Letter from Peter Lamprey to W Gunton



Letter from Peter Lamprey to W Gunton


Peter Lamprey writes that he is on ‘jankers’ for being late back from leave and about problems with life in general. He mentions training and then writes colourfully about how he feels about the Royal Air Force and particularly, the medical staff. He notes the strict punishment meted out for going absent without leave.





Four page handwritten letter


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1384535. A. C. 2. Lamprey.
3 Wing. B. Sqdn. Hut. Z31
RAF. Camp. Yatesbury.
NR. Calne. Wilts.

Dear Bill – friends - Mr Hunt and a hell of lot of others.

Many thanks for the parcel. It was, as you must know, corn in Egypt. When the mob saw the fags I had to take refuge in the guard room and get put on charge for safety. This is no new thing as I am now doing jankers for being late back from leave. I am shovelling coal from the bunkers to the cookhouse, or thats [sic] what the W. O. thinks. The jankers here are the easiest way of spending an evening I’ve ever struck. They march you to the dump, point to the coal, point to the shovels and then pop it. So do we. At 9 o’clock I shall dirty my hands and sign off just like clockwork.

I struck very unlucky this week-end. Wangled a pass, and got home to the missus bright and early. Sunday night, started back full of vim and hope and arrived back at camp at 3, oclock [sic] in the morning after a twenty mile walk, well f----. We broke in, ducked the guards and slid into kip. Very pleased with ourselves. [missing word], up and found ourselves on a charge, they

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had checked up at 12 o’clock, hence the 4 days.

Its [sic] a good job the RAF are a dauntless band of heroes or we’d never try it again.

We have been following Eddie Hunts’ ideas and doing without beer for quite a while. There’s no beer or baccy for miles and I realise now why he always finds himself the enemy of mankind. I feel that way myself.

After all the talk and rumours it has finally boiled down to a twelve weeks [sic] course with flying in the last fortnight. The way they keep f---- us about I’ve seriously considered asking for my cards and if the Sergeant hadn’t asked me to parade with all the others I’d be back tomorrow.

They are a daft lot of perishers in our medical room, they think a hormone is a cry from a pregnant prostitute. If you have a pain over your wrist they give you ‘mist expect’ if its below you dab it with iodine. If they only knew of the wonderful cures that are affected by this treatment they’d shut up all ‘civvy’ hospitals. Mind you some of it might be the pact that sick-parade [sic] is a 6.30 and the cup of tea in bed has to be missed.
I’m sorry to hear of Fred Baulch, but he should have no trouble in getting fixed for the duration and get among the big money in munitions. He can help build me a plane (vide posters), or the way we are going, my grandson.

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[underlined] 3 [/underlined]

They seem to be getting very hot about p---- off without leave. One of the mob got 196 hrs [smudged] detention [/smudged] at Aldershot for being caught in London. A.W.O. so we shall have to look very innocent when we duck next time. Talk about a thrilling life, its one large game and only our honest open faces keep our bodies out of jail.

They are bashing about forty different [deleted] indecipherable word [/deleted] things at us all day and by this time I have finished I shall know everything about anything. What with Morse, radio telephony, wireless construction, generators and motors, secret instruction and what have you it will have to something unusual that I know nothing about. Something like air-gunnery.

How are the spotters doing these days of peace, it’s a sign the RAF shifted their best personnel south and I think a letter of thanks to the boys here is indicted. I notice that both spotters, Jack M. and Co have forgotten how to write, you can’t learn with one letter. It’s practise they need, only dont [sic] practise on me, I’ve had enough people doing that with all these courses. And Mr. Slipper, is he still shouting in a whisper? I wish he was my N.C.O I’d begin to enjoy life every day instead of only all the time. In any case it’s about time some of them there herbs got some service in, all the good jobs are getting full and the WAAFS - A.T.S etc [sic] worn out.
Things in the last line are moving towards a

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successful conclusion and off we shall go again for another round of pleasure in the flying field, and Mr. Hunt, all done on YMCA tea. No beer this voyage. Boy, that’s the way to find ‘em. Well its getting on for parade time and I must dirty my hands a bit. Look after yourself in these dangerous days, someone might do you down for your fags. Remember me to everyone that counts and to those that can’t.
Eight more weeks and I’ll be along to see you and shake hands with some honest workers, if any start up there in the meantime.

Remember me to the fitters etc. the Guv’nor [sic] and co. Tell Rusty I’ve got a spare bed one side of me if he wants to join.
Best of luck and see you one day.

P. S. Remember me to the others when you write them. If Moloney gets called let me know and I’ll celebrate first and pray for him after. If he still wants to knock my block off I’ll take on after his first fortnight, [deleted] w [/deleted] he won’t get his hands above his waist.
See you in jail.



Peter Lamprey, “Letter from Peter Lamprey to W Gunton,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed May 30, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/6556.

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