Letter from Mervyn Adder to his brother Alex



Letter from Mervyn Adder to his brother Alex


Letter and explanatory note. Comments on Alex's new course and news. Mentions exams he had taken and provided results. Mentions his sister visiting with friend previous Sunday and possible future visits. Mentions recent invasion exercises and describes activities. Comments on recent sports afternoons and well as social activities..




Temporal Coverage




Five page handwritten letter and printed explanatory note


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SAdderM175073v10037, SAdderM175073v10036


[Royal Air Force crest]

1459790 AC2 Adder M.
‘D’ Flight
2 Squadron
No 11 I.T.W.


Dear Alex,

Many thanks for your letter and don’t bother to rush things to reply because you seem to have plenty to do in the next eight weeks, besides I generally have a lot of ‘gen’ put in my letter from home.

I am glad that you have at last started on a decent course and although it sounds fairly tough I am sure you will get it. We have already had our Maths and Gas Exams, in which I had 97 percent and 82 percent respectively, don’t think I did well in Maths because it was a piece of cake believe me – I thought I did well in Gas, which I did on the average, as we all expected getting the ‘gen’ before the Exam and

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didn't do much swot.

Edith and Peg came over to see me last Sunday, we had a very nice time together walking along the front from the North to the South Bay, which took us all the afternoon as we sat on a seat for a short time, and also called in for some icecream [sic] at Facitto’s. After tea at the Odeon Café they caught the 6.15 bus back leaving me some cakes, chocolate and oranges which they had brought for me. I believe Edith is coming here for the last week in June, however I don’t think I shall see much of her as it will be a week before the Exams, besides I think her ‘Johnny’ is also coming here for the same week – don’t mention this if you write home because I don’t think Mother is in the ‘know’.

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We have had several invasion exercises just recently – and what a bind! The first took place one afternoon when we had to parade with full kit, specially packed with essentials including a blanket, and also had two more blankets tied round our packs, in fact we paraded looking like walking ‘junk’ shops and after standing for over an hour groaning under all this weight, we were finally dismissed. I went to bed early that night hoping to make up for lost sleep on the previous night, when I was on guard, but to crown all the invasion warning was given again at about eleven o’clock and we had to repeat the whole procedure but this time in the dark, which was hellish. We again stood

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for an hour before being dismissed, these invasion exercises are marvellous.

The last two sports’ afternoons have been grand and although I did two quite different sports I enjoyed them both very much. The first was bathing in the sea on an ideal afternoon with warm sunshine and no wind, which is strange for this place, and although the water was cold I had a short swim, and then sunbathed for a short while afterwards, before playing Soccer on the sands.

Another afternoon I went ‘Skeet’ shooting, the weather was totally different it being very windy, and it was pouring with rain when we were at the butts, which are situated on the first headland further down the coast and are exposed fully

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to the winds, making shooting very difficult on a day such as this was. I did moderately well on the shoot bagging two out of three when they were coming towards me, but like the others didn’t bag any when we were firing across their course and with the wind.

I went dancing last night and have been to the pictures this afternoon to see ‘Each Dawn I Die’, which was a very good film, and I intend going to a concert tomorrow night so you can see I am having a fairly decent weekend. I will have to sign off now Alex as it’s time for supper – so cheerio for the present and keep smiling.

All the Best

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30/31 May 1942

In this letter Mervyn describes a visit to Scarborough from Edith and her friend Peggy. They had a long walk and then tea again at the Odeon. Interestingly she was also doing things behind her parents’ backs as she was planning a week in Scarborough to co-incide [sic] with her ‘Johnny.’ Whether Johnny was a general term for a boyfriend (which therefore could have been Denis) or his name actually was Johnny I have no idea!

His description of the invasion exercises is interesting and amusing. …. ‘we paraded looking like walking junk shops.’ He had enjoyed the sporting activities, swimming in the sea, football, and shooting.



M Adder, “Letter from Mervyn Adder to his brother Alex,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed December 1, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/33244.

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