Letter from Mervyn Adder to his family



Letter from Mervyn Adder to his family


Letter and explanatory note. Thanks them for letters. States that he is browned off as they had decided he should be a navigator rather than a pilot and describes his feelings about this news and what he did about it. Comments on life in his location and the poor weather as well as his activities which include boating, theatre and going into Manchester.




Temporal Coverage




Three page handwritten letter and printed explanatory note


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SAdderM175073v10044, SAdderM175073v10043


[inserted] Can you make him do anything about it? threaten his discharge. I have sent him a card & it seems such a shame to let them “shove” him in as a navigator when he has done so well. [/inserted]

1459790 L.A.C. Adder M.
Hut 65,
No 2 Squadron,
R.A.F. Station,
Heaton Park,


Dear All,

Thanks for the letters Mother and the discs which I received yesterday morning and I was jolly glad to hear from you as I was feeling rather browned off. [inserted] [underlined] Mother says will you please write to him. [/underlined] [/inserted]

They have decided by some mysterious means, perhaps pinpricking, that I should be a Navigator instead of a Pilot, and you can understand what I felt like when I heard the news the other day. What I cannot understand is that I go Solo, enjoy and think I do well [deleted] [two indecipherable words] [/deleted] [inserted] flying [/inserted] and become a Navigator, yet another chap in our Hut doesn’t manage to go Solo and becomes a Pilot – it stinks.

[page break]

Before I got over the change I thought I would go and see the C.O about it, when I cooled off I saw it wouldn’t do any good and I wouldn’t be a Pilot now – for anything. I am going to try to be a good Navigator and forget I ever wanted to be a Pilot as after all there is a War on, and whatever we do it is equally important and will help towards winning the War.

Life here is rather pleasant, except of course for the weather which is very damp, and we have already enjoyed a fair amount of rain since arriving in Sunny Manchester. We do very little during the day, there are so many of us here that we are usually put on odd jobs such as helping in the cook house, digging, Fire duties and occasionally do P.T and perhaps attend lectures although so far I haven’t done anything in the above line of duties spending most of my time

[page break]

in the Hut writing letters. I am due for cook house duties tomorrow afternoon which isn’t so bad as we get the following afternoon off.

There is a boating lake in our Park so I went for a row yesterday afternoon until tea time, which is at half past four – nice and early and gives you plenty of time to get out at night.

I went to the Palace last night with four other chaps it was a grand show Arthur Askey the star turn and was he funny, much better than seeing him on the pictures or hearing him on the wireless. I am going into Manchester this afternoon with the lads to have a look round, and then afterwards I expect we shall go to a show.

I don’t think I have anything else to tell you at the moment so I will say cheerio for the present.

All the Best

[page break]

19 September 1942

This is when I believe this letter was written. It is particularly interesting as, after it was received by the family, Edith then sent it on to my Dad with the notes to tell him to write to Mervyn who was devastated at not being selected to be a pilot. Mervyn heard from Edith on 22 September and from Dad on 25 September so they were all quite concerned about him.

Mervyn had just arrived at Heaton Park on 15 September. He saw Arthur Askey live on 18 September. On 20 September he was on cookhouse duties but managed a row out on Heaton Park boating lake also on that day.



M Adder, “Letter from Mervyn Adder to his family,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed May 20, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/33186.

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