Letter from Ian Hay to his grandmother



Letter from Ian Hay to his grandmother


Written from RAF North Coates. Describes camp location and aerodrome. Points out that location is closest in country to Germany. Describes air raid shelter and accommodation. Mentions E.N.S.A. concert.




Temporal Coverage



Photocopy of letter and envelope


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906233 AC/2 HAY, I, de S.E.
Hut 88,
22 Squad,
‘F’ Flight,
North Coates,
Nr Grimsby,


Dear Granny,

They moved us up here last Wednesday. We started at 7.15 in 3 motor coaches & came via Watford, Hatfield, Baldock and up the Grt. North Rd. to Peterborough, then to Spalding, where we stopped 20 mins. Then on to Boston and Louth, after which we turned off the main road 10 miles South of Grimsby and arrived here.

The location of this spot is apparently 12 miles East of Grimsby, and right on the corner of the Humber & the North Sea, in fact the aerodrome is bounded on two sides by the sea, so it is pretty healthy here. But I don’t like the Lincolnshire countryside, - it seems thoroughly uninteresting, all [deleted] felds [/deleted] fields & hedges.

This place is a proper aerodrome but there are only 9 Hawker Hurricane Fighters stationed here. They are supposed to attack the enemy immediately the warning is given, which is very often no warning at all. In fact I should think

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this is about the most dangerous area in the country, as it is the nearest point to Germany, if they don’t come over Holland, being only 290 miles away.

Our air-raid shelter is not so good – it consists of an ordinary ditch under a hedge & approximately 3 ft. deep under a hedge, and ankle deep in water.

We are only living in wooden huts too, which let the cold in frightfully at night; but, to-night I’m going to see what the “Times” will do between the blankets.

I expect you will receive my letters rather erratically, as the post-service out from here is very bad.

On Wednesday night we had a very nice little concert given by the E.N.S.A. which I enjoyed. There was also one on Thursday night, which was simply rotten.

There isn’t much other news here and I must go and have some supper now at the N.A.A.F.I.

Very best love.

[underlined] Ian. [/underlined]

[postmark Grimsby 18 Nov 1939] [three postage stamps]

Miss F. Hay,
Nr Maidenhead,


I Hay, “Letter from Ian Hay to his grandmother,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed June 12, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/37199.

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