Letter from Peter Lamprey to W Gunton



Letter from Peter Lamprey to W Gunton


Peter Lamprey writes about life in the Royal Air Force whilst undergoing basic training in Blackpool.





Six-page handwritten letter


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.




A.C.2. Lamprey.
2 Wing D.27.
84. Dickson Road.
[underlined] Blackpool. N.S. [/underlined]

Dear Bill and other interested parties.

Many queries have been made in recent letters as to the real reasons for my change of billet. This is as much a mystery to me, as it is a worry to you, and if you would care to send a deputation up here I shall be very glad to show them the billetting [sic] office where they can lie and rot for all the RAF would care. I have had such a glut of welcome letters that it behoves me to sit down and write thanking everyone for the wishes therein. Things have steadied down a lot and monotony is the chief worry. We do the same things day after day only faster, mind you they are quick at picking things up in the RAF. You daren’t leave a pair of laces about. I’m [corrected] glad [/corrected] to hear Frank Batchelor is enjoying himself as a soldier, he’s as big a liar as I am. From what I read in the letters, things seem to be getting out of control in chapel affairs. Has Dave stopped using his weight on

[page break]

Rusty or has he given up hoping to train him? This place is full of visitors now and its [sic] a fight to get your evening’s entertainment and when you do its [sic] not worth drinking. (Sorry Eddie, but it will crop up, anyway its [sic] so weak I’m almost a tea totaller [sic]). So the spotters have gone on the roof at last? Well the Ginger Cat should feel more at home, I suppose he’ll apply to go on night work as the final step. As to my week’s holiday, I have a suspicion I am spending them at Blackpool but will let you know definitely later on. I could do without them really as we have plenty of spare time here, we do nothing after 10.30 pm until 7 next morning except a bit of cleaning and polishing and shaving and mending. We had a lovely time last week, the Sergeant had 7 days leave and only an acting corporal looked after us or to be truthful we looked after. When the Sergeant sees our drill now he will most likely have a fit. After one week of pleasure we can just about stand easy without going wrong and our fancy foot drill should rival the pleasure-beach in entertainment value. Still all the boys are keen and don’t care what they do, another sore point with our beloved

[page break]

N.C.O. He maintains we don’t care if we drill or not and he might be right. The trouble with this war business is the way it interferes with my letter writing, I have just started this again after two days and still the RAF is clamouring for my help on a parade. I hope everyone survived the Blitz on Wednesday and was able to read of the answer on Friday. Again, we of the RAF have avenged you despite the cost. That little bit is for recruiting purposes. Next week by way of a change we start science etc. If they pack any more school into me I shall feel like a kid and send home for a pair of knickers to look the part. We have had a hectic week after our break Easter Monday and the majority of the N.C. O’s are suffering from strained throats, but the rank and file, thank God, can still stand up, mostly by will power. They paraded us at 7.30 each day, bashed P.T, foot drill, rifle drill and musketry at us and then gave us a rest playing football. This easy life is killing me, despite what the Sergeant maintains, that it will make us fit. It will make plenty of us fit into coffins. I am sending you a photo of a future Air Marshal and the glint in the eye is not what you think, but the

[page break]

realization that after its [sic] over we are having one. Talking of that, I was talking to a young lady in our hotel and she wanted to find a bookmaker, she wanted to back the favourite, her airman friend having given her £1 to do it each way. The majority of my airman friends dont [sic] pay money to do it anyway. If Eddie Hunt will skip this piece I can tell you the beer over Easter was only just worth drinking and the sooner the visitors leave Blackpool to the airman [sic] the sooner I’ll be happy. I have found Harry Lentle and Arthur Aslett and have introduced Harry into the charmed circle up the pub. (Sorry Eddie, dont [sic] buy a ticket next week). Remember me to everyone and dont [sic] worry, everything is under control, we are just trying to find out who it is controlling. Thank Bill Thornhill and others for their letters and remember me to Bill Collins and tell him the old ideas are still in operation in the service. See you in church
Best of Luck

[page break]

[underlined] 5 [/underlined]

[underlined] Blackpool [/underlined]
[underlined] Monday [/underlined]

[underlined] STOP PRESS [/underlined]

Just before the letter went to post I received the welcome parcel. May heaven bless those that think of the suffering. My best thanks to every one for it.

It is a foul and libellous statement made in one of the welcome letters enclosed that prompts me to continue this short note. I have never bought a barmaid gin and it’s, its [sic] simply not done. At least not on an A.C. Plonks pay. Besides the ale’s good and they work just as well on that. We have had some very cheering news today – cross country running is to be included in our training and we do our first tomorrow. If I get by on this lark I shall be fit enough to take on night work as soon as I can get my papers. I must really thank Eddie Hunt for the flattery about my learning Morse. The truth is, Morse is not learnt, its [sic] driven in and they use the blunt end of an

[page break]

N.C.O to do it. Things are not the same since we have been shifted from our pitch on the front, we concentrate a lot more on our drill and as a result are not so popular with the crowds, mind you we have still got our regular supporters and they never go away dissatisfied. However this letter must close and I shall drop a line to Frank giving him some of those essential tips for winning the war on the easy plan.

Thank Eddy – Charlie and Jack for their letters, if I can do anything to make your jobs easier I’ll see I don’t.

If Jack will do as he suggested in his letter I will be much obliged. Thanks once again.




Peter Lamprey, “Letter from Peter Lamprey to W Gunton,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed June 7, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/6240.

Item Relations

This item has no relations.