Letters Home No5

Saturday 18th December 1943

By Tricia Leonard

Photo:Skegness - January 1944 - George left on seated row

Skegness - January 1944 - George left on seated row

3008677 AC2 G.HORROBIN

No 2 Squad. No 6 Flight,
B Squadron, 1 Wing,
11 R.C.
RAF Skegness, Lincs

Dear Everybody
I hope you will be able to read this letter, I am writing it under extreme difficulties.
We all had our inoculation and vaccination this morning.  We lined up with our left sleeve rolled right up, and a chap wiped our arm with spirit, to clean it I suppose and another tapped a drop of the vaccination stuff on it and another scratched the arm for it to go in, a WAAF  put a piece of sticking plaster on it and then another chap put two inches of needle in and then squirted.  The actual thing took about a minute, but we had to wait ¾ of an hour for it.  I felt alright until I was in a café in town and then I felt sick.  I went outside and stood in a back street with my head down.  After a while I felt better and I came back to my billet, where I went straight to bed.  Most of the others went to bed early and are still in bed now, at 8.30am.  It's very difficult only being able to use one arm, but mine is better than the others this morning.
Directly after dinner yesterday we moved from Scarborough Avenue to another billet in Park Avenue. It's a lovely house and we have a very decent Corporal.
We had x-ray photos taken of our chest the other day.  I bet they cost a lot!
I had my photo taken and I enclose two.  What do you think of them?
We went to the pictures this afternoon and saw "Strange Alibi" and "Law of the Tropics", both very good.  We came out of there at five to five and doubled along to tea, which is supposed to finish at a quarter to.  There wasn't much left, but we scrounged around and found some bread and butter and marmalade, a piece of spam, and after tipping it managed to drain some tea out of the drum.  Luckily we found two cakes on one of the tables so we didn't do so badly.  The colonel tried to nab the last six in the cookhouse for fatigues but we escaped.  Right opposite the cookhouse, which is called the Casino, is a dodge'em car affair. We had a go at 'two in a car for a shilling'.  It was quite shaking!
There are arrangements made for our laundry, but we've heard some tales and have decided to get it done privately and get our own stuff back!
I am sitting in the "Common Room" at the moment.  It is a room set aside for the fire watchers and contains a fire and two beds, and a table.  It's very useful for sitting in in the evenings and for writing letters and reading.
So Mr Carpenter died in the billiard room?  I have spoken about him.  Don't you remember me saying that Mr Gunn and I used to call him Carpontic?  He was a machine minder and you mistook him for Mr Coombes.  I've written to Mr Gunn and to Mrs Roberts.
Selling my bike, what a nerve.  The minute my back's turned.  Which one did you sell?  The one out the back?  Don't forget to forward me the £2!!!?
Let me tell you Rosemary, there were twenty odd lampshades in that hut.  I only dusted them once.
It did snow when we were at Cardington, but not much.  I don't think it's so cold here.  It must have been a nice place in peacetime.  Down on the front there are little lakes and rivers with bridges.  And there are castles and amusement places galore.  You can get right down to the sea at one place and it's all sand.  There is one pier and four- fifths of it is over land!
How's the ATC going Dad?  Is the mob at the Tech any better?  I shall write to Mr Curtis soon.
"Pop Sims" was a photographer at the Herald but he left before I joined.  Have you got that bracelet from Mr Gunn yet, Rosemary?
I don't wear that belt, and I'm afraid I shall have to break into it to-morrow.  I'm afraid I've only got 4d left, and we don't get paid till Tuesday.  We've had two parades for pay, 10/- each time.  We can't make any allotments while we're here, but I'll make one as soon as possible.
No 4 flight put on a show on Thursday night.  It was very good.  They had that trick where they put a chap on two chairs and cover him with a blanket and then they take the chairs away.  As they were putting the blanket on the chap dropped it and the broom fell with a bang.  Everybody roared.  There was a good conjurer, a ventriloquist, a lightning cartoonist, and they sung a song about "the NAAFI girl who broke the rookies heart"
I haven't washed in hot water since I've been "in".  Cold wakes you up anyway.
We do all our training in denims here.  We are all on fatigues next week.  In the cookhouse mostly.
We are going to have turkey, beer, ham, cigarettes and four days off for Christmas.  We will be on fatigues, so I expect we'll get even more.  I don't quite know what to do about Xmas presents.
Have you had any raids in Brighton?  They've been properly blitzed here.
Are the chickens laying much now?  I expect the neighbours will be pleased when you kill the cockerels.
We get four pairs of socks and I think I'll wash them myself, some of the others are.
They haven't asked for my record card, so I'll keep it until they do.
The inoculation that we had was only 25 units.  In the seventh week we have one of 75 units.  You go straight out with it.  We won't feel the vaccination until Tuesday!
So you had a go at writing to me at Cardington?  How did you address it?
Well I can't seem to find anything else to write so I'll end
Much love to all

PS The chap with the beard had to shave it off.  He looked much younger afterwards.

This page was added on 24/01/2008.