Letter from Peter Lamprey to W Gunton



Letter from Peter Lamprey to W Gunton


Peter Lamprey writes about his training at Royal Air Force Yatesbury which he notes is very complex and hard. He continues with some general observations on life.




Temporal Coverage




Envelope and three page handwritten letter


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12.30 PM
28 June 41

[postage stamp]

Mr W Gunton.
Machine Room.
Waterlow and Sons.Ltd.
Twyford Abbey Rd
Park Royal.
London. N.W.10

[Page break]

Reverse of envelope blank

[page break]

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

Dear Bill and [underlined] Co, [/underlined]

At last the silence is broken. Back from the rest base the warriors have returned to do battle for their 1/6 per diem. Now at last the mean-ing [sic] of the word war has burst upon our consciousness. Fight for your grub, fight for your fags, your beer and your bed. After the whirl and gaiety of Blackpool this is one of the places where the hand of man has never trod. We have practically everything to learn all over again as well as a few hundred other things. Science – Morse – technical instruction - - secret procedure and what have you after all this we expect to be put on operations in about six – months, if they can only keep the war going long enough.

We do not get the fun out of parades we did at one time. There is no long spells on the P.G [Parade Ground]. Its [sic] out of one classroom into another and hardly a chance to spit let alone smoke. One person we have met is the human dynamo. The P.T. [Physical Training] sergeant. He packs into one hour of P.T more work than we did in a week up north.

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Mr Hunt will be pleased to hear that the NAAFI. beer is so weak that they have to add water to give it a bit of body. We keep on drinking it however hoping it will have some sort of cumulative effect. The course here seems very hard and they accept no failures so it is either go by or go on for ever. They are talking of starting a cemetary [sic] for the herbs that die of old age trying to get by. The effect of so much work at close quarters is rather staggering at first and you have to keep your eyes closed before you get the staggers. This magnificent country seat is so far from anywhere that when you leave the place the only thing that is any good is a compass, and a good pair of feet. We’ve had everything all over again. Medical exam, dental exam, air crew board and the only thing we don’t get twice is pay. We are allowed to buy five fags a day, if they have them, if you can’t get them in time, if some dirty airman don’t stick his b------ big head in the [deleted] y [/deleted] way when you yell for them. Still its [sic] a lovely life if you don’t die on your feet waiting for a break. There are about three thousand of us here and they all line up in front of us when we want our grub, which by the way is good. Three cooked meals a day and supper, they build you up to let Jerry have plenty to shoot at as

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as he is such a poor shot.

They have a wonderful hospital here – full of morse patients, completely bughouse with every-thing bar straw in their hair. They also have a fine bunch of airmens (sic) ground sheets (WAAFs) but so far we are keeping good, clean and very careful. Another thing they have is a wonderful system of fatigues and guards, you get fatigues every other day and guards twice a week.

I hope F Batchelor is doing O.K. now and gets by in the arrived style. W Smith should be on another leave by now with his usual gyver if I remember right. How is F. Baulch? out of work now. The RAF have taken over. It had to come. The army can do a lot but if you want something done properly you have to go to the RAF and they file the job and forget it. Remember me to everybody and when I have a few days of this I will give you the absolute inside story, if I can find anyone who knows.

Best of luck




Peter Lamprey, “Letter from Peter Lamprey to W Gunton,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 18, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/6577.

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