Letter from Mervyn Adder to his brother Alex



Letter from Mervyn Adder to his brother Alex


Letter and explanatory note. Writes of life at his new posting at RAF Bridgnorth. Describes typical days activities and mentions that they did not get late passes except Saturdays and no rail travel allowed so 48 hours leaves. Writes that town has 58 pubs which are heavily utilized on Saturday nights and describes events during a night out. Mentions being with chums from previous posting and another friend who he had seen in the NAAFI. Catches up with family news.




Temporal Coverage




Five page handwritten letter and printed explanatory note


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SAdderM175073v10047, SAdderM175073v10046


1459790 L.A.C. Adder M
Hut 2/8
4, Flight,
C. Squadron
No 3 Wing
R.A.F. Station


Dear Alex,

How goes it? I suppose Mother will already have told you where I have been moved to, and it looks as though I am going to be here until after Christmas, after thinking that I would be bathing in the sunshine of southern Rhodesia for it, or the snows of Canada.

I have just been here a week today, it is a great change to Heaton Park as we do work here, until quarter to six every night including Saturdays and have [inserted] already [/inserted] put in a good few hours of Navigation and found it very interesting. At first I thought that I should only be here a few weeks and then go back to Manchester to go overseas, however we have started a course which should last twelve weeks and then perhaps we shall go

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back to Manchester.

To give you an idea of the work we do, yesterday we had three hours of Navigation in the morning, and after dinner had Signals, an hour of P.T, followed by an hour on the square, and finished at the usual time after a lecture on aircraft recognition – quite a good going what!

One bind about this Station is that you don’t get any late passes, we have to be in by ten o’clock every night except Saturdays, when we are allowed out until the unearthly hour of eleven o’clock, and all rail travel is forbidden, which means that there are no 48’s. Bridgnorth is also a couple of miles from Camp the only attraction (it is smaller than Beverley) being the fact that it possesses no less than 58 Pubs, and the beer is very good down here, therefore you find nearly everybody staying in Camp at night and a general invasion of the town on Saturday night.

Last Saturday night was just such a night and soon the town and Pubs were full of very merry Cadets, one could

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be seen walking down the main street with his overcoat on his head and his boots in his hand, and there were hundreds more [deleted] with [/deleted] [inserted] in [/inserted] the same spirit, I went into town with a few chaps I knew at Heaton Park, we got away fairly early and were soon getting down to some solid eating as we have WAAF cooks the food isn’t bad but you get very little of it. First we bought some smashing apples from a small shop on the way down to town, then had chips and lemonade [deleted] at [/deleted] in the backroom of an equally small Fish shop. I called at a Stationers to get a 21st birthday card for Mary’s birthday next Sunday and then we went to the ‘Swan Inn’ where we had a little beer and cider and a rum, before going to the only dance in town. It was very crowded, [deleted] and [/deleted] I didn’t dance but left early, and after getting something to eat in the Y.M. made my way back to camp under my own steam, which is more than most of them did. One chap in our hut came back by the sort cut over the field and had to crawl under the stile as he couldn’t safely get over it, another arrived back with the headdress of a soldier of many Wars ago – he

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didn’t know where he had got it from.

There isn’t much to do in Bridgnorth and I don’t enjoy drinking all the evening so I think next Saturday I shall go into town for something to eat, and then come back to Camp and go to the pictures here, as we have a Cinema in Camp.

My two friends who were with me at Brough and Scarborough and who I used to knock about with at Heaton Park were posted down here a couple of days before me, yet I am in the same Flight which is rather lucky, and we usually knock about together. Les Frodin also came down here a couple of days before I did and I often see him in the NAAFI, he is in a different flight.

I had a letter from Mother the other day to tell me that my washing had gone on to Manchester, I have already had a letter forwarded on from there, but goodness knows when I shall see my clean clothes. I heard that mother had enclosed something in your washing the last time she sent it, I hope you didn’t find it, £14.10.0 certainly seems

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a lot to pay I am damned glad it’s [deleted] in [/deleted] deducted for me off my Civil Pay as I don’t want to find anything like that in my washing – when I get it. By the way if you want to borrow a few quid [deleted] and [/deleted] [inserted] if [/inserted] it has to be paid soon I have got some to spare, and you can have it if you want it, as there isn’t anything I can spend it on down here. Did you have a good time in London when you were down there the other weekend?

Will have to sign off now as I am expecting to be called on parade any moment now.


[underlined] Mervyn [/underlined]

P.S. Please excuse scrawl – hope you can read and understand it.

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21 October 1942

Having been at Bridgnorth for one week Mervyn describes a typical day’s work to Dad. Also there is no leave for twelve weeks and a 10 pm curfew during the week extending to 11 pm on Saturdays. As there were 58 pubs in the town this Saturday extension had the effect of everyone going out to get as drunk as possible! Mervyn’s stories of drunken escapades are nothing new to me; however he does tell a particularly good one in this letter about one airman who couldn’t get his head round climbing over a stile so crawled under it instead!

The Les Frodin he mentions survived the war and married Edith’s friend Peggy Empleman. I went to Goole Grammar School with his niece, Ann.

I can only think that the £14.10.00 bill that Dad had received was for income tax of some sort. Here we see Mervyn’s casual generosity as he offers to lend Dad the money



M Adder, “Letter from Mervyn Adder to his brother Alex,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed March 3, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/33246.

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