Joe’s Letters, WWII: “Illness back home”

family stories 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.

At the time of this letter, he is several months into his RAF experiences and is now at RAF Wratting Common in Cambridgeshire, as part of the crew’s final stretch of training before active operations begin.

Letter from Mum; 6th October 1944

family storiesfamily stories

Letter transcript:

“Home, Thursday night. Dear Joseph, Well here is your washing sir – can I do yer now sir – and I hope it will reach you sooner than the last parcel. I have not yet had a letter from you to say whether you arrived safely, but hope you did, and I suppose by now you have got your nose back to the grindstone. My cold has made me feel ‘reel ill’ and for the first time in over 5 years I have had to have a day off and spent most of the time in bed, but feel better for it and hope to go back tomorrow. I met Jack Grainger and he told me he had been recalled after having 7 instead of 14 days. Well, there is no more news at the moment and in any case my head still feels like a ton, I can’t say ‘string’ so I’ll finish this and find some to do this up! So Good night and God bless With love from Mom and nibs xxxx”  

A bad cold for Mum, but still in good spirits, joking about being unable to say the word ‘string’, but hoping to find some to wrap up Joe’s parcel! Just a short letter this week. family stories, joseph

To 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 fascinating yet ultimately 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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