Letter from Harold Gorton to his wife



Letter from Harold Gorton to his wife


He writes of the weather, the air officer commanding’s visit, and his time as flight commander.




Temporal Coverage

Spatial Coverage



15 handwritten pages


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It was wizard to get another letter from you today, but I want you to remember always that you are only to post letters when it is convenient, - none of this rushing down to the village after a tiring morning.
You seem, as usual, to have had better weather than we’ve had here! Yesterday was bright & sunny, but apart from that we’ve been true to type – bags of rain & low cloud.
The A.O.C.’s visit seems to have passed off successfully. I say “seems”, because he visited flying wing when we had gone off for lunch, so I knew nothing about it, except for a marked easing of tension
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when I returned in the afternoon. The chief bind for me was yesterday afternoon, when I had to get about 15 pupils organised in cleaning crew – rooms & offices, & equipped them with brooms, dusters, mops, & buckets! Quite a good occupation for P/Os & senior N.C.O.s, isn’t it?
We’ve now finished with the course we’ve had for the past fortnight, all except for one duff pupil, who’s going to be tested by me on Friday, after our day off, to see if he ought to be suspended.
While I’ve been in charge of the flight, for the past week (Riches on leave) I’ve come nearer to enjoying my work here than I’ve ever done in the past eight months. Having to do a bit of organising as well as flying has kept me from getting bored, & I shall be
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quite sorry when Riches comes back in five days time. There’s no doubt in my mind that being Flt. Cmdr here is one of the easiest and pleasantest jobs I’ve yet struck in the R.A.F., & if there is no help for it, & I can’t get on to Ops, I could stand this as well as anything. Next week, in particular, will be a piece of cake, because Bod is C.F.I. while Price is on leave, so that Stockdale & I will be the two Flt. Cmdrs., & we shan’t have any pupils until Wednesday.
I’ve been making experiments with smoking, too. I didn’t smoke at all for about four days, & since then have only had a few. I can’t quite decide whether it’s worth while stopping altogether or not. The two main reasons for it are the waste of money & it’s being a bad thing to be a slave of
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habit. On the other hand, it seems a fairly harmless pleasure, & as I’m not, I think, addicted to expensive habits, I don’t think the money matters, really. The trouble is that for me there seems to be no media via between smoking no cigarettes and 15 or 20 a day.
It’s not a matter of much importance, really, & I keep considering it, trying to decide which is the better course. I’ll not refer to it again, but will let you know later what I’m doing.
This pen nib has had it[deleted]’[/deleted]s best days, I fear. It had a sort of tip on the end, but this has now come off, & I am writing with a rather rough point. I have to press very delicately to prevent myself scratching holes in the paper.
I am at rather a standstill with my law. I’ve read those two books I bought, & ought really
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to be making some notes on the Constitutional Law, but I’ve arranged to take a correspondence course in Legal History, & have got everything arranged except the text-book, & I feel I’d sooner start the course & do that before tackling the [deleted] law [/deleted] constitutional side.
Incidentally, I told Gillegin that you thought that tuberculosis diagnosis was probably silly, judging from your own experience, & he was very glad, because it confirmed the second doctor’s opinion.
I trust you are getting all the letters I write. I send one off every two days, but several times you’ve written & said you’ve had no letter. Looking through your letter I see you got one on Monday, & you should have had another today. Your letters come here very quickly
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because the one I got this morning is postmarked 6 p.m Jan. 4th. That’s peace time speed, isn’t it!
I trust my last letter caused you no uneasiness about my health. I did feel seedy on Monday, but was as right as rain yesterday morning, & have been ever since, thanks, perhaps, to the measures I took. I’m very glad you are feeling better, & hope your Mother will soon be O.K. You’ll have to be very careful with her, because winter colds and flu are very dangerous at her age.
I wish I could see Elizabeth & Bubs again. I think you are lucky to be able to have them to tea, although I suppose I could shoot a line about Jennifer if I wanted. Alice is
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very interested in Bubs, & thought me a poor specimen because I knew so little about her.
If you would care to do so, perhaps you could send me some reports on Bubs, - you know the sort of thing – height weight, vocabulary, etc. etc. I won’t reciprocate (or is it retaliate?) with reports on Jennifer unless asked!
I must confess I’m dubious about this house question. Prices are very high round Aber, aren’t they, & we should be tying up a lot of money in something we hope we shan’t want for long. Of course if prices are going to rise still more, so that we could make a profit on resale, it would be worth doing, but it is at least open to argument that in a reception area like Aber, the demand for houses will not rise much after the war.
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Although I’ve said all this, it’s only by way of caution. If you see something you want & can get at what [underlined] you [/underlined] think is a reasonable price, go for it bald-headed, and I shall be delighted.
I’m afraid, with you, that you’ve “had” Cambridge now. I’m sorry, because it looked as though it would be a good thing, but no doubt something else will turn up.
As for your “mobility”, I should say that you are at present definitely mobile. If you got a house & furnished it, then I think you would be immobile.
Like you, I keep wondering how we shall get through the next two months. If I don’t see you until



Harold Gorton, “Letter from Harold Gorton to his wife,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed February 24, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/9169.

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