Letter from Peter Lamprey to W Gunton



Letter from Peter Lamprey to W Gunton


Peter Lamprey writes that he failed his final board and will have to stay a further three weeks. He mentions duties as rifle party and defence squad and concludes by catching up with friends news.




Temporal Coverage




Envelope and six page handwritten letter


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12.30 PM
8 SEP 41

[postage stamp]

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

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Reverse of envelope

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1384535. A.C.2 Lamprey
Hut Z31. 3 wing
[underlined] Yatesbury. Calne. [/underlined]

[underlined] Black Week [/underlined]

Dear Bill and [underlined] others. [/underlined]

Well the golden haired boy has come unstuck. We took our final boards Friday and Saturday. Terrific disaster, shot down in flames and spread all over the turkey carpet. Talk about the battle of Britain it was a high-power blitzkrieg all directed at one poor innocent. The rear-guard action was fought [deleted] will [/deleted] with determination but with the usual success. Eventually, without any warning, the skids were placed in position and pressure applied. A fierce encounter, but, I am afraid; futile and we now await the results with sorrow in our hearts, ashes on our heads, and the prospect of a further three weeks on our hands. Talk about brassed, browned and belted. After passing all the intermediaries and thinking it was a piece of cake, to have your trousers taken down on your finals just about breaks my faith in

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the milk of human kindness and regard it as just so much dirty water. Just goes to show the favourites are not worth backing, they don’t pay dividends.

I am sure all my friends will bear with me in my sorrow - like hell. Well, you will no doubt have the doubtful pleasure of receiving a few more letters from this place before I finally shake the dust of this glorious southern retreat from my feet. Not that I want to leave this camp with all its amenities and luxuries. The glory of laying in bed of a morning and staying out every night suits my style of life. When the gunnery school wants me they will most likely have pay a very heavy transfer fee to get my release, and I shall want bags of cash out of it. I shall want bags of slosh to wash the taste of NAAFI beer off my epiglottis. This will be one of the pleasures through pain every service man is told he will have to endure.

The letters of condolence should still be

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addressed here-thats [sic] if any of my friends survive the shock of my reverse, for those that do expire I shall have the very, very, great pleasure of subscribing some small sum to the usual floral decorations. Unless of course it is my dear pal E. Hunt. I want personally to attend his funeral, as soon as possible, and lay a bunch of poison ivy on his chest. The stack of mail I have received lately has really surprised me, I had no idea so many thought so little about so few. You have no idea of the pleasure I get out of not having to read the foul accusations contained in the notes I have received. If it were not for the fact that I know most of my greatest sidekicks are illiterate I should imagine I was deserted. It’s a good job my darling WAAFI failed on her T.P [tele printer] course and still haunts the camp and gives me her sympathy and help-although its [sic] got to the stage of help yourself now.

We still perform our arduous duties as rifle

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party and defence squad. We have been slinging grenades into the chalk pits all morning and have, up to the time of going to press, stayed in one piece. If Jerry thinks he stands a chance of frightening the rest of this camp, he’s had it. They are all resigned to being slaughtered by the herbs of “Bonkers Barracks” one of these beautiful Sunday mornings when they find some new method of defence. We have only to have a few hours of anti-tank warfare and our hut will shoulder the defence of Britain. The method employed seems to be to make it as dangerous to get behind you as in front, when the first party move up with their grenades I like to beat it out of range of anything but a long distance train.

I was in London for a few hours last week- end and sailed past Iveagh Avenue in a Buick about 8. Saturday evening. We got our heads over the wire at 5.30 after making all the arrangements for
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the usual tales to be told in case somebody asked damned impertinent questions. A good time was had by all and a repeat if looked forward to. If I had been certain I would have dropped a line and let some of you know. Still I shall be along one of these days and shake a few beers out of someone. That is if you poor civilians can still buy beer after you have paid your taxes etc.

Things do not seem to break any more exciting down here- barring the week-end fireworks-and having sunk so low as to be matey with all the N.C.O.s’ life goes by with smoothly- swimmingly and safely. Jankers is a thing of the past as the Squadron office is always under the care of one of our solo school and if he pegs us he gets no cards. It’s nice work, this fighting the enemy on his eastern front. If he can only hold out for a year or two I could just about buy my way out.

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thinking round I find there is nothing else that would bear the light of day so I shall just send you the same wishes as you all send me., and I hope they hurt.

Remember me to any and everybody, kiss Moloney and Standivan for me and tell them I stroked one extra for them. I’d ask you to kiss Hunty but don’t want you to die such a horrible death. Remember me to the short-term ex-spotter Dave and his stooge Rusty. If by some freak of fortune my record carries me through I’ll write and let you know.

Best of luck

[underlined] Pete. [/underlined]

PS. Remember me to Harry Beacham and hope he is OK.

I suppose the Ginger cat has developed web feet after all this rain.

[underlined] P. [/underlined]



Peter Lamprey, “Letter from Peter Lamprey to W Gunton,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 23, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/6579.

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