Letter from P Lamprey to W Gunton



Letter from P Lamprey to W Gunton


Peter Lamprey notes that he is writing while on guard duty at a remote location. He mentions that he has only got his final boards to take and he is waiting for results of his application for night fighters. He writes about increasing numbers of Women’s Auxiliary Air Force and ‘colonials’ arriving. He complains that Canadians are already wearing stripes while having done less training. He complains that posting and leave are being messed about and concludes with catching up with friends.





Five page handwritten letter


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1384535. A.C.2.Lamprey.
Hut Z31. 3 Wing.
Nr. Calne. Wilts.

Dear Bill and others.

Thanks for the parcel of goods. It was a pleasant suprise [sic] to find there are still some civilians left who can write. They keep on telling us that all the brainy folk are in our lousy lot, the other two services must be stone bonkers if this mob is a fair sample. This note is being written in a turn off of guard. There are two dimwits heaving rocks on the roof of the guard hut and the sentries collecting mushrooms. Talk about a bughouse we are stuck up in the hills guarding water supplies, miles from camp and it only wants the Corporal to go dippy and they’ll most likely wheel us all in the nut-wagon and roll us away. This guard business is getting a bit of a bind, the second week in succession we have been on duty over the weekend and now we have a good idea why the boys break camp without any

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hopes of getting away with it on their return.
You may or may not, according to who is reading this, be glad to hear that I have only got my final boards to take. I have got by, by strict application to my work, all my Intermediates. Now we really look like passing another step up towards that rear turret, three stripes and showers of s---. I have already mentioned that the air tests have been passed ok. I am still waiting for the result of my application and test for night fighters. If they only knew the good work I have put in on the flying field at night they would not bother about tests.
I can get a wonderful witness that night operations on my part are eminently successful.

The place is getting lousy with WAAFS. They are pouring in at the rate of 200 per week and the boys are getting very particular [deleted] indecipherable word [/deleted], they even pick between blondes, brunettes etc. now. The girls are nearly all good scouts and evenings out cost sweet F.A unless you go into town and you usually get tired half way there and go into the long grass for a rest.

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The Colonials are also pouring in and are all in our wing. When the N.C.O.’s have given us a good belting we like to see them take the Aussies on for an hour. The Aussies do everything bar obey orders and the jolly old N.C.O usually gives up. Its [sic] a real treat to watch.
Mr. Hunt will be sorry to hear that NAAFI. has now gallons of the right stuff and the supply is assured for the rest of our stay. After being so long away from this airmans [sic] joy it only needs a couple of pints and we are willing to take the lead at doing the Luftwaffe on our own, and if I receive any more ribs I’ll have a few beers and proceed to take the waterlows apart brick by brick.
We get on alright [sic] with the Aussies and the New Z’s but the Canadians are a load of wind. They have done a six-month course and know less than we do and still manage to walk round with their brevets and stripes. The others can all do their 20 per and are only here for secret procedure and refresher.

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They have bashed our posting leave and only lucky ones are getting more than four days. They say it is because they have to get us into the air by December but I think that is a lot of bogy [sic] as the gunnery schools are still choked with personnel. Its [sic] just another RAF. chisel at the goons. This course is one long round of stringing you along. First you join as a straight gunner, then you have to take wireless, then you do flying in your secondary stage then you. Then you are going straight to O.T.U. after this course. Then you aren’t. The only thing you are [corrected] certain [/corrected] of is that you are in the RAF, and sometimes with the rifle bashing we get we’ve got our doubts about that. They dragged all the rifle huts out on a ceremonial parade Thursday and the bullshit expended would have kept the Horse Guards clean for a month.

Im [sic] glad to hear the other herbs are enjoying their careers in the service, Herbert evidently doesn’t know when he is well off if he grumbles at being posted in London. The next time I see a trolleybus I shall most likely scream with fright. Bill Smith seems to be
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having a nice long stay in Wales and should be able to talk the language like a native.
Its [sic] about time I got cracking with my spell on the water side so will make this the last page. Thank my correspondents for their letters and I hope to hear from my friends next time. Mr Moloney evidently needs the firm, friendly, guiding hand of an N.C.O on his shoulder. I’d like to be there when he gets it. If by some freak of good fortune someone I know has him for an “erk” I’ll give plenty of advice.

Remember me to the office – maintenence [sic] and any other people who ask if I’m dead yet. How is Dave going these days? and his side-page Harry R? I hope these quiet day are giving them a break. Best of luck and will let you know how the finals go.

P.S. You still haven’t said where Rusty was buried.
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Peter Lamprey, “Letter from P Lamprey to W Gunton,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed June 1, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/6562.

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