Letter from Harold Gorton to his wife



Letter from Harold Gorton to his wife


He writes about arrangements for his 48 hour pass, buying a car, domestic details and possible postings to RAF Wigsley, and the Lancaster Finishing School at RAF Syerston.




Temporal Coverage



Six handwritten sheets


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Brackley 191
[deleted] Royal Air Force,
Northants. [/deleted]
F/L. H. Gorton
Officers’ Mess,
R.A.F. Scampton,
I cycled out to Cammeringham this afternoon, & said I wanted the Austin. The man was out, but I told his wife instead. Will you ask Grace to give me a covering note for the insurance, so that I can get it taxed. I want it to be valid from 1st June, if there’s time to arrange it, as there’s jut a chance that I may be able to get petrol for the 48 - I’ve heard two contradictory statements on the subject, & so have decided to put in an application and find out, provided that I can get the car ready for the road in time.
Not that it matters a great deal. If I did use the car to go & see you I shouldn’t have any spare [inserted] petrol [/inserted] for taking you out, so that I may just as well save the coupons for
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when I’m on leave, or when you’re up here.
For Grace’s information, [inserted] It’s a dark blue saloon. [/inserted] the car is an Austin 7, year 1934, & it[deleted]’[/deleted]s registration number is VY 3975. I hope that is all the gen she wants. If not, you’ll have to let me know what else is needed. I suggest that we insure if for you & me to drive, 3rd party risk only, & that we take it out for a year, as being more economical.
How’s the smoking going on? – or rather the not-smoking. I hope you realise that this self-denial business doesn’t really apply to you, & that I want you to smoke whenever you fancy a cigarette – don’t think that you’re compelled to do without just because I’ve stopped. I should imagine that smoking is the only amusement you can find at Newhouse, so just do what you fancy.
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I’ve found abstinence from smoking to be more difficult here than I expected. It’s not that I’ve any craving for a cigarette, but merely that I see other people smoking, & they seem to enjoy it so much that I feel I want to share their pleasure.
Another more insidious temptation is the fact that I seem to have gone back to the old prejudices of my youth, without believing in them. Part of my adult development was to break away from the narrow prejudices of my parents, e.g. re alcohol, & adopt the philosophy that it was better to use these things in moderation than to avoid them completely or to let oneself become a slave to them. I still believe that & yet here I am, acting like a bigot.
Of course, as soon
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as I go over this ground I realise that the reasons which made me stop smoking & drinking are still valid & I’ve really no intention or desire to start smoking or drinking.
Pardon the above. I hope it hasn’t bored you too much, but I should be rather interested to know if your reactions are similar.
Now for your two letters. Your work on the bed-chairs sounds very effective to me, & it must have taken you a long time. What I’m pleased with, even more than the feather cushion, is the fastening of one cushion to the back of the chair, as it is most unpleasant if it works down.
We get lots of good food here – in fact I think I’m eating too much, - but there’s no cake to compare with yours. I wish I had some now. Another thing
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you’ve done has been to spoil for me everyone else’s bread and butter pudding. I can never touch it nowadays, as it is never a tenth as good as yours.
I imagine that you’d better come up here when you are ready, but I don’t know where I can suggest. I think I told you that it is pretty certain that I shall go to Wigsley on the 7th. If you had a 1/4" map of the district you would realise what a God-forsaken district it is, just like Ossington, except that it isn’t near a Great North Road that would proved quick transport. If you lived in one of the hamlets round about you really would be marooned, I should imagine, especially since most if the flying I [deleted] should [/deleted] shall do
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at the Con unit will be at night. After 3 weeks at Wigsley I shall go to Syerston, to the L.F.S., or Lancaster Finishing School, for a week & then go to a squadron. If you can make anything of that, it’s more than I can. Still, we shall be able to talk it over next week-end, I hope.
If you get a promising reply to your Chronicle advert, I should investigate it. It may prove better than the car I’ve found, & in that case we can always sell mine & use yours.
I forgot to mention that my cold cured itself after a day or two, & I am quite O.K. now.
You say you’ll not come to Lincoln for about a week. Since you wrote this letter on Wednesday, that means you think you’ll be
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ready to come up next Wednesday – the 31st. In that case we could spend the 48 in Lincoln. When I wrote on Wednesday I didn’t realise that you would be ready so soon.
If you want to come up on Thursday you had better phone me on [deleted] Sund [/deleted] Monday night – but I don’t know the phone number of this place, so you’d better send me a wire. Then I can try to find some hotel accommodation, which, as you can imagine, will be no easy task. Of course, if you’ve said you are coming to Lincoln or anywhere else in reply to my last letter I’ll act accordingly, & you don’t need to bother sending a wire unless, after receiving this letter, you want to do something different from what you’ve already said.
Isn’t all this confusing. What with the length of time involved
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in replying to letters & the innumerable things that we constantly have to decide, life becomes very complicated, doesn’t it?
Still, there’s one thing I want you always to keep in the front of your mind, darling. That is that I love you very much & long to be with you always. Life is lousy without you, & the sooner we can be together the better.
All my love, darling,



Harold Gorton, “Letter from Harold Gorton to his wife,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed July 25, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/9233.

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