repeating the experiment in the hope that I shall be fortunate with this one. It was a great joy to me to learn that you had received my first one on Oct 2nd. You will be very pleased to learn that I received thirteen Penguin Books two days ago and they are quite a good selection, much better than I anticipated judging from your earlier remarks saying that the girl at Smiths suggested a collection of Wild West stories & Thrillers. I am very sorry for the scathing remarks I passed about this suggestion in my reply letter & I trust you will accept my apologies & also my appreciation for the parcel. The collection included “A life of Shakespeare” by Hesketh Pearson which I have begun reading, “The Centuries Poetry” “While Rome Burns” by Alex Woollcott “The Chinese” by Winifred Galbraith, other short stories & a few typical thrillers. I don’t know on what date this parcel was despatched but I presume it took about 8 weeks. In my Tuesday’s letter sent by the usual route I also mentioned receipt of the books & went on to say I believed your second Red Cross parcel was waiting for me in the French Bureau. After a 48 hours wait this proved to be incorrect & the batch that had arrived appear to be June despatches. I felt very disappointed all the same. As I hope this letter will reach you in about two weeks a few comments on requirements would not come amiss. As far as I can tell at the moment soap, socks, toothbrushes, & footwear are likely to be the most urgently required future articles. Strength of footwear is more important than fineness of quality. It doesn’t matter one bit what a shoe looks like out here as long as it is a utility object. Just now I am well off for towels, & when your

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July 27th parcel reaches me I should be well placed for underclothes. I still have my uniform although it is somewhat faded. To-day is the coldest we have had since last winter. It is cloudy & wet after a long spell of cloudless fine weather, & it comes as rather a “shaker” I am enclosing a small group photo of a few of our fellows taken in the summer. It is very difficult getting the films nowadays & printing paper seems to be unobtainable so what will happen to the negatives waiting at the photographers I know not. Your latest letter dated Sept. 17th, No 81. arrived this morning. The previous one was No. 78. Not 79 & 80 are not yet here. It took me a long time to understand a remark in your letter 81 about my comment on the uniformity of cutting the lawn. You say “now what exactly does that mean = that uniformity ends with snowing?” If what I assume you mean is correct, you appear to have entirely mis-interpreted my remark for what I intended to convey seems jokingly as praise for the result of your labours. I remember how proud you used to be of the lawns in the olden days after a good snow. So if I did convey something else I hope you will understand it was purely accidental phrasing & certainly not intentional. Talking about misunderstandings - tempers are very frayed in our inner circle here at the moment. There appears to be a lot of selfishness and it requires super self control to prevent the safety valve blowing. I fear there have been a few hisses of steam as it is, already. Probably this is due to the shortage of cigarettes. I have been collecting my own cig . ends & re-rolling the tobacco. This way 20 cigarettes are worth 25. We had excellent Red Cross throughout June - July - August (first few days of June excepted - sorry) but since then it has come in very insignificant dribs & drabs& is consequently of negligible value. I expect it will improve in the future. It has proved to be a stoic organisation in the past so I am quite optimistic for the days to come. The page is ended so I will say good-bye with my usual best wishes to you both & all my love and thoughts as ever.

[underlined] Douglas [/underlined]



J D Hudson, “Letter from Douglas Hudson to his parents ,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed November 27, 2022, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/22883.

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