Letter from Peter Lamprey to W Gunton



Letter from Peter Lamprey to W Gunton


Peter Lamprey writes thanking friends for correspondence and that he is getting used to Scotland. He mentions a letter from a colleague in the services and includes a couple of short poems. He advises that he has booked leave.




Temporal Coverage




Envelope and eight page handwritten letter


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10 15AM
21 NOV

[postage stamp]

[inserted] EXAMINER 6340 [/inserted]

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

[page break]

[reverse of envelope]


[page break]

1384535 A.C.2. Lamprey.
Signals Section.
HQ. 14 Group. RAF.
[underlined] Scotland. [/underlined]

[Underlined] Tuesday [/Underlined]

Dear Uncle Bill – Friends – [Underlined] Etc. [/Underlined]

Once again I thank you for the letter. Once again I salute Mr Hunt for his valiant effort to emulate Byron. Once again I warn Mr Ashton that flesh and blood can stand so much and then I shall have to slaughter him piecemeal. Still – thanks. Being of an open nature – I shall open the parcel and thank you after – having been the victim of a number of parcels. The news you sent me is indeed stirring. I shall use it discreetly and no one shall know where I got the information – much.

[Page Break]

The news from the fighting line is again scarce. Very little has occurred since the last communique was issued. Gradually we settle down and now I am learning the language things are a shade better. I can now ask for a pint – and get it. Instead of being told “Its just through that door”

The number of businesses that this war has closed down is apalling [sic]. I have heard that the old firm of “trimmers – pullers and special sorters” has had a severe body blow and half the staff has left. The founder however, is – so I am told – keeping it going by doing a bit himself. This is the change the doctor has been advising him to take for years but up till now he has never risked it. The retiring partner is going in for finance I understand. He’ll find it

[Page Break]

[Underlined] 3 [/Underlined]

harder to trim the boys than trim radio.

Mr Hunt – I am sorry to note – is still alive. My faith in prayer diminishes every day. You might tell him that the people buried at Culloden are dead all over. I’m pestered by a bloke dead from the shoulders up. And as for someones [sic] daughter presenting him with a puppy – have a good look and see if it looks like Moloney – he’s the dirtiest dog round there.

I [deleted] Km [/deleted] knew Rusty would have to get into some sort of uniform even if he could only take a temporary commission in the R.S.A. He should look sweet in a waterproof and gum boots with his figure.

[Page Break]

[inserted] 4 [/inserted]

While getting stuck into this letter I received one from Fred Gunner. You might like to know he is now a corporal. I’d have forwarded his address but he is going overseas and by the time you get this he will be on his embarkation leave. He seems to be glad he’s going and sounds ok. You might pass the information on to Freddie Goodspeed.

Having retired to a dark corner and opened the parcel – I send my thanks to everyone once again. The mail has flowed so thick and fast these last two days that this letter has suffered a series of setbacks. I apologise for the delay knowing you will understand the position of us fighting men.

I should have warned you previously against spending an evening out with Mr. Evans. As soon as he approaches a bar his back feels bad and only

[Page Break]

[Underlined] 5 /[Underlined]

a drop of gin will do it good. He will now come back at me with the old crack – I can take it, my back is broad. Thats the trouble, it takes such a lot of gin for a broad back.

Excuse me one moment – the muse has taken over again.

Who is it? When a bloke comes round
To see the shop - is always found
Working hard at this and that
And always has his answer pat.
“Someone else will have to do
The dirty work, I’ve one or two
More important things on hand
I’m sure that you will understand”.
But let it be a bit of fluff
And then just watch him do his stuff
Sends her on the upper deck
And nearly breaks his blasted neck
Making sure she doesn’t fall
But keeps below and sees it all


[Page Break]

[inserted] 6. [/inserted]

is safe.

I know your dirty mind. Who is it? Two guesses – right both times – Bill Thornhill.

I won’t let on who told me about this when I got the books.

Having finished that we can get down to the rest of the news. I have booked my leave for Dec. 16th. If I, with my proverbial luck, get it, I shall be along and take my seat at the ringside for the fight that, I have been informed is in constant progress favouring no one – I hope my dear friend Mr Standivan has his ears pinned back, by the “Greenford Gorilla” Mr Barnes. This will save me a job. Having disposed of Mr. Standivan I can put him on to one or two more little jobs he could do for me.

Getting back – the trouble with your people is – you want to rush this war.

[Page Break]

[Underlined] 7 [/Underlined]

Everything is under control. At present I am a WOP. Eventually I shall be a WOP/AG. – then my friends – the tapes. If you don’t like it there are two things you can do. Inbred politeness prevents me from mentioning either.

Mr Hunt – bless him – will speak to nothing less than a sergeant. At last my dreams are coming true, if he keeps his word the war is worth it.

Mr Ashton forward – thank you.

You spell like a don
And the way you run on,
Reminds me of Tennysons’ brook
Your scansion is good,
That is quite understood,
And your subject would fill up a book.

But despite all your flair
For the verse: I despair
Of the trouble that your efforts spell
For although you can rhyme,
I maintain – all the time
Your poems continue to smell.

[Page Break]

[Underlined] 8. [/Underlined]

This – I am afraid – will be about all. If I have failed to insult – upset or antagonize anyone, my mission is a failure. Remember me to all my friends. Thank those that wrote and those that can’t.

Kiss brother George – J. Money – J. Denny and Rusty, your taste is worse than mine. Lots of love and kisses x


P.S. I forgot to insult Moloney this time – remind me in your next letter.

P.P.S. Hear about the airman with one foot. All the WAAFs followed him for miles.

[Underlined] Be seeing you [/Underlined]

[Underlined] Pete. [/Underlined]



Peter Lamprey, “Letter from Peter Lamprey to W Gunton,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed November 30, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/6585.

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