Letter from Peter Lamprey to W Gunton



Letter from Peter Lamprey to W Gunton


Peter Lamprey writes that he is nursing a bad shoulder from parachute training. He complains about life in general and notes flying has been at a minimum these last few days.





Ten page handwritten letter


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[RAF Crest]

1384535. Lac. Lamprey. P.
Hut. X35. A. Sqdn.
No 1. Air Crew Wing.
RAF Yatesbury.
[underlined] Wednesday. [/underlined]

Dear Unk and others.

Once again I struggle forward into another composition for your sole benefit. Once again I put pen to paper and let the easy livers see the seamy side of life in the service. And all for what.? Just so that some dumb clucks can keep on nestling down among their feathers while I hold back the Boche hordes single handed – or very nearly so. And what is more I have to write a

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bloody serial story of my adventures.
Well - as usual- life is pretty grim. The only light I can see in the distant future looks suspiciously like the tapers round my coffin. At the present moment I am nursing a bad shoulder and waiting for the result of an x-ray on it. This is the result of parachute training and happened ten minutes after going on parade Monday. The main idea is to jump ten feet from a platform and roll as you hit the deck. This baby – as usual – got caught up in the harness and hit the deck in a heap. The M.O. thinks it is a bad bruise but he didn’t ask my opinion. Personally it feels as if I have broken my bloody neck in about 10 places. There are more fellows hurt at this practice than

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are ever rubbed out by crashing. “Yatesbury Foot” is just another name for broken ankles or dislocated joints. The number of irks wandering around in plaster and slings makes the place look like a cripples [sic] convention. What with one thing and another I shall be glad to get in a rear turret over Germany for a bit of blasted safety.

I managed to get the old nut over the last week-end and hied [sic] for the hills. Trying to thumb a lift these days is like getting Eddy Hunt to buy a round of drinks. You can’t do it. The only bloody thing going my way was the wind. Still I managed it in the end and a good time was had by all. Things in that corner of the world are rubbing along pretty fair

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so far. The daughter has recovered from the little operation and is full of beans and life. As was only right the returned warrior was treated like the hero he is and everything came off according to plan. With a bit of luck and a slice of smart loaf working there will be a repeat performance next week.
The shoulder has unfortunately put paid to the celebration we were going to hold on getting through all our intermediate boards. I know so much about electricity now that my eyes light up when I see a pint of the real stuff. If the x-ray turns out o.k. I can celebrate my return to the scroungers light-duty corps. If the only way to get along is by a bit of lead-swinging I think I can count myself as

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one of Bro. G’s most apt pupils. After listening to his tales it seems as if we have many things in common – he won the last do and I am doing a similar job this time.

The course is – as all course are – just one long bind. When they stop telling you one thing some other feather plucker starts in on telling you something else. I think half the boys that pass through, do so in one valiant attempt to get away from the everlasting yap.

Since starting this enlightening epistle the M.O. has decided I am badly in need of a rest, so, at the present moment I am wearing a sling and looking like a badly battered remnant of the Luftwaffe.

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seven days [sic] light duty and an arm-sling. This war is ruining me for steady work. All I shall be fit for afterwards is out-talking Bro. G in the minders rest. Not but that I could always do that, I feel confident that the extra training I could out-talk both Bro. G and the half-minder Hunt at one easy sitting.

Flying has been at a minimum these last few days. This has enabled the boys to have their meals only once. Usually, half of them got them once at meal times and again during flying. Only the second time the grub was going the wrong way. The return journey on some of our trips looks like the main hall of a mortuary with all the exhibits

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wishing they were really stiff. The pilots are all decent chaps but they must leave their guts in the lockers as nothing seems to upset them. Not that I want them upset while I am sitting in the back. I hate these daring sods, my type is the forty thousand night raider and fast home route. If my bloke ever tryes [sic] any of this low level stuff he will pick up a clump over the crust with the back end of my wireless set. Another pet aversion will be this daylight sweep business. I do my best work in the dark and shall take the greatest pains to emphasise this when I get crewed up.

Other than the previous blather I am enjoying my stay among the men

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who form the cutting edge of the RAF.
The cream of the youth of Britain. The men who dare etc. – All this from C.O’s last giddy-up talk. The way he bums us up makes me wonder if I ought to keep writing to ordinary people. Still, I will always remember that if I hadn’t joined the general melée someone else would have had to do it and we daren’t have it left like Bro. G. left the last one – half-finished.

I wrote to the three stooges and if they can still write I should hear from them this week. Not that anything they could write would be news. From the jobs they have picked I should think they will all get their snow –

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shoes and sun-helmets at any time. If Moloney is in England next spring it will only be as a corpse so he might just as well have a good time now. Charlie has found the delights of my old stamping ground and if he only goes about it right should be able to get his ticket on the grounds of General exhaustion after a month or so.

This letter seems to be a rambling a bit so I think I’ll pull out. If any of my friends wish to be remembered to me give them my address when they call in. Give my regards to the workers down there – both of them. Tell the rest of the mob I am well

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and happy – not that they care.
Look after yourself and keep your finger out. If I have to write again without a reply I shall get bloody wild.

All the best.
[underlined] Cadet. [/underlined] P. Lamprey.

P.S. Moloneys [sic] letter [word missing]
P.P.S. I must have mislaid it. Will send it next [underlined] time. [/underlined]



Peter Lamprey, “Letter from Peter Lamprey to W Gunton,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed June 19, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/6557.

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