Letter from Kenneth Gill to his family



Letter from Kenneth Gill to his family


Writes that he has tonsillitis but is getting treatment. Mentions war situation in Egypt and that he might be sent there for operations. Comments on training they were getting with lectures and shooting with various weapons. Catches up with family/friends news and gossip.




Temporal Coverage



Five page handwritten letter


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1438901. SGT. GILL. K.
[symbol]3.R.A.F. P.R.C.
NOV. 13TH/42.

Dear Mum & Dad & all,

Thanks for the letter, I received it this morning. Hope your’e all keeping well and looking after yourselves; at present I've got tonsilitis [sic] though it's not too bad. I have treatment three times a day, but still have to attend lectures.

I suppose the "laddie" is having quite a job out in Egypt now that the R.A.F are playing such a big part in the new campaign. According to the 'gen' we're getting here, there's quite a chance that we might be sent out there for operations. However till that time comes we're destined to join

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the ranks of the 'forgotten men'. At least that's what it seems to us, the last batch of R.A.F. to come over from Canada were sent straight away to Harrogate. Down here we're crowded out with Canadians, Yanks, Aussies, & New Zealanders at about 15 to 1 so you can see why we think we're forgotten.

The lectures here are being varied now, and we're having lots of firing practise with rifles, revolvers, machine-guns, Sten-guns and the old double-barreled [sic] shot-gun. The other day we used the American Garrand [sic] rifle, a semi-automatic rifle which takes eight bullets; I managed six bulls and two inners which wasn't too bad seeing as it was the first time I'd handled the rifle. We fired in teams of three, and my team carried off the kitty quite easy; one of the other lads

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got the same score as me so our third man had an easy job & got four bulls and three inners and a magpie.

Shooting with the Sten gun is quite good, but they made it difficult by stripping the guns first. We had to assemble the guns, load the magazine, fit it, & then fire, still it's good practise. I don't know whether you know or not why it was made to take .37 ammunition, if not it's because the Germans, Italians & Japs use lots of it for their guns & we've captured so much that they had to make a gun to fit it. That story may not be strictly authentic but it's quite reasonable. Before long they're hoping to equip every airman with these guns as standard issue, so that we can be used as station defence if the need should arise.

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Glad to hear you were able to get Les some cuff-links for his birthday. I asked Vee to send him a card for both of us. Hope he has better luck with the rabbits, now the hut is built. As you say he's a good scrounger, but that's what you have to be if you want to get on I suppose.

Has he volunteered for the Navy yet or has he changed his mind? Tell him the Air Sea Rescue Squad is quite a nice job if he fancies dashing around in a high speed launch picking up survivors from aircraft, it's R.A.F. though, so maybe he doesn't fancy it.

Sorry I appeared sarcastic in my letter, I didn't mean to, I thought perhaps if I wrote, because I would have liked to have seen them, they wouldn't think I'd forgotten them, however

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"Nuff said", I'll not write them. Vee said she'd been down in her last letter, and said bad weather had held her up a bit. I knew Muriel had a little girl, mum said so when I was at home, give her my love when she comes to see you mum.

I don't know off hand of any place where you get the drills for Ronnie dad, I'll have a look round here. Will you tell Aunt Lil that the shop where the budgie seed was, isn't there now. Evidently they were selling out of stock.

Thanks for forwarding Eva's letter dad, I asked them to send them all home as I knew I'd be moving around quite a lot. I think that's all for now.

Give my love to all the family and look after yourselves.

Cheerio for now.
Lots of Love Ken [kisses]
David [kisses]




K Gill, “Letter from Kenneth Gill to his family,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed February 20, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/35788.

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