Letter from Bill to his mother



Letter from Bill to his mother


Written when at the Initial Training Wing in Newquay.





Six page handwritten letter


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1318320 Cadet Brooks ,W.A
No 11 Flight
C Squadron,
No 7 I.T.W.
Penolva Hotel,
Newquay, Cornwall.
[no date]
Dear Mum,
I received your parcel containing the chocolate, & it went down well I can tell you. I have enclosed some washing which I hope you will be able to post before Monday – to save losing an afternoons pay, why not give the parcel to Mrs Tonge for her to post. The reason I didn’t send the stuff to the RAF laundry was because a chap told me that his shirt and collars had shrunk – so I thought it would be worth the postage to get them done properly. Well, I would have written to you before, but I’ve been worked to death this last week. Just to be getting on with, here is specimen daily programme for C Squadron.
6 a.m. Reveille
6.45 am Breakfast
7.30 Inspection of buttons, boots & personal appearance by the C.O.
8.00 am Maths (2 hrs)
10.00 Morning break.
10.20 Hygiene.
11.00 Anti gas lecture
12.00 Break for lunch
1.30 pm Signals
2.30 Lecture in Law (RAF Law)
3.30 Break.
4.00 Aircraft Recognition
5.00 – 6.00 Drill or P.T.
And believe it or not, I have to find time in the evening to do homework. But I concentrate on maths in the evening as this is the subject at which I’m not much good. Some of the other chaps in our flight will have to go to evening for tuition in receiving Morse. But I won’t need to go, as I did pretty well in a test which he gave us at 4 words per minute. I got 97% & made one mistake. I think now that if I fail in my maths I will remuster as a wireless-operator-air gunner, but nevertheless, I am trying my very hardest to pass by studying Maths in whatever time I can find. Still its no use worrying about it.
Well, if you’ve read the daily programme you can probably guess how I sleep these nights. I was on guard one night last week, (2hrs on, 4hrs off) & the following day my head kept drooping over my books – and was I glad to get to bed. Still, it’s a grand life if you adapt yourself to it. There is a chap here named Bright-Tedstone & he used to work in a bank, I think he was the only one who felt it, or rather openly showed his feelings, for indeed all of us must have felt some misgivings at leaving home. This chap Bright-Tedstone seemed very quiet coming down in the train, & I’m sure I could see tears in his eyes. Then he started telling us about the “lovely” girl he’d left behind. But now even he has got used to it.
Now about you and your job. If you are finding this job too much for you, for goodness sake pack it up. I’d rather have a mother with good health & no money, than one with lots of money & a poor state of health. If you go down & stay with the old man, you won’t be so damned lonely, & you may be able to come down to see me.
I went down to the beach yesterday & had a swim, but it was damned cold, & when Nobby came out his hands had gone dead with cold. Usually, when we have P.T. we have it on the sands and it certainly gives me an appetite for my tea.
The N.C.O’s are all right, I find. If I felt like staying in bed, I only have to notify the corporal, & forthwith I get my breakfast brought up to me. But really though, the corporals are pretty decent. Naturally the discipline here is stricter than it was at Hall Road & Avenue Close, but I think I am benifiting [sic] from it.
By the way, our Maths exam will be held in just over a weeks time, & it remains to be seen if I get through it or not. After that, if I pass it alright, I shall go on to navigation.
Oh by the way, in one of our law lectures, I was informed that being in one of the services allowed me to make my own will, and it needn’t be attested by a solicitor. So long as a statement can be produced, whether it is in writing or otherwise, by the person in question, his wishes will be carried out.
So I say now, that if anything should happen to me, in the pursuance of my duties, all my money shall go to you.
Well mum, if you can get any chocolate, send it on won’t you. Well, I must close now, so cheerio for the time being.
Best of love,


Bill Brooks, “Letter from Bill to his mother,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed May 18, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/27173.

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