Letter from David Boldy to his father



Letter from David Boldy to his father


Letter from Leading Aircraftsman David Boldy to his father about about his continued air gunner course at East London. He explains about the course, his failure in the navigation course, and what he has been doing, exams and results.




Temporal Coverage




Four page handwritten letter


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923995 D.A. BOLDY. R.A.F.
U/T Air Gunner,
No 41, Air School,
East London,
2nd April, 1941.

My darling Dad,
Thanks very much for your letter which I was very pleased to get. Actually the ones addressed to P.E. were held up a bit as we had left for East London. Thanks awfully for the cash Dad, we all needed it. I lent a couple of pounds to some of the lads until their money arrives from home. Mum sent me the sporting magazine in which Steve featured. I thought it was jolly fine. Old Steve did very well. Everyone remarked about the likeness between the two of us. Please wish Mark every happiness from me.
Dad the failure in the observer’s course had nothing to do with going out. In fact for the first 6 weeks of the course we didn’t know anybody. I only went to six dances at the very most during the 3½ months of the course. I went bathing only about 5 times accompanied by girls. It was just that I didn’t like the type of work & was temperamentally unsuited for the steady sort of job it is. Anyway I am doing well at the air gunning & thoroughly enjoy it. I shall explain all about the gunner’s course later in this letter. Sorry I haven’t written regularly but will do so
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in future. We had so many moves & everything was unsettled. I shall write again in 4 or 5 days. I am taking some negatives to the photographers to-day & shall send them in my next letter if they are ready. They are some of the snaps I took at Cape Town & are very good.
I hope you received the ostrich skin wallet I sent you. It should just about have reached you by now. I shall send you a [indecipherable word] set a little later as your birthday present. I had a cable from Mum two days ago saying she had received the presents I sent [deleted] to [/deleted] for both Mum & Steve. It mentioned that a pal of mine had called around & delivered the presents. The cable said all was well.
Now for news about the course. So far we have done three out of the four exams we have to do. The pass mark for each individual subject is 50% & one must have a total agregate [sic] of 60% over all the subjects. I got 80% for the Vickers Gun, 60½% for Aerial Sighting & unofficially over 70% for the Browning Gun. All that is left is the Gunnery General. This consists of one paper covering everything we have done. In a week we shall have finished the theory & ground instruction. We then begin flying. – Consists of shooting from Air to ground & Air to Air. Also a little dual control flying – this is really good news. We have done
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[underlined] 2. [/underlined]
a fair amount of shooting on the ground with machine guns. I am enjoying it. In a about a fortnight we should have done the Gunnery General paper & then we only have three weeks practical flying etc to be done. It is amazing how much harder it is to shoot with a machine gun. Our flying here is done in open cockpit biplanes. They are very manueverable [sic] & it should be great fun. At Oudtshoorn we flew in Avro Anson reconaisance [sic] planes. They are very steady & do not give you a thrill. We have got on really well in this camp. At first there was a good bit of reserve on both sides that is our lads & the S. African lads but finding that we were quite normal everything went allright [sic] & we have made some good friends among the S.African lads.
East London suits us down to the ground. The people are charming & we are having a good time. The work is not however being neglected as you can see from the results. My total aggregate is over 70% at the moment. We have made a lot of friends here both old and young. A couple of young girls who help at the canteen took us out the other day & we played golf. I thought it would be fairly easy but at first could not even hit the damn ball. We improved a bit towards the end.
To-day a game of cricket was arranged but
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unfortunately it has just been cancelled. I had a game of soccer the other day. I enjoyed it but felt terribly out of condition & was very stiff for two days. I had a second game the other day & didn’t feel quite so bad. We have P.T. now to keep us fit. In those soccer games we played a navel team or rather two but lost 5-0, and 5-1. None of us had played together & the main trouble was lack of combination.
I have been to two dances & to the flicks three times since we have been in East London that is nearly 4 weeks.
Yesterday we went to a friend’s house & worked for the Browning gun exam we had. The girls at the house were very sweet & insisted on us concentrating properly. That is the exam in which I have got approx: 75% unofficially.
Some photographs were taken of [deleted] f [/deleted] the course. They are excellent. I shall probably send you one though I hope it won’t get spoilt on the way as it is mounted.
No more to-day. God bless you.
Lots of love from
your loving
[underlined] son David. [/underlined]
[underlined] P.S. [/underlined] Hope you like the snap enclosed of the course soccer team.



David Boldy, “Letter from David Boldy to his father,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 20, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/509.

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