Letter from Pat Hogan to Miss Marie Hogan



Letter from Pat Hogan to Miss Marie Hogan


Writes a little of recent activities and discusses state of parcels on arrival. Writes about fatalism of aircrew and then goes on to describe recent leave in Sussex and Edinburgh and other parts of Scotland then finishing in Sheffield.




Temporal Coverage



Six page handwritten letter


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Aus 364 464
Ft Sgt Hogan PJ
Aus PO
London WC2
Dear Marie,
I’ve just returned to a new unit after finishing a very enjoyable fortnight leave. I’m afraid my mail will take a little while to catch up but I have your lengthy airmail letter and a 3 page airgraph which one of the chaps managed to pick up somewhere.
I’m sorry I can’t let you know how your parcels are treated on route for as yet, none have come to hand, apart from Eileen’s 2 packages which were quite in order. However I’ll be looking forward to them now as I’ll explain soon. As you know I’ve let my mail go to blazes but henceforth I should catch up on it. In the first place I seemed to have created the impression that I was a bit fed up. Actually I was very weary for quite a while, & a bit strained from all the work. However this leave has made up for it , believe me.
It is funny you know how it doesn’t even occur to flying personnel that anything could happen to them, but it is amazing to note the number of chaps with whom I trained & came across & who are 6 feet under. Don’t think I’m getting cold feet or anything for I’m actually very sorry to have to admit that we don’t look like flying again for a couple of months. T present we are about to commence a P/T & Commando course which will probably ruin me after this leave but should be good fun.
Contrary to my other previous quiet leaves, this was much more hectic. I started off with the first week down South, mostly in Sussex. From there I went to Edinburgh where I picked up Shelton & Johnson & had quite a time. We started in pretty posh circumstances at one of the leading pubs. Saw a fair amount of the city & surrounds, soon tired of looking at castles & boring places of historical reference. The bridge over the Firth is of course a masterpiece but to look at is exactly is exactly the same as the thousands of photos I’ve seen of it. We saw several shows by day & invariably ended up at a dance by night.
Of course, like all aircrew when not flying we had our share of grog-you needn’t worry we don’t get too far under. It is much more tasty beer upthere & of course the whisky is as advertised. It is very hard to understand what te old blokes are mumbling about-usually trying to bite you for something so it doesn’t really matter if you can’t understand them. The women of Scotland (particularly the younger ones of course) have a very fascinating accent I always reckon. The majority are much prettier too than their Southern sisters, although far too many don’t seem to pay too much care to their teeth. We had a wonderful trip from Glasgow to Loch Lomond. At the bottom of the lake we boarded a paddle steamer which crossed from one side to the other, making frequent calls at the various towns on the banks as it went north. I’d “ had it” on the way u for it was very wet & miserable and there was no visability at all. However coming back it was vastly different & is all they sing about. It was really beautiful. It had been raining all day and as soon as it stopped, the sun came out, the mist lifted and amongst the greenery of all the hills, the clear white of the thousands of small waterfalls was really enchanting. Loch Lomond will I hope , always be vivid in my memory. You can see my point when I say that in such comparisons, I loathe the filthy stench of death of castles and ruins reeking with unessential historical references and traditions. Had several other interesting trips into the hills along the Firth & out to the coast. Accommodation always is the greatest trouble. Of course one can usually get into one of the service hostels, but I always reckon the extra comforts and conveniences of a decent hotel are well worth the cost on leave. We usually slept in fairly late although I did manage to get round to St. Mary’s Cathedral a couple of times.
I intended to spend the last day or so in Leeds. We had to change trains in Sheffield, managed to get into a luxurious pub, so forgot about Leeds. There is not much to see in Sheffield, on the surface anyway. It is down in a valley which is always shrouded in a very heavy pal of smoke. Hence everything is very dirty & even Birmingham is clean compared to Sheffield. However it as a couple of nice theatres & one of the best dance halls I’ve ever been in. Moreover there seems to be an absence of Yanks and Australians were such a novelty that people were stopping us showering all sorts of invitations upon us. Dirty and all as it is, me thinks I may visit Sheffield again one of these days, particularly that I’m now stationed in the North East of England. Of course I spent more money than I really should have but can’t let that worry me as I had a wonderful time. Sorry I couldn’t get any postcards on the trip, although must admit I didn’t try very hard. Shelton arranged a trip for us through Edinburgh’s largest breweries. It was very interesting following it through all processes, but of course we ended up with the manager in the sample room.
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P J Hogan, “Letter from Pat Hogan to Miss Marie Hogan,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed February 24, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/32056.

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