Fred Roberts, letter to his wife.



Fred Roberts, letter to his wife.


Letter sends belated birthday greetings and a poem, Tail-end Tommy.




One handwritten two page letter, a handwritten poem

Conforms To


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 and



ERobertsGFRobertsD42XXXX-0001, ERobertsGFRobertsD42XXXX-0002


Dear Dorie,

I am awfully sorry I have not wrote before, I have kept promising you I would write but I’m afraid I’ve not kept it. Even now I do not know what to write about. I hope you are well & still enjoying life such as it is. I myself [deleted] I [/deleted] am properly fed up. For 3 weeks I have not had any pay thanks to some darned fool in the pay account section but there, I still have it to come, & I’ll get drunk as Hell when I do get it. I wanted to send you a card for your birthday but could not do so. So even if it is late, let me wish you many happy returns on the day.

[page break]
I am enclosing a little bit of poetry which I have made up (I’m getting quite clever don’t you think) it could be improved upon, but it’s good enough for me. Well Dorie, I think I have said all for now but [underline] will [/underline] write to you again sometime so [undecipherable] Fred xxxxxxxxxxx

[page break]

[underline] Tail-End Tommy [/underline]

As I sit in my turret, so small & compact.
Searching the sky in case we’re attacked.
My thoughts sometimes take me to a place far away
My home, & my people & bright sunny days.
Those days are gone, there’s a war to be won
Instead of a pen, I depend on my guns.
They’re life to me & my pals up there,
We’re out to conquer,-not- to despair.
For hours + hours; years it seems
Turning, + dodging searchlight beams.
The rear of the engines is company for me.
As we fly through the night over Germany.
The target is reached, we circle around,
The flak is terrific, from those guns on the ground.
Our pilot is fearless, he commences his run
The bomb aimer is tensed to destroy the Hun.
There in the tail as I’m watching [inserted] the [/inserted] fun,
My fingers are longing to fire my gun
Each time I come over I feel the same
Looking down there at a vast sea of flame
Our bombs are all gone, our mission accomplished
In tomorrow’s news, the requests will be published
“All our aircraft have safely returned”
I was a spectator, while Germany burned.



Fred Roberts, “Fred Roberts, letter to his wife.,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed December 5, 2023,

Item Relations

This item has no relations.