Letter from Mervyn Adder to his brother Alex



Letter from Mervyn Adder to his brother Alex


Letter and explanatory note. Writes that he is now been on a squadron for a couple of weeks. Relates that being put down to fly with another crew his pilot who was flying with a different crew did not get back and was lost. Goes on to describe being given a new Rhodesian pilot and relates his experience. and that the rest of the crew wished to stay together with him. Mentions upcoming Christmas and that they do much if the weather is too bad to do practice bombing or fighter affiliation. However, they get no time off to go into Lincoln for shopping and he had not yet got a present for Mary.




Temporal Coverage




Four page handwritten letter and printed explanatory note


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SAdderM175073v10071, SAdderM175073v10070


[Royal Air Force crest]



Dear Alex,

It is some time since I last wrote and as I am spending the night in the Mess with nothing to do but listen to the wireless thought I would drop you a line.

I suppose you will know already that we are now on a Squadron, have been here a couple of weeks and are just beginning to settle down, at least we were until the other day when something happened.

Arthur, Denis the Engineer and I had to fly the other night with different crews, and in the afternoon Arthur told me that he had been put in the crew from our Flight, and I was to go with a crew from the other Flight but said that he

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would change over and let me go with the chaps from our Flight. I was easy but we changed over. Arthur didn’t come back so that we have lost our Pilot.

Today we were given another Pilot, he is a Rhodesian and a Flying Officer and has done one or two trips, and am not sure if he isn’t on his second tour which is a good thing if he is but haven’t yet had much time to get acquainted so don’t know much about him. At first we thought that we might have to go back to Con. Unit, the rest of us intended to stick together, and that there might be a chance of our getting leave, but we didn’t, so it looks as though we will have to wait until the end of January for our leave.

Sorry to hear that you wont be able to get home for Christmas, although I guess

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you will have bags of fun in the Mess and the Menu for Christmas, if it is anything like the one we have posted up in the Mess, should recompense slightly the disadvantage of having to spend it in Camp.

We don’t do very much here when the weather is too bad to do practise bombing, fighter affil. etc. (when no ops.) but we never have a day or even an afternoon off, which is rather cheesing, and has prevented us getting into Lincoln to do any shopping for Christmas. However Arthur and I managed to reach town the other night half an hour before the shops closed but could only find one or two things, and have yet to find something for Mary

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Roland Northedge is at this place in fact he is in the same place and to start off with was looking after the kite that we were flying, but so far haven’t seen much of him as he is on leave and has been for a week. I suppose we shall have a night out in Lincoln when he comes back, that is of course if his wife will let him.

Well Alex I must sign off now as it is rather late and must write to Arthur’s people tonight so TTFN.

All the Best,


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18 December 1943

This is the last letter I can date from Mervyn’s diaries. He has been with the squadron for two weeks, is on ops and has no time off. He still hasn’t bought his fiancee a Christmas present as he has had little time to shop.

He tells Dad about his pilot Arthur with whom he went to Lincoln on 13 December shopping and to the cinema. He was missing by 16 December on a plane that Mervyn could have been on. He is obviously upset but keeps the account matter-of-fact, describing Arthur’s Rhodesian successor.



M Adder, “Letter from Mervyn Adder to his brother Alex,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed October 1, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/33254.

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