Joe’s Letters, WWII: “Missing Christmas”

One of my Uncle Joe’s letters 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 his last letter, Joe had written to his mother telling her that he had embarked upon his first bombing raid over Germany but that it had ended in disaster. The crew and their Lancaster came under heavy fire and were forced to ditch in the middle of the North Sea. In this current letter, Joe has been home on survivor’s leave for a few days, and has arrived back at Chedburgh just before Christmas.


Letter 91; 24th December 1944

family stories letter 82 page 2 letter 82 page 3

Letter transcript:

Chedburgh, Saturday.

Hello Mom,

Well I got back okay. The train to Euston was 310 minutes late!!! It saved me having to wait about in a station so long anyway. I got back at about 9.30 and a couple of hours later was flying!!

We went to Mildenhall to fetch a new kite down. I can hardly keep my eyes open at the moment. It is about 10.30pm and I’ve missed some sleep. I must say I seem to have lost all further interest in Xmas. As I left you and Jean at New Street my inside seemed as though it was tied in a knot. Still I guess I shall get over it!

When you get this you will have had Xmas. Hope you all enjoyed it. I can say now that I DID NOT!!!

I got your parcel and the mince pies, although in pieces, were eatable. Jean’s parcel is not here yet. It may have been sent back or hasn’t arrived due to the Xmas rush.

As I expected there are Ops on in the morning, and probably Xmas Day too. If there is good flying weather I guess it can’t be wasted.

There is nothing to answer from your letter in the parcel which I’ve not already told you, so I’ll close for now.

Til tomorrow, God bless and Toodle-ooo.

Lots of love, Joe ssssssss

Tell our Joyce not to get too drunk on whiskied tea!”

family stories

Joe is clearly feeling very down about having to leave the comforts of home the day before Christmas, especially after his ditching. The separation from his girl and his family is clearly affecting his mood, and it must have been so hard for these boys away from home, imagining their loved ones enjoying Christmas whilst they sit in a sterile military environment.

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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