Letter from Peter Lamprey to W Gunton



Letter from Peter Lamprey to W Gunton


Peter Lamprey writes about life at Royal Air Force Tiree including the bad weather and terrible beer. He includes a poem about what he has learned in the Royal Air Force and his friends back home.




Eight page handwritten letter


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[RAF Crest]

[underlined] Hooray. [/underlined]

Next [underlined] Wednesday. [/underlined]

Dear Unk.
Things [underlined] I’ve [/underlined] learnt.
I’ve learnt to fire a rifle
and learnt to aim it straight
I’ve also learnt the main idea
and that is – how to wait
I’ve learnt to walk with swinging arms
with upright martial gait
I’ve also learnt the lesson
Airmen hang around and wait
I’ve also learnt to rise and shine
and never be up late
and as a side line also learnt
to stand about and wait

[page break]

I’ve also learnt to think alone
(an idea up to date)
but over all – I think I’ve learnt
the motto – just you wait.
I’ve learnt to wash and sew and darn
and houswives [sic] emulate
but there again – it all boils down
to how long you can wait.
I’ve learnt to do – just this or that
or how to concentrate
on doing nothing but the same
old hang about and wait.
So if my future letters lag;
just get the idea straight
take lessons from the Service and
learn how to bloody wait.
For Petes [sic] sake don’t read any more

[page break]

[underlined] 3. [/underlined]
[RAF Crest]

I notice with elation
and a certain mild relief.
Poetic perorations have
for sometime, come to grief
now surely all the brilliant thoughts
are not completely dead
there must be something running round
my dear friend Ashtons head.
I’d take a guess at what they are
but might be rather rude.
And do not want to cause a row
or otherwise intrude
upon the sacred silence that
for so long has endured
and find out to my chargin [sic]
that he’s not completely cured
(Still game? P.T.O. then).

[page break]

I take it that “Old Railings”
is the keenest in the shop
to get into the Service
and he hardly likes to stop
to say goodbye to all the lads
he’d like to be away
but if I know that blighter
he’d be back again next day.
So Harry Rumbolds doing fine?
Well that is nice to know.
a few more weeks in that there job
and he’ll have pots of dough.
Does Rusty still go off his nut
and wave his arms and scream
he doesn’t? Well I take it back
it must have been a dream.
I wonder to – is Archie in
his Home Guard outfit seen
[page break]

[underlined] 5. [/underlined]

still holding back the wicked Hun
from number two machine.
And dear old David Evans
does he still the laggard play
and roll in hours behind his time
on every other day
while Eddie Hunt -------
Words fail me.
(Marvellous ain’t [sic] it).

This nonsense struck me when I felt browned off so I just thought of you poor suckers (the spelling is right) working for a living while I laze on a sunlit beach watching a ninety mile an hour gale knocking hell out of the hut I’m supposed to sleep in tonight. At last we have got

[page break]

running water in the hut. It runs straight in the door and puts the fire out. Not [inserted] that [/inserted] the the [sic] fire is ever going - bar going out. The bloody coal wouldn’t burn if you bribed it. We’ve been on iron rations so long that my stomach has started to rust. I believe the boat has missed the blasted island and gone and charging straight on to America – it hasn’t been seen for four days. When he does show up they’ll fire on the perisher as an unknown vessel. There are two sane blokes left on the island – they’ve locked themselves up for safety. I’m still free. I used to wonder how the natives used to live on this island – now I wonder why. About all they can grow here is old. “NAAFI” still sells beer – but

[page break]

but not to me. I’ve had some, that is my last resort. Poison. This is one occasion where Mr. Hunt and I see eye to eye. To drink is definitely dangerous.
I know a bloke in Inverness who wants to come here – he wants locking up.
Well this is your lot. Why in hell I write to such an unappreciative audience I don’t know – my inherent good nature letting me down. Tell Bert Smith I’ll be writing soon. Remember me to Fred. Cooper. Kiss the Guv’nor [sic] – I couldn’t stand it. Love to you all at home
Your loving nephew
P.S. over.

[page break]

P.S. Does Beacham work there now or is he still on No 6.?
P.P.S. Tell brother George there’s a fellow here fought in the last war. He’s a decent bloke otherwise.

P.P.P.S. Tell brother Jack Id [sic] like to see him - in clink.

Och Aye
[underlined] Pete. [/underlined]

[Morse code ]
Know what it means?

Youre [sic] right it does.



Peter Lamprey, “Letter from Peter Lamprey to W Gunton,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 16, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/6553.

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