Letter to L V Rosser from Doug Smith



Letter to L V Rosser from Doug Smith


Writes about his new station, the local area and places to go. Writes that they had not done much yet due to weather but he had gone solo. Writes a little about his flying, ground school and staff. Continues with description of sports and athletics. Catches up with news of friends and asks Rosser if he can help with girlfriends home address which he forgot.




Temporal Coverage




Six page handwritten letter and envelope


This content is available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0). It has been published ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre. For more information, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ and https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/legal.






F/Sgt. L.V. Rosser
Sergeant's Mess,
Royal Air Force,
Chipping Warden,
Nr. Banbury,

[inserted] Doug? Smith [/inserted]

[page break]

1282115 F/S D. C. Smith,
Sergeants’ Mess,
Royal Air Force,
Castle Combe,
Nr, Chippenham,


Dear Vic,

Well, here we are at F.I,S., and so far, not doing too badly. Castle Combe is a satellite of Hullavington, and is also where they have seen fit to dump our course. It's a brand new camp, very small – the landing ground isn't much bigger than the "News of the World" spread out flat, and surrounded by 200 foot trees, towers, electric pylons, folks on bikes, etc. (so I'm in my element) – and, of course, it's all dispersed, after the style of Chippy. This last point doesn't matter much, however, as we are issued with damn good cycles.

Castle Coombe is reputed to be the prettiest village in England, and I can see no reason to doubt it. The surrounding countryside is really wizard, if you

[page break]

appreciate that sort of thing – and, personally, I do.

As for places to go, one has the choice of Chippenham, Bath, and, slightly further afield, Bristol. So far, I have only tried Chippenham, which isn't fearfully inspiring, consisting, as it does, of two picture palaces, a couple of pubs, a doubtful fish and chip shop, a café which has sold out, and the infallible Woolworth's, that irrefutable sign of civilisation in the midst of the wilderness. Chippenham is O.K. for a flie [sic] and a pint or two, but Bath or Bristol is really the Place to go. I shall take the first opportunity of investigating these places, and will let you have my report in due course.

We haven't done a fearful lot yet. This blasted morning mist seems to hang around until lunchtime. I managed to go solo after a dual circuit or two, and now I'm getting the patter taped for taxying,

[page break]

taking-off, straight and level flight, and landing. You should try giving a running commentary, out loud, on what you are doing some time. It'll probably shake you rotten. It did me. However, I'm not doing so badly, and to judge by some of these Flight Lieuts., and Squadron Leaders, hopping across the aerodrome like a randy grasshopper, I think I must be displaying odd touches of genius.

Apart from flying, there is some sort of vague lecture programme every other day, which I haven't fathomed yet. There is also a certain amount of Link to be done. Despite all this, we have loads of time to ourselves. We are quartered in very comfortable bunks, and the Mess isn't too bad. The food is good enough, but in rather short [deleted] in [/deleted] supply. Already, I have become very difficult to see with the naked eye when viewed side on. However, one can get as many Players' as one wants – [underlined] and [/underlined] at Service price, 1/6d for 20.

The chaps here – instructors, students,

[page break]

(yes they call you "students" here, as distinct from "pupils"), and Ground Staff alike, are the nicest bunch you could wish to meet. Surprising how keen everybody is, too. Even I am dead keen on this racket now that it's started. If I were you, Vic, I should try and get yourself a course. I think you'll enjoy it.

I spent this morning playing baseball, throwing the discus, and the javelin, and I also did an hour's fencing. My oponent [sic] was a damn great Australian Flight Lieut. He's so heavy that I managed to wipe the floor with him. But when I tried my luck on a Polish P/O, I didn’t half go through it. At the moment, my legs and arms feel as though they are stuffed with cannon balls. Extraordinary how we all enjoyed the exercise this morning. Hell of a sight better than moping around in a brew Room when the weather is u/s. I wish we had something of the sort at Chippy.

So far, I haven't come into contact with Tom German. I think he's at another satellite. If I should see him,

[page break]

I'll give him your message.

There are only two clouds on my horizon at the moment. One is that I've completely forgotten Linda's home address, and if I don’t remember it and write to her while she's on leave, there will be a First Class Battle Royal when I get back. Can you do anything in time, Vic? Secondly, there's a C.F.I. test on the horizon, which is causing me severe colic of the Adam's Apple when I think of it.

Well, old boy, I've rambled on for four pages more than I intended to give you, and I don’t see why I should go on any longer.

Give my love to the Flight. (Have the guns grown whiskers yet?), and remind Duggie that I [underlined] must [/underlined] have some leave as soon as I get back. I don't care if the Flight falls apart, and questions are asked about it in Parliament, I [underlined] must [/underlined] have my leave.

[page break]

Don't forget to write back as soon as possible – and let's have a letter, not a ruddy postcard in an envelope.

Cheerio, chump, – and look after your fool self.

Thine to a Cinder


[page break]

[underlined] MY LINK EFFORT: 1/10/42. [/underlined]


D C Smith, “Letter to L V Rosser from Doug Smith,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed July 17, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/36688.

Item Relations

This item has no relations.