Letter from Harold Gorton to his wife



Letter from Harold Gorton to his wife


He writes of night flying, travel arrangements for his next leave and domestic details.




Temporal Coverage

Spatial Coverage



Seven handwritten sheets


IBCC Digital Archive


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Cark. 30.10.43
It’s Saturday afternoon, & I’ll start this letter now. I don’t want to be long, as I intend to have a bath before tea, but I’ll finish this later this evening when I shall probably remember other things I want to say. There may even be a letter from you by the afternoon’s post if I’m lucky! Actually, I don’t quite know whether I want one or not. If I get one today, it will help me over the week-end, but it means I shall almost certainly not get one on Monday, whereas if there isn’t one today, I can be thinking all through the week-end that I shall get a letter on Monday. Like most things in this war, it’s a choice of two evils, but all the same, I hope there’s a letter for me this afternoon.
You seem to think it would be an inconvenience to me to have you at Kent’s Bank. Nothing could be further from the truth! I shall have no night
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flying to do after I’ve finished this fortnight – i.e., after next Saturday night, & shall be able [deleted] f [/deleted] to finish work fairly early as the nights are getting shorter. I shall get permission to live out of camp, but shall keep my room here & most of the stuff in it, taking very little gear to the hotel. If you can manage to come, it will be pure unadulterated pleasure for me. Is that clear?
I think I miss you most at present when I’m lying awake in bed, thinking of how you ought to be with me but aren’t. When I’m up & about, I can find things to do that take my mind off you, but in bed, it’s very unpleasant. Still, it should only be a week tomorrow before I see you again – I wish the next week was over!
My torch is now serviceable again. Four of us went into Grange yesterday afternoon, & had a very good tea at the Cookery Nook. I bought a battery & some shoe laces. I ran into Mrs. Banks, who
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asked how you were, & I told her you were coming [deleted] he [/deleted] up here next week-end.
If I didn’t tell you what ops I put in for, here is my list:
1. Night fighters & intruders (Mosquitos)
2. Day fighter – bombers (Mosquitos)
3. Low level attack bombers (Mosquitos or Bostons)
As you’ll gather from the above list, I want to fly Mosquitos.
Unless it will fill your case too much, you don’t need to send the shirt & socks on; they will do when we meet. You’d better bring your sewing kit, as I’m afraid I shall have a lot of jobs for you.
We’ve had Thursday & Friday free, & I’m hoping there’ll be no flying tonight either. If we can get a few more clamps we shall be able to make our night flying last the necessary fortnight. Then there’ll be no question about my 48.
Sunday 4.30 p.m.
I should have finished this letter yesterday, but in any case it wouldn’t
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have reached you before Tuesday, so I thought I might as well finish it at leisure.
I was thrilled yesterday afternoon to get your letter & parcel. Thank you very much for doing the mending, darling. I do appreciate it & am very grateful.
I think the letter was one of the best you’ve ever sent, because it seemed to bring our meeting so much nearer. Although I know you are as keen to seem me as I am to see you, yet it gives me no end of a thrill when you say so.
I’ll write to Mother & let her know you are travelling on Saturday, but aren’t certain of the time of arrival. I think it would be best if you could catch the 8.7, as you would then reach Manchester while it’s light. If you are at London Road Station when it’s dark, [underlined] please [/underlined] get a taxi to the bus station, because it isn’t too easy finding your way about a strange city in the black-out. Remember the last bus is 8.40 p.m., so if you are later than that, go to Victoria Station for the 9.25 train.
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[underlined] MAP OF MANCHESTER. [/underlined]
[street map drawing]
If you catch a tram at London Rd., get one marked Exchange, & get off at the terminus.
If you reach Crewe at 12.45, there is a 1.40 to Manchester (Mayfield) arriving 2.30,
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or a 2.45 to London Road, arriving 3.55. Unfortunately I don’t know anything about Mayfield station, but one of the Waaf Met officers comes from Manchester, & I’ll ask her. It would pay you to get that if possible, as the second train stops at every station.
If you reach Crewe at 5.35, there is a 5.40 arriving London Road at 6.39, & a 5.53 stopping train arriving 7.18. I should imagine the 5.40 waits for the Welsh train, so you will probably be able to make the connection.
Your furniture sale sounds fun. I wish I could have gone with you. How did you bid? Did you wink at the auctioneer, or what? £6..10..0 does seem a lot for a coffee table, but it will be very useful to go to these sales, as you’ll get a good idea of prices etc.
You ask how long I [underlined] want [/underlined] you to stay at Kent’s Bank. I should have thought the answer to that was obvious – as long as possible. I’ve never yet had too much
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of you, darling, & I don’t suppose I’ll have had too much when we celebrate our golden wedding. On the other hand, I should imagine you’d better come prepared to stay for a fortnight, & if you get fed up with the hotel or if it’s too expensive, you can go home whenever you want. Anyway, I expect to be posted at the end of the fortnight.
I think you’ve chosen the right stuff to get with our utility coupons. We shall be pretty well fixed up when we’ve got all that, shan’t we, though as you say, I don’t expect it will come through for months.
We are having a splendid weather! The past three nights it has been misty, & tonight we’ve got a real Cark soaker – pouring down all day, & likely to continue all night. All we need now is a clamp on Monday & Tuesday, & we shall have enough work to last us until Saturday. There is a possibility that I shall finish on [deleted] Saturday [/deleted] [inserted] Friday [/inserted], which is what the others
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want, so that they can have Saturday evening free. In that case I shall go to Manchester to meet you & take you to Farnworth. That would be good, wouldn’t it, but it would mean I should have to start work on Tuesday instead of Wednesday.
I’ve just realised that a week today we shall be together again. Almost too good to be true, isn’t it?
All my love,
P.S. Thanks again for the parcel.



Harold Gorton, “Letter from Harold Gorton to his wife,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed September 24, 2021, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/9148.

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