Letter from L Boldy to her husband and son Steve



Letter from L Boldy to her husband and son Steve


L Boldy writes to her husband and son Steve; she has transcribed the letter she received from the Director at the Air Ministry and included copies of newspaper cuttings concerning the trial of Warrant Officer Raymond David Hughes, in the hope of gaining information on the whereabouts of her son, David Boldy.




Temporal Coverage

Spatial Coverage



Eleven page handwritten letter


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The Under Secretary of State
Air ministry (P.4 (cas)).

73.77 Oxford St.


I am directed to refer to your recent enquiries concerning the identity of a man named ‘Boldey’ mentioned in the trial Warrant Officer Hughes, & to inform you that W/O. Hughes has been interviewed on your behalf a second time & states that the man ‘Boldey’ was in Berlin in 1940 using the name Boldey.

There can therefore be no connection between him & your son FL/Sgt D. A Boldy who was reported missing 11. July 1942.

It is hoped that this assurance will be of help to you in your present anxiety.

I am. madam
Your [underlined] Ob’d [sic] Servant [/underlined]
for Director of Personal Services

I have thanked them for the trouble taken to establish that it was not my son’s name that was being used by another man.
[underlined] Mum [/underlined]

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5 Chepstow Court,
Chepstow Crescent

[underlined] 13th September 1945 [/underlined]

Steve & A.D.,

This is rather an amazing letter & it appears truth is stranger than fiction really. I can’t write it twice so am sending Steve the carbon copy. First you might read this newspaper cutting.

[two newspaper cuttings]

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[underlined] 2 [/underlined]
This case was reported in the papers on Friday the 24th & [deleted] [indecipherable word] [/deleted] an alleged statement by W/O Hughes – while placidly drinking morning tea my eye fell on the following cutting

[two newspaper cuttings]

Well that name was near enough to make me decide to do something about it.

I can’t tell you exactly how I got Dick his breakfast & off to work, made the beds & cleaned up but apparently these actions become automatic at times. While I was dressing the phone rang & Mr. Fentiman was at the other end. He has always been awfully decent to us. [inserted] met him at Maisies. [/inserted] Steve knows him of cause. He began a round about preamble of “You’ll be surprised after such a long time. Just I thought I’d ask if you had all good news of the family &

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[underlined] 3 [/underlined]
so on. I said ‘you mean you’ve read this mornings [sic] paper’ & he said ‘yes I didn’t know if you had’ well what did I think? I said I didnt [sic] but I was going to find out. So he gave me his phone number, offered any help he could give & said to phone him between 4 & 5 to let him know how far I’d got – in any case he’d phone again at night. I said Dick was staying with me, he said he would still phone to find out if there was anything he could do.

Then I started out – the Raf [sic] Casulty [sic] Branch had nothing. Case closed. The man was awfully good & helpful but there was nothing he could do. So I went to the Daily Express. Mr Luckfield who helped me find about the boys in Sweden had left & a news Editor saw me. By this time it had gone 2 & I was empty having had a slice of toast & coffee for breakfast. You do meet some sub-human beings – this one said

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[underlined] 4 [/underlined]
‘Well it would be better for your son to be dead than to be brought home & shot’. How I didnt [sic] spew all over his feet I don’t know. Emptiness probably. He would give me no help but suggested I went to Uxbridge where the trial was Taking [sic] place & found out for myself. I had an appointment for a hair set as it happened & so phoned through to Jac first to cancel it & she said she knew by my voice something was wrong. We had 2 ‘All Change’ on the way to Uxbridge but I got to the Depot by 4:30. God bless those young Corporals in the Guardroom. They said they would do what they could. Would I like to come back next day or wait till the trial ended at 6. I’d wait. So I went to the station & phoned Dick & Mr. Fentiman. Dick insisted I should go from Uxbridge to the Garrick & have a meal with him anytime between 7.30 & 9. When I got back the small

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[underlined] 5 [/underlined]
Corporal said – ‘you didnt [sic] leave your sons [sic] number & rank’. (I deliberately hadn’t. I was getting information not giving it). ‘I have it’ I said. ‘Well it doesn’t matter’ he said because its [sic] not your son, but the other Corporal will see you’. So the big Corporal came along. He said ‘I have seen Hughes & he says the man isnt [sic] an Englishman but a foreigner - a Hungarian & is using an assumed name’. I said ‘thank you very much, you have been kind’ & held out my hand. You do meet some God like humans too. He said ‘I know just how you feel. Do go along & get yourself something to eat & God bless’. It was all I could do not to burst into tears. Oh Stevie God how I wanted you & your little [indecipherable word] taps & that steadying hand of yours. Anyway I spent 5/6 & ate with Dick by about 7.30. Uxbridge is awfully far out, but I wasnt [sic] a bit happy & at dinner I said - ‘Its [sic] such an unusual name

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[underlined] 6 [/underlined]
& from where has this man taken it – have they had Dave dead or alive & what have they done with him’. Dick said he’d been thinking all those things but hadnt [sic] wanted to start me on anything.
Well then even the answer I’d got began to sound unbelievable even to me Dave’s mother – so I wrote the following letter.

The Adjutant, Raf [sic] Depot, Uxbridge.
Dear Sir, on Friday the 24th the Daily Express, Daily Telegraph & Times in reporting the trial of W/O Hughes quoted an alleged statement made by him in which he stated ‘I was introduced to a man named BOLDEY (later reported as BOLBY, BOLDREY & BOLDLEY.) This name being similar to ours I went to the Raf [sic] Casualty Branch in Oxford St to enquire if this could be my son F/Sgt DAVID ADRIAN BOLDY 923995 C Unit SQD. 207 & posted missing from air operations over Danzig on the night of 11th/12th July 1942 & later presumed killed. His case was closed & they were unable to give me any further information. I therefore went to Uxbridge where the corporals in The Guardroom most kindly offered to try to contact someone in authority if I would wait till the

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[underlined] 7 [/underlined]
trial ended for the day.
Later one of the Corporals informed me he had spoken to W/O Hughes in the presence of an R.A.F. Officer & he (Hughes) had stated that the man he called BOLDEY (BOLBY, BOLDREY, BOLDLEY) was a foreigner – a Hungarian & was using an assumed name.

I would be very grateful to have official confirmation of W/O Hughes statement that the man mentioned is not my son. yours [indecipherable word] L Boldy. I got the reply on Friday the 7th. I don’t know how I [indecipherable word] in the interval & have since had Photostat copies of it one of which I enclose for each of you.

Mr Usher (the porter) brought our laundry round on the morning after this case appeared so I said ‘Did you see the paper yesterday?’ & he replied ‘I did madam & I didn’t know whether I should mention it to you or not’. I have since shown him the Raf [sic] reply original letter. Bob & Maisie saw it. Bob till today has neither said nor done a thing

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[underlined] 8 [/underlined]
about it. Bella & I went down on a prearranged visit to Maisie when she left it to me to mention it & then said – ‘My dear be prepared for anything. I hear they have all been squealing like rats’. I took Mrs Baker all across London the following Monday (& have for the last 8 years) She too left it for me to mention & then said – ‘Yes, I read it I left it to you to tell me if there was anything to say’.

What the bloody hell is the matter with everybody - they are all ready to take assistance but never ready to offer it. So that only one man had the courage & the kindness to offer help if it were needed.

I had a postcard from Mrs Warren dated 29th August from Newcastle saying she hoped to see me soon. She was writing from the nursing Home where she has had an operation on her foot. I don’t know if they’ve seen it. Pat saw it as Boldi. & did not connect it initially.

Other bits of interest are that they are

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[underlined] 9 [/underlined]
all using assumed names. Hughes was Herr Becker first & then John Baker, another Raf [sic] Officer Freeman was Royston. F/O Carpenter was Carter & so on. They could not just have imagined Boldy William Joyce is being tried next Monday & if I don’t [indecipherable word] coward I shall go to it. I’ve never been in a court I don’t like seeing other humans in trouble, but he must surely know how they came to take their assumed names & that might throw some light on things. Then I can act through official or legal channels if necessary.

Hughes comes from Bottesford Daves [sic] station but he baled [sic] out in 1943. August Hughes was asked to join the British Free Corps (to fight in Russia) & was told McCarthy & BOLDREY would be there. Another part said he was given a voice test & BOLBY, Mrs William Joyce & Dr. Dietze were there & again I gave revolvers to the heads of the Free Corps & when I had done this & paid a visit to a man named BOLDLEY & when I told him that the Free Corps had revolvers & might attack the

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[underlined] 10 [/underlined]
Germans he got very panicky & he got in touch with William Joyce & his clique! My comment when I read that was ‘the only possible thing I can imagine Dave saying to that would be ‘Bloody good show’. And so that for the moment is that. I was just about dead with nervous exhaustion but am recovering. These confounded babies & amorous cats keep me awake well into the small hours & then I sleep like the dead later on, but its [sic] not the same thing. I feel like I’d like to pass into oblivion for at least a week.

Well its [sic] 11. & Dick has just come in. He asked me to lunch today to meet the Sheelings & has been to ‘Sweet Yesterday’ this evening. Anne Zeigler & Webster Booth so it must have been good, he enjoyed it he says. Now a cup of nice warm coffee & bed.

You know I’ll be doing anything thats [sic] necessary.

Lots of love
[deleted] Babe [/deleted] [inserted] [underlined] Mum [/underlined] [/inserted]



L Boldy, “Letter from L Boldy to her husband and son Steve,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed July 17, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/888.

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