A 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 (far left in top photo) 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 4 – A bad week of theft and punishment
“Dear Mom and Kids,
Written in haste!
The sweetest things have happened to me the last two days! On Sat morning my drinking mug was bust on the way to breakfast. When I got back to Billets and came to look for my shaving brush (issue) it had disappeared.
None of our room blokes were in during their spare time and of course I can’t trace them.
I’ve got a reissue from the stores at a cost of 10/9! That leaves me with 2/4 in my pocket and 1/- of that will go on Tues, having a bath at the YMCA near here!
In other words, I’m in need of urgent financial support! So will you send when possible the other 10/- out of my draw please.
By the way, for ‘losing’ those articles I’ve got 5 hours cookhouse fatigues on Wednesday night! “This is the Air Force, Mr Jones!”
May get moved Friday.
Joe’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:-