Joe’s Letters, WWII: “Exams & Pocket Money”

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A bit of background for newcomers

Joe (aka ‘Mac’ to his RAF comrades) was my Uncle, but we never met. His precious letters have come into my possession some near-70 years after they were written. It is my honour to transcribe them, and the poignancy of hindsight about what happened to Joe makes this all the more difficult to write, but all the more important that I do. One letter will be posted to this Blog each and every Friday until they are done.

Please see below for a link to Joe’s full story and the other letters in this series so far.

In this letter, Joe is now stationed at Stranraer in Scotland, some 5 months in to his RAF experiences. His Air Gunnery School training (phase 4 of his training) has commenced and he has finally got up in the air….

Letter 36 – 20th May 1944

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Letter transcript:

“Same Friday.

Dear Mom and kids,

I got your letter on Wednesday; and with it a 5/- P.O. and a letter from Aunt Em and a letter from Aunt Phyll with 2/6 family storiesP.O. from Gran and about a yard of 2 1/2d stamps from Aunt Phyll! 

I’m afraid that I can’t write much to you this time as I’m VERY busty as my finals come up in about 1-2 days and I have to do a great deal of work in the few spare hours I do get. I will write a longer letter to you as soon as the exams are over.

Will you please tell Aunt Em, Gran and Aunt Phyll that I’ll write an answer to their letters at the same time.

Unless you’ve already sent my blades on when you get this it doesn’t matter, but if not do not bother as I expect to be home very soon after the exams. I shall keep your letter by me to answer more fully in a few days.

Til then Toodle-oo and wish me luck!

Love Joe xxxx

P.S. I’m in a hurry, hence writing!”

More revision, more exams. I do get the feeling that the boys had very little time to anything but fly, study and sleep. A very effective way to prepare them for active operations, no doubt. 

family stories, josephTo read more about Joe’s letters please follow this link. There you will find the full selection of letters to date, as well as more information about his beautiful and tragic story.

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.

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