Joe’s Letters Home, WWII; Letter 6, 13 Jan ’44.

family storiesA bit of background

This emotional journey will revisit the stories of my Uncle Joe once again. I hope you will enjoy them, and think of your family as you read.

Joseph Henry Thompson (pictured below, left) was born in June 1925 in Birmingham, England.  The eldest of 4 children, and brother of my father (dad being the youngest). I never knew him and my father hardly had the time before his tragic demise post-war at 22.

Joe ‘joined up’ to the RAF, along with thousands of other young men, in 1943 at the tender age of 18. He left his widowed Mother, my Nan and 3 siblings and left for training in December, to Regent’s Park, London, which is where these letters begin. 

Letter 6 – Preparing to leave Basic Training Camp

family storiesfamily storiesfamily stories

Letter transcript:

“Weds night in bed, 12pm.

Dear Mom and Kids,

I received that letter which you wrote on Monday and at the same time a letter from Aunt Em. She has sent me 10/- and a very nice letter but I shan’t be able to write an answer until I’m in the I.T.W. (Initial Training Wing) so will you answer for me until I get time?

We’ve had a lot of parades and inspections just lately in front of different officers. We will get a very important parade on Thursday in front of the Group Captain. It’s a ‘Posting Parade’ and all the usual eyewash and rigmarole has to be extra good!

By the way we all had an injection today, the other 75% of the Typhoid serum and once more our arms are giving us Hell! The Corporal said that we’ll have one every 3 months!! In only hope he was kidding!

By the way, our lot are very fortunate in having such a Corporal, as he’s one of the best, who helps you along in an easy yet thorough manner. We’ve had a good ‘whip’ round for him as his leave starts the day we leave here. He’s been in the RAF 7 years and has served in Abyssinia against the Italians in this war.

We’ve all enquired about our civvy’s and find that you may not get them  for some WEEKS yet. You see we took them to the station stores (RAF Station) and they’ll be there for quite a good while.

Must close now as I’m darned tired!

Love Joe.

P.S. I may write from here again but don’t you write till you get address.”

family stories, josephJoe’s full story is beautiful and tragic. He was our family hero. He IS our family hero. If I knew how to complete an effective RAF salute, I would salute you now, Joe. Long may your memory live in our family stories.

I hope to post a new letter from Joe’s correspondence with his Mother here every Friday until they’re done. It will be a turbulent and heart-wrenching journey. Subscribe to the Blog to make sure you don’t miss any of it.

Other posts in this series:-

Letter 1 – 29 December 1943, arriving at Recruit Camp

Letter 2 – 31 December 1943, settling in

Letter 3 – 5th January 1944, confined to Barracks!

Letter 4 – 8th January 1944, meeting a boxing champ

Letter 5 – 10th January 1944, theft and wrongful punishment


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27 responses to “Joe’s Letters Home, WWII; Letter 6, 13 Jan ’44.

  1. What an amazing look into this time period, thanks for sharing with us! I find myself praying for Joe and then realize that he is long gone. What a story!

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  3. Pingback: Joe’s Letters Home, WWII: Posted to Bridlington! « SaveEveryStep – family stories past & present·

  4. Pingback: Joe’s Letters, WWII: Arrival at Bridlington for 6 weeks training « SaveEveryStep – family stories past & present·

  5. Pingback: Joe’s Letters, WWII: Introduction to firearms…. « SaveEveryStep – family stories past & present·

  6. Pingback: Joe’s Letters, WWII: A fellow RAF cadet is killed in training « SaveEveryStep – family stories past & present·

  7. Pingback: Joe’s Letters, WWII: Pork Pie, Live Rounds and ‘Dim Wits’ « SaveEveryStep – family stories past & present·

  8. Pingback: Joe’s Letters, WWII: 10 fillings & the Browning machine gun « SaveEveryStep – family stories past & present·

  9. Pingback: Joe’s Letters, WWII: Don’t worry, Mum « SaveEveryStep – family stories past & present·

  10. Pingback: Joe’s Letters, WWII: Three ‘Joes’ and Top Test Scores « SaveEveryStep – family stories past & present·

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  12. Pingback: Joe’s Letters, WWII: “Clay Pigeons & Dirty Washin’” « SaveEveryStep – family stories past & present·

  13. Pingback: Joe’s Letters, WWII: “9 days ’til leave!” | SaveEveryStep – family stories past & present·

  14. Pingback: Joe’s Letters, WWII: “A ‘Date’ planned, & Condemned Billets!” | SaveEveryStep – family stories past & present·

  15. Pingback: Joe’s Letters, WWII: “Camp Number Two – Bridgnorth, Shropshire” | SaveEveryStep – family stories past & present·

  16. Pingback: Joe’s Letters, WWII: “Eatin’, Stealin’ and Flirtin’” | SaveEveryStep – family stories past & present·

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  20. Pingback: Joe’s Letters, WWII: “Man vs the Potato Peeling Machine” | SaveEveryStep – family stories past & present·

  21. Pingback: Joe’s Letters, WWII: “Passing Exams & Fending Off Girls!” | SaveEveryStep – family stories past & present·

  22. Pingback: Joe’s Letters, WWII: “Bonnie Scotland, here we come” | SaveEveryStep – family stories past & present·

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