Letter from Harold Gorton to his wife



Letter from Harold Gorton to his wife


He writes of his move to RAF Turweston, his training schedule and Winston Churchill’s speech.




Temporal Coverage



Seven handwritten sheets


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[Royal Air Force crest]
Tomorrow afternoon we move over to [deleted] Silverstone [/deleted] Turweston. I’ll write and send you the address as soon as I can.
I spent the time between tea and dinner repairing my suitcase. I must have looked quite funny at times, as I had to hold it up on the back of a chair with my head and shoulders inside it, while I hammered away at the handle. It isn’t done very securely, but it’s the best I can do, and I’m hoping it will last at least until I get to Turweston.
We are supposed to be there for a month, but I don’t know how I shall get on, as I’m headless and [deleted] and [/deleted] shan’t do all the syllabus. You don’t need to worry about my getting on to Ops quickly, however. After this course I shall probably go to a “pool” at Scampton, where I may have to wait for weeks before going to a Con unit. I should
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like to get trained as quickly as possible, as I want to get on with a job once I’ve started, but I’m afraid it will be some time before I see Germany.
I got a letter from Alice today. One part of it I thought very amusing. She says “We have looked up Wellingtons in that book of aircraft but Lancasters aren’t in. I suppose they are a newer machine.” Such ignorance in the fifth year of the war seems quite ridiculous to me.
Thank you, darling, for your long letter.
I suppose £210 isn’t bad nowadays for that cottage, but it’s a bit ridiculous compared with the one Dad sold, isn’t it?
As for replies to adverts, my idea is that unless you get them within a day or two of the insertion, you’ll not get any at all. If anyone wants to reply he’ll do so at once. There’s no need to keep an address for a few days, as there’ll no doubt
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be someone else’s address in any time he cares to look.
The only snag about Towcester or Northampton – or Brackley, for that matter – is that I expect to be posted in about five weeks from now, perhaps less. Apart from the fact that I badly want to see you, I think it would be a good plan if you came here to see what you thought of it. If only my life weren’t so beastly uncertain (I mean because of postings!), it would be easy to fix on a town. Even this O.T.U. course, which ought to have simplified the matter temporarily, is complicated because (a) I spend my time at two aerodromes instead of one, and (b) I’m not absolutely sure when I shall go. There’s also the further complication, of course, that I shall have to do a good deal of night flying. (Air raid siren just sounding!)
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There are six beds in this hut, but only five are occupied.
I’ve made up a parcel of laundry & will send it off tomorrow. The other arrived in perfect condition. There isn’t any hurry for you to send it back. Would the end of next week suit you?
I think Turweston is about 6 – 8 miles from here.
It would be nice if we could have the cottage again, but I don’t know how you would manage. The snag about it, apart from your own difficulties, is that it’s on the wrong side of the Trent, so that it would mean going through Newark each time, unless I could go over by air.
Grace’s letter certainly looks hopeful, doesn’t it? So, I thought did Churchill’s speech yesterday, in that he scarcely mentioned the second front at all. I wish they’d get it over & done with. I’m sick & tired of this b- war.
I thought when you said you could speak your mind to me it
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was one of the nicest compliments you’ve ever paid me. I hope you’ll always do it (both nice things & the reverse) because there’s nothing that does me more good. It’s impossible to describe what a difference it makes to me to know that there’s somebody with whom I am completely at one.
Actually, I don’t know if it’s the policy of the lecturers here or not, but I feel far more confident about Ops than I did before I arrived here. At Cark I felt that night bombing was purely a matter of luck whether one survived or not. Now I’m forming the opinion that provided one’s crew is on top line, the odds are very high in favour of a safe return. Since each time I take off, I shall be wanting to get back to you, I shall ensure that everything humanly possible is done to make sure that I do come back.
I’ll see what I can find out about the law on this job business is, although at the moment I don’t
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quite know where to start. How do you want me to set about getting a permit for you? I shall be only too pleased to do anything you suggest.
There seems to be no hope of a 48 or leave, although it’s unlikely that there will be anything for us to do the first week we are at Turweston. In that case, I shall certainly see what can be done about it. Some of the courses have had 36 hours off at the beginning, but I don’t see what use that would be as I don’t think I could get to Aber in the time, and shouldn’t know early enough to ask you to go anywhere.
It’s a devil, isn’t it? This being a pupil again, & not knowing what’s going to happen is very awkward, isn’t it? I think I may have been rather negative and gloomy in the first part of my letter. If so, please forgive me – I’m only trying to explain the
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position as I see it, & have to go into some detail because it’s such a change from me being an instructor. God knows I’d give anything to be with you, and if I can arrange it I certainly will.
I’d like to read that Genius of Friendship if I may. As you know, I am very keen on Lawrence.
All my love, darling,



Harold Gorton, “Letter from Harold Gorton to his wife,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 16, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/9205.

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