Letter from Mervyn Adder to his brother Alex



Letter from Mervyn Adder to his brother Alex


Letter and explanatory note. Writes while playing housey-housey (bingo) in the mess. Describes some events over Christmas including cycling 40 miles to meet Mary, going for walk and going to see a film. Describes life at his station, mentioning parades were abolished and they got a day off a fortnight. Mentions he was grounded due to dental problems. Mentions going to football match in Lincoln and that flying was going well. Concludes with comments on upcoming leave.




Temporal Coverage



Six page handwritten letter and printed explanatory note


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SAdderM175073v10077, SAdderM175073v10076


[Royal Air Force crest]



Dear Alex,

I am playing ‘Housey-Housey’ in the Mess at the moment so that this letter might be a little disjointed as I am writing in between the check ups, however I thought I had better drop you a line and let you know when I am having my leave.

Thanks for your letter and was pleased to hear that you have had a good time over Christmas. I certainly enjoyed mine, but it was more strenuous than hectic.

We landed from a trip early on the Friday morning and after breakfast something said ‘Why not go

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to see Mary there wont be any ‘ops’ over Christmas?’ – so I went. First of all I rang Mary (Have just won Housey), it was ten o’clock by then so decided upon two hours sleep after I had washed and shaved, unfortunately I slept too much and it [deleted] by [/deleted] [inserted] was [/inserted] 1530 when I awoke, but set off straight away, I cycled the 40 mls and reached Belton by 1930 and was very thankful for the large meal Mary had waiting for me, and the short rest before we went along to the dance in the village.

We danced until midnight but I was rather limp by then and only wanted to go to bed that night. Christmas day we spent playing darts, went for a short walk before tea and after our Christmas dinner had [deleted] had [/deleted]

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[deleted] the [/deleted] time to digest, and walked the few miles to the pictures after tea. It was about two o’clock in the morning that we went to bed and I had to get up again at twenty to five to cycle back, which I did in the dark and as I hadn’t lights had to climb up the sign posts and strike matches to see that I kept to the right road. I reached Camp soon after nine o’clock and hadn’t been missed, a threat of ‘ops’ on Christmas day hadn’t been carried out as by then the chaps were in no fit state to fly.

We had our Christmas dinner

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on Boxing Day and had lots of good things to eat, I kept awake so I shouldn’t miss anything but it was a struggle and turned in early.

Well this place isn’t so bad, it was a bit deadly at first as we had parades in the morning and afternoon but this has been abolished and have also been given a day off a fortnight. We had our day off on Saturday, the rest of the ‘bods’ stayed in bed in the morning but I had to get up to go along to Scampton (base 3 mls away) for treatment. I have been grounded for a week as one of my front teeth has been septic (abscess on same) and [inserted] have [/inserted] had toothache, but it seems to be better now and think [deleted] he [/deleted] [inserted] the dentist [/inserted] will be able to fill it now and won’t have to have it out.

On Saturday afternoon

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[deleted] We [/deleted]

we went into Lincoln and saw Lincoln City lose to Doncaster Rovers 5-4, it was a good match but made me wish that I could play again.

The flying is going along quite well here and until last week we were kept quite busy, with the result that I have now done six (five on the Big City) and am hoping to put one or two more in before I come on leave.

About leave, my leave starts on 27th Jan, we shall not therefore have long together but should at least manage a couple of days

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[deleted] together [/deleted] and am certainly looking forward to seeing you all again

Well I guess that’s about all the ‘gen’ I have for you this time so will say cheerio for the present.

All the Best,


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January 1944

This letter to Dad was amusingly written whilst Mervyn was playing (and winning) Housey-Housey in the mess.

He describes taking some unofficial leave over Christmas, which was ok as he correctly predicted they would not fly on Christmas Day. He cycled to Belton on Christmas Eve to be with Mary. He set off at 15.30 and arrived at 19.30. He ate a meal and then they went dancing in the village. They went walking and then to the pictures on Christmas Day. Although he didn’t go to bed until 2 am he got up at 4.40 am to cycle back in the dark. He had no lights on his bike and climbed signposts and struck matches to find his location. They ate Christmas dinner on Boxing Day at the camp. He had to visit the dentist at Scampton as he was having more dental trouble. He describes seeing Lincoln City play Doncaster Rovers and expresses his frustration at not playing himself. He is looking forward to some leave and hoping to see Dad. Did they make it? I wish I’d had these letters sooner.



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/33258.

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