Letter from Douglas Hudson to his parents



Letter from Douglas Hudson to his parents


Reports arrival of latest mail some of which was from other acquaintances asking if hew needed anything. Writes about contents of his last telegram mentioning arrival of books. Expecting their next parcel shortly. Mentions arrival of 120 Canadian Red Cross food parcels and explains distribution, contents and how much they are valued. Comments on only being allowed two letters a week and discusses problems and methods of sending mail. Talks of asking for pen friend and concludes with gossip.




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,
My last letter written to you on the 20th by ordinary air mail advised the telegram I was despatching on the same day in reply to yours of Oct. 17th acknowledging my cable 13th (actually sent from here on the 5th), & receipt of your letters and a card from me sent in August & two airmail letters in September. I also received a letter from J Mackenzie of Taffés dated Sept. 29th advising me they had despatched 500 Players cigarettes and asking if there were any other requirements I had. I thought this was a very fine gesture and I am sending a reply letter by Airmail today thanking them. I mentioned that you were sending a parcel every three months via the Red Cross but explained the difficulty of obtaining soap here suggesting anything they could do to help in this respect would be appreciated. My last cable also informed you that I had received a selection of 13 Penguin books which were much better than I expected the girl from Smiths was going to send judging by her suggestions. Thank you very much for those. I expect your second Red Cross parcel anytime now. A large batch arrived a week ago & I expected mine was there – but no. It can’t be far away. I told you in my Tuesday’s letter we had just received 90 cases of Canadian Red Cross food. This has since proved to be 120. These cases contain altogether approximately sufficient parcels to enable each man to have two. That means we can anticipate 2 tins of butter, salmon, marmalade, corned beef etc. On the present basis of distribution, ie, one tin per 4 men of say three different items per day, it should last for one month. The Canadian Red Cross parcels are the best we receive & they always contain tea & milk which is very valuable. There has been a big shortage
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of cigarettes but with the arrival of Red Cross come the local cigarettes & I believe a fifty tin of English cigs. per man. We feel like children, and are just about as helpless it would seem sometimes, we certainly do await all this Red Cross gear as a child awaits Santa Claus’s presents. This business of mail. Officially I am restricted to two letters per week, and it would work out at one air mail letter every half year. I find sometimes, as you may have noticed, I can improve on this. It rather depends upon the general desire of other people to write home. Oftentimes they do not appear keen and so the more enthusiastic reap a little benefit I sent a second letter by Regd Air Mail on the 15th and received a receipt from Laghouat P. O. on the 17th which means it is “en route”. I must mention this is a very special privilege of which I take every possible advantage, but which I fear is very much rationed. The two ordinary air mail letters sent in September appear to have made a fairly quick journey. Your latest letter received is No. 81. dated Sept. 17th. To-day letters arrived dated Oct. 5th so there must be five or six of yours held up somewhere. My request for a “little girl” correspondent is one common with many people here who have asked for similar “little girls” to write & send photos. In fact it may almost be described as a mild form of competition, so I hope you can find somebody likeable to put one in the running. Tony, Leslie & myself are already chasing clues in South Wales but as yet we have not had any luck. This was brought about by the Accountant receiving a letter from home saying there were “butterflies” there who would be “pleased” to write to any lonely? soul (s) in Laghouat. Lonely is a misnomer. I have never had a minutes loneliness since I arrived in N. Africa except perhaps in spirit, but I don’t suppose I am ever really lonely in spirit as long as we can write to each other, and in between times of writing – well not even then. So until the great day all my love, thoughts and best wishes as ever to you both.



J D Hudson, “Letter from Douglas Hudson to his parents ,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed December 10, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/22884.

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