Letter from Peter Lamprey to W Gunton



Letter from Peter Lamprey to W Gunton


Peter Lamprey writes that his hut has been punished for arriving back after hours. He speaks of incidents with members of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force and about his social life and activities available on camp.





Four page handwritten letter


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A.C.2 Lamprey.
3 Wing. B. Sqdn. Hut. Z. 31.
RAF. Camp. Yatesbury.
Nr. Calne. Wilts.

2nd [underlined] Week of [/underlined] Blitz.

Dear Bill – Friends etc.

Up to the time of going to press there has been no reply to my epistle of pain.
You evidently quite agree, that this sacrifice the youth of the world are making should be borne in silence. Sirs, I can inform you that the RAF are very fond of being heard and at no time will they agree to be silent, except when busting into camp after hours. As you have doubtless heard from Bert Smith I ducked for a few hours on Saturday and Sunday. Just to spoil a good thing they have made our hut the defence squad for the camp. This means we are not allowed off the camp one week in three and have to parade every 3 hrs on Sunday, on duty every night, and trench digging as a spare time job. If only they leave us here long enough we shall tunnel our way out.
If you could see me performing with R. and B. it would put the fear of hell in you. I frighten myself sometimes and wake up screaming. There are a load of WAAFS [deleted] on [/deleted]

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on the camp and although their wing is out of bounds we have put the job on and are doing a week or so making ready. Its [sic] nice and cheap in the Y.M.C.A. and when we get out and by, the long grass will cost even less. One WAAF recruit was in front of her M.O. last week and the M.O. said she was under-weight and asked her if she could explain if. [sic] The WAAF said no, so the M.O asked if she had ever been bed-ridden. The WAAF said she’d been hearth-rugged and table-cornered but never that. It shows how raw she was. No service in at all.

We run into plenty of our old Blackpool pals on this station and the longer they have been here the longer their mugs look. It’s a hell of a course and the place is like a farmyard for bullshit. Everything is done by numbers and if Jerry invaded this place they’d make him right-dress and number before they let him by the guard-room. We went over the fence Thursday night for some beer as NAAFI. ran dry and had a 3 mile walk, a few beers and a lay in a ditch for an hour or so before the bl------ guards came away from the only place in the fence where you can dive. To crown the evening they raked us out at 2.30 to stand by for ½ hour in tin-hat, gas mask and cape, R. and B. and all the b------- of modern equipment, just for practise. I wouldn’t miss this show for anything, it kills me, or very nearly. One good thing is we start flying shortly, and the Flight-Sergeant [sic] has

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already told us “when you go up be sick in the bucket and not in the set”. He expects to get something out of us evidently. Being keen I shall most likely give them all I’ve got when I go up.

I was sorry to hear about Fred. Baulch being tipped and would like the information for reference in case I get really browned off at any time. I hope he gets fixed up all right. In any case he has moved into the front line from the convalescent home he was at. They tear whacking great lumps out of us every day here but just before they reach the bone, they pack up so you don’t get a chance to go sick. In any case, its [sic] too much of [sic] a bind going sick here, you have to be on sick parade at 6.15 and we only just get up in time for breakfast.

Did you hear of the WAAF. [sic] who reported sick? The M.O. said she was in the family way. Who was the man? She said she hadn’t been with anyone in or out the camp. The M.O. said “that’s funny what did you have for breakfast? – “Quaker oat?” “Yes” said WAAFY “thats [sic] him then the bloke on the packet”.

We get plenty of free shows on this camp, the most popular one is feeding 1,500 wild airman [sic] in ½ hour, dinner-time. When I get really fed up I shall stand well back and watch it from the outside it most likely looks magnificent from

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the outside.
They sell fags here three times a week and these days are engraved indelibly on our minds, and feet. We line up for hours in the evening and generally get about 15 fags in three hours. After this we are so exhausted all we can do is lay [sic] on our beds and smoke ourselves to death for the rest of the evening.

You might ask Bert Smith to claim that bike if he gets a chance and I’ll come and see you one Saturday evening.
Remember me to everyone and will close in haste as NAAFI opens in 20 mins.

Best of luck and keep it up
(until it goes soft)


P.S. This letter has left me so tired I couldn’t pick up a fallen woman.



Peter Lamprey, “Letter from Peter Lamprey to W Gunton,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed June 4, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/6563.

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