Letter from Peter Lamprey to W Gunton



Letter from Peter Lamprey to W Gunton


Peter Lamprey describes physical hardship, parachute training, flying and shares light hearted banter with his former colleagues.




Temporal Coverage




Envelope and eight page handwritten letter


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30 SEP 42

[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 blank]

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[RAF Crest]

1384535. LAC. Lamprey. P.
Hut. X35. A Sqdn.[Squadron]
No 1. Air Crew Wing.
RAF Yatesbury.
[underlined] Wiltshire [/underlined]

[underlined] Monday [/underlined]

Dear UNK – Friends and Others.

How I ever manage to get my poor bruised and battered body to respond to the extra strain of letter writing is just one more example of the indomitable spirit of the RAF. Pause for cheers. They are slowly and relentlessly moulding my body into a perfect specimen of so many pounds of raw beef. Just for fun they run us uphill – downhill – along roads – over fields for about six

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miles, and then expect you to finish like Sidney Wooderson when he is trying. After collapsing in our pits for an evening they then expect us to march five miles in fifty minutes. It hasn’t been managed yet but how them [sic] N.C.O.’s try. The main idea of it all is to save armour plate. They are trying to get us so tough that ordinary bullets will just bounce off our chests. Another week like the last and the only bullet that could hit my chest would be the one coming straight down. At the present moment I feel like something the blasted cat has been manhandling. Not content, at any time, with the sorrows they heap on our bowed shoulders they are now teaching us how to jump with a

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[RAF Crest]

[underlined] 3. [/underlined]

parachute. Not the real jump mind you. The main idea is to swing you from the roof of the hangar and then make you hit the quick release. This clever little trick then lets you down on the deck with a sickening thud. If you are swinging forward you land on your back. If you are swinging back you land on your pan. It doesn’t matter where you hit it – you always hurt your bloody self as you land. The least you can get is a blasted great bump on your skull. The most is a smashing military funeral.

I can’t quite get the idea of sending me the new intakes letter. If you think it is [deleted] goa [/deleted] going to make me jealous just because he happens to be in a soft billet, you can just

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keep on thinking. The poor sap hasn’t been in long enough to know that just when he is really comfortable there will be a nasty tearing sound as they rip him loose and stuff him out in the wilds some-where. It isn’t a bad R.A.F. how the hell does he know after a fortnight?

I thought I should be all right for a crafty nip away last week-end but the RAF decided otherwise. More blasted flying to make up for lost time. I have packed so many hours in lately that if I see the bleeding clouds from underneath I can’t recognise where I am. If I keep my feet on the deck for above [deleted] above [/deleted] about four hours I think I am on holiday.

Mr Hunt seems to be getting out of his groove lately. I don’t like smacking

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[RAF Crest]

[inserted] 5. [/inserted]

simple minded people over the skull but I am afraid I shall have to step in and clump his crust if [deleted] you [/deleted] [inserted] he [/inserted] keeps besmirching my fair character. I can inform him that bar for two nights I have been as sober as a judge and even on the other evenings I could move my eyes. We haven’t been on a real bender yet as quite a number of the herbs are not very friendly with the authorities and have to stick around for a day or so but – just as soon as we do get along on one, I shall have the great-est pleasure in being sick on Mr. Hunts carpet.

As for stirring Bro. G. that is something that I have always considered impossible. I like to keep . [sic] in touch with the man in

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case at any time the [sic] decide to fight this war in an old fashioned [sic] way. Then he can have his generals [sic] hat back and get it finished. He might of course be a little lost without his usual yes-man chorus from No.7. but then one of these days he’ll have to do his own little bit and might just as well learn now.

It is with pleasure I learn that the old RIP. is keeping steady for a change. Evidently some people never learn by experience. If they had played cards with him before I fail to see how he still stays in the school. Unless of course he owns the cards. The way he plays he needs handcuffs to keep the aces in the

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[RAF Crest]

[underlined] 7 [/underlined]

right place.

News, as always, is conspicuous by its absence. Barring the course – the camp – the grub and a few other details we are having the time of our lives. All I want to be really cheerful is someone to skin me at brag tonight and put the hammer on a night out. I heard from Charlie and so far he is enjoying
himself. However he has plenty of time in front of him for things to get normal. Cherry, from reports, is getting his service served up edge-ways and just can’t keep out of the way of corners. Still he’ll get used to it –or get killed – and the RAF aren’t that particular.

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Remember me to anybody who is in any way interested. Lots of love and kisses. To all the firm. Keep Rusty on his toes and off his elbows. Give my regards to the blonde you were out with last Thursday.

All the best

[underlined] Pete [/underlined].



Peter Lamprey, “Letter from Peter Lamprey to W Gunton,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 14, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/6581.

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