Letter from John Brittain to his mother



Letter from John Brittain to his mother


Starts with apology for not writing but has been constantly flying to France to repatriate allied prisoners of war. Mentions typhoid injection to prevent crews catching it from ex-prisoners. Writes that he believes they will stay in UK but rumours of trooping flights to India. Discusses motor car deals undertaken. Catches up with family news and mentions he has had to give up his dog as Group Captain would not let it stay in service accommodation. Writes about meeting French women on local visit to Juvincourt who related experience during occupation. Mentions that they are hoping to get into Reims before long. Says he is enclosing some foreign notes he was given by a prisoner.



Temporal Coverage



Seven page handwritten letter


This content is available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0). It has been published ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre. For more information, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ and https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/legal.




[RAF Crest]

Sgt. Brittain. J.T.
Sgts Mess
195 Sqdn
RAF Wratting Common

Dearest Mum.

Many thanks for your letter and card, I must apologise for not writing before this. We have been to France and back 8 times in 3 days collecting ex-prisoners of war and the day before yesterday we had an innoculation against typhus, which has

[page break]

left us with rather sore arms! The innoculation is to immunize us against catching typhus from the prisoners. I think that we are definitely staying in this country for the duration, and that we will be flying in this country only. We have heard that we will probably be taking troops to India and bringing back time expired men - but it's only a rumour!!

I have sold the car for £80 and bought a Standard

[page break]

[underlined] 16 [/underlined] H.P. for £ [underlined] 75 [/underlined] (absolutely dirt cheap) I am getting a few things done to the 16 and then am going to sell it at, I hope, a profit!! I shall probably be coming home in it next leave, which, by the way is on the 19th June, and I may write to ask you to put an advert in the paper a day or two before that - I'll see.

Now for items of news - The cake was given to me by Jack for a 21st present, but

[page break]

as he had another one we could eat here I decided to send it on to you as I thought it might be useful at [one indecipherable word]! However I am glad you enjoyed it - They certainly are good aren't they! The rest of the crew gave me a set of two hair brushes which I have sent as they are too good to keep here.

Bruce is no longer with us - I had to get rid of him as the Group Captain would not let me keep him in the billet - I gave him

[page break]

to a farmer in Haverhill who is training him as a gun dog!!

When we were in France the other day we had a chance to look round, what little remains of, the village of Juvincourt. The people, few as they are, seem very friendly and I had quite a chat with one old girl who told me what devils the Jerrys were. She told me that they, the Jerrys, used to hang the Jews of the

[page break]

village upside down in the local well, fire at them, then lower them into the water, and then make the villagers drink the water!!

We haven't been into Rheims as we haven't stayed long enough, we are hoping that we will be able to get there before long. I am enclosing a few foreign notes which I was given by a prisoner. The ones I got in change were from buying a drink in the local grocery shop

[page break]

in Juvincourt.

Well, no more news now, hope you enjoyed your meal at the Saracen's Head.

Tons of love

[underlined] John [/underlined]


John Taylor Brittain, “Letter from John Brittain to his mother,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed June 23, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/9931.

Item Relations

Item: French and German money coupons and notes dcterms:relation This Item