Letters Home No2

Thursday Dec 9th 1943

By Tricia Leonard

Photo:Cardington 12 December 1943

Cardington 12 December 1943

from Tricia Leonard's collection

Photo:George & Rosemary Horrobin on Hove seafront 1945

George & Rosemary Horrobin on Hove seafront 1945

from Tricia Leonard's collection

Thursday Dec 9th 1943

Dear Everyone,

I am, up till now, enjoying life in the RAF.  I haven't got my uniform yet, but I'm definitely in it because I've got my number; 3008677 and I know it off by heart.  We haven't been really busy up till now, but we've had a lot of waiting about which is not too nice in this weather.  It is misty and very cold and muddy.  It's no use cleaning your shoes - so we don't.
We shall all be very busy tomorrow (Friday) as we are going to be kitted out.  There's a list in every hut of the things issued, and it is about a foot long and closely typewritten.  The whole outfit costs, so they say, about £25. It probably weighs a lot more!!  We get six "collars, blue-grey", one "coats, great, blue-grey", and one "caps, comforters" (scarves) and many other various stuff.
A lot of the chaps come from Sheffield, and 'oop North, and sometimes you can't understand them.
One comes from North Wales.  A chap who came up on the same train as me only got 9 out of 100 in the intelligence test, and he was sent home!  I got 90 and the chap in the next bed got 99.
I have been accepted as a wireless mechanic.  It is a 10 month course and one long bind.
The food is pretty good and I eat whatever they give me - or I have a go at it any way.  I can't give you my address as I shall be moving on before you can answer.
The two huge airship hangers are still here. The repair and test barrage balloons are here I think.  There are a lot going up and down all day.
I haven't spent much yet, only the bus fare in London and 3d in the canteen tonight.
The chaps I palled up with yesterday and to day are somewhere else now in the camp, so I don't know many around me.  We have to get up at 06.00hrs and lights out is at 10.25hrs.
I have got my pay book which includes a specimen will and a blank one!
I am in another hut from the one I slept in the first night and it has no wireless.  Did you hear the programme on Wednesday evening?   (it is not much use me asking you questions, you won't be able to answer them for a week).  You get allotted certain jobs in the hut according to your bed number. Mine is 5 and my job is to dust the lamp shades.
There's a notice with some important orders on it and to make sure that everybody reads it he marked it DON'T READ THIS in big letters!  Of course, everyone does.
There are all types here.  There is a man with a grey beard, he said he was 51, but he is 61.  Then there are some proper cockneys - gor'blimey!  It is very amusing listening to them. All they talk about is how to get out of the RAF.  Most of them are married.

Well I'll sign off now,
All my love to you all

This page was added on 11/10/2007.