Letter from Harold Gorton to his wife



Letter from Harold Gorton to his wife


He writes of his first flight in a Stirling.




Temporal Coverage



Five handwritten sheets


IBCC Digital Archive


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The billet is reasonably quiet at present (I wrote too soon, because at this moment I am being talked to by the only bloke in the room). Anyway, I’ll try & write you a decent letter this time.
I hope you approve of the digs I’ve obtained. I thought that whatever they proved to be like, it wouldn’t matter much, since we expect to be there only three weeks.
I’m getting Bill Hannon, my navigator, to help me with the car wheels tomorrow night. I’ve got to put the new tyre on the spare wheel, & try to mend the slow puncture in the front wheel. I shouldn’t feel so confident in his co-operation but for the fact
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that he has just bought a 1928 Austin 7 for 50/-! Apparently its tyres are either non-existent or in a bad way, and as I was going to throw away the old tyre on the spare wheel (it’s down to the canvas) he want it for his Austin. When he has four tyres on it he’s going to get Freddie to tow it away, Freddie driving the 1932 Singer he bought for £10. It should be quite a trip.
Did I tell you that I’ve been allotted a Flight Engineer? He’s an ex-flight mechanic, aged 36, married, & comes from London. He seems a pretty sound type, the sort you could trust to pull the right knob in an emergency, so I am quite satisfied.
I had my first trip
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in a Stirling on [deleted] Wedne [/deleted] Thursday, and thought it a very pleasant aircraft to fly. As a matter of fact, it’s very easy for the pilot as [inserted] practically [/inserted] all the manipulation of the controls – throttles, pitch levers, u/c & flap levers, - is done for him. All I’ve got to do is to open the throttles on take off, use the control column and rudder, & know what to tell my stooges to do – that’s the most difficult part, as we have been given 26 pages of drills to learn. Incidentally, it gave me a bit of a queer feeling to be flying up the river Trent again, & to recognise all the twists & turns I learned when I was at Ossington.
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[missing page]
when you come up here.
I know you don’t object to where I take [underlined] our [/underlined] car, but the point is that I grudge using petrol unless I’ve got you with me. It would be a waste of half a gallon, wouldn’t it, just to give Derek or someone else a ride.
I don’t know why Smith & Percy get A.F.C.s, unless it’s because all the S/Ldrs. have now got them & they [deleted] want [/deleted] have to start giving them to F/Lts. Anyway, Percy, I believe, has now been posted to Ops., according to Wyver’s information, along with every one of the instructors – Gilligin, Riches etc., who were there when I was. Quite a clean sweep, in fact!
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The car starts up fairly well off the battery, although I usually give it a bit of encouragement with the handle first. It doesn’t start so well as yours, but it’s not too bad.
That list of trains to Newark sound O.K. to me, provided they are all running. Still, if you get to Birmingham by 12.30, you ought to reach Newark the same day, & I’ll meet you there.
I hope to see you a week tonight. That’s good, isn’t it?
All my love, darling,



Harold Gorton, “Letter from Harold Gorton to his wife,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed October 1, 2022, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/9254.

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