Letter from Peter Lamprey to W Gunton



Letter from Peter Lamprey to W Gunton


Peter Lamprey writes about a cracked rib he received playing hockey and being on light duties. He talks a little about his training and that there is six weeks to go on the course. He mentions that some old acquaintances from his basic training have turned up and that the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force have taken over many jobs as well as adding some information about his social life.





Six page handwritten letter


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1384535. A.C.2. Lamprey.
3 Wing B. SQDN. Hut. Z31.
RAF. Camp. Yatesbury.
[underlined] Nr. Calne. Wilts. [/underlined]

6th [underlined] week of terror. [/underlined]

Dear Bill. - Friends etc.

From the epistles received, very welcome, a certain amount of joy seems to have been caused by my misfortune. A slight shade of sympathy could be observed in one letter but I shall refrain from mentioning his name as he would most likely be kicked to death by the others. Far be it from me to wish this on anyone bar about three-qua [inserted] r [/inserted] rters of you. The advice I received was, as always, welcome but un-nessecary [sic] (necessary) f--- the spelling. I went sick on the Tuesday with a cracked rib that I got the Thursday before playing hockey. At present I look like a wounded soldier with strapping all round my chest, it gets me off drill and P.T. but beats me for

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ducking out of camp as I have to report every morning. The beauty of light duty is in the fact that one can lay on his back and watch the boys sweating blood on the square. A few remarks passed at the appropriate moment has a remarkable effect on them and I should not be surprised if an epidemic of burst blood vessels breaks out.

After next Friday we turn the corner on this course and move into the home stretch. Six more weeks and we shall be finished, we hope. Another couple of tests like those we had this week and I shall be finished before then. What with Morse at 18 w.p.m., [deleted] techna [/deleted] technical construction and all the joys of a W.O P.’s life, I’ve been looking for a handful of straw to stick in my hair. To crown it all the WAAFS have taken over the dishing up in the canteen. They must have kept canaries in Civvy Street the amount they give you. It wears you out having to keep going back for more.
I am glad to note that my letter has finally brought J.M. face to face with the facts of life

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as lived in the RAF. It speaks volumes for my early training and general conduct that I have only been on the peg once. My look of innocence on these occasions when facing charges has generally got me off.
I am afraid he (J.M.) will be at a big disadvantage with his general hang-dog, habitual criminal cast of countenance. Mind you, one more crack like his last letter will most likely get that removed, or at least altered. As for his future, if it is as I have prayed for, he should at least never suffer from lack of work, especially dirty work. He is best at that.

Moving to the next on my list Mr Standivan. I might point out that the addresses I have, were got by grim application to my duty as an Airman. If he thinks I am going to let him be a “running on minder” in the service he has a false idea of my generosity. I have not relinquished the addressees but have them filed for future night operations.

I am sorry to hear Harry B. has had a nasty shake up and hope he is soon back doing his bit. It would

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be a bit awkward if he was told to take it a bit easier.

There has been quite an influx of some of my old pals from Blackpool into the camp - full of hope - full of the urge to get on - full of ideas as to how they will soon be sergeants. I give them one week and they will be normal airmen again. Dodging the column and beating it for the woods every time the opportunity offers. Still they came loaded with fags and as these are as hard to get as 14 days [sic] leave, we continue to tell them that this is a smashing place.

So Herbert is thinking of taking a WOP. course. Well he might as well have a good a time as anyone [deleted] indecipherable letter [/deleted] else. When you write tell him its [sic] a lovely job, easy, bags of leisure, nothing to learn. Why should I suffer alone, misery likes company. He is fed up with balloons is he? Well – well he’ll enjoy himself here there’s [sic] no balloons, only plenty of gas.
The beauty of this course, is the things they try

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and teach you. You learn all the useful things, like the lowest place in the fence and when the W.O. is on orderly duty by yourself. One thing I have learned is never call “abondance declaré” [sic] as someone always yells “flight” and the b------ school breaks up and kitty vanishes.

The WAAFS. are taking over a lot of duties once performed by the boys and there seems to be a load more of them moving in. After a week here they know the difference between a service and a ceremonial belt. One happens on the flying ground and the other on the square. My little one is on night-shift this week only this time its [sic] official. She’s half-dumb and thinks a full-pack is nine-inches.

You will realise that being ‘hors-de-combat’ [sic] I have had no occasion to rub up against the Sergeant and from a purely outsiders [sic] point of view consider he treats the boys too leniently. They want a fortnight of hard work really, to get them fit. This letter therefore can contain no inside information and

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is just a review of old news.

NAAFI. has had marvellous supplies of rotten beer this week. Every night the boys have bought it in the hope it would taste better if you got used to it. The one good thing about this hot weather is you don’t get flys [sic] falling in it and swimming about. If they do fall in they die of sudden and severe poisoning. My honest – upright and God fearing friend will no doubt be glad to hear we are beginning to lose our taste for the stuff, I shall very likely vote against a wet outing if I drink NAAFI beer long enough and then Mr Hunt and myself can sit and drink [deleted] of [/deleted] our milk together.

Well, I suppose I must draw this letter to a close, the news is short but there may be more next time. Thank J. Honey. for his letter, Eddie Hunt and thanks for the good wishes etc. Remember me to F. Batchelor – B. Smith and Herbert.

Tell the Spotters to look out for a bloke waving his hand out of the rear-turret. It won’t
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be me but it will give them something to do. I still pray for J.M. but he hasn’t broken it yet, so I might ease up until he gets called and I can be certain someone will have a try.
Remember me to the Guv. etc [sic] and keep your nose close to wheel. Best of luck


Lend Rusty your pen he has lost he’s. [sic]

P.P.S. When I get the strapping off I shall have a bash at London and will let you know.

P.P.P.S. Let Bert have the enclosed.
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Peter Lamprey, “Letter from Peter Lamprey to W Gunton,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed June 7, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/6560.

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