18th March 1945

Dear Mum and Dad,

I am just settling down and have been posted to a class. The address above is not my full address as I have not yet got my number but that address will reach me.

I have passed my preliminary exams as an electrical mechanic, that is what the letters after my name stand for – Junior Probationary Electrical Mechanic.

I was kitted out today, I need a camel to carry it all around. Two uniforms, two tropical uniforms, two pairs pants, four vests, one Swallow raincoat, one overcoat, two pairs boots, three white shirts, six collars, two caps and a lifebelt, to mention just a part of my kit.

I have been transferred from the chalets where we used to live to dormitories and have managed to keep with the chap I have been with all along, Norman R. from Weston Super Mare. He is getting married in a months time if he can get leave. Next Tuesday we have to go to have our lifebelts tested. You put them on and jump into a big tank of water. If it fails then they fish you out with a boat hook.

I receive twenty four shillings a week and have alloted seven and sixpence per week to be sent home. It is collected from the village P.O.

I have had to fill in an electoral form in case there is a general election while I am abroad and have nominated Dad to vote for me by proxy.

That is if I am over twenty one when the election comes off.

I am sending my clothes home Monday so I expect them to be there Wednesday or Thursday.

The course I am on is a ten month course so maybe the war will be over by then.

I leave here on Mar 28th to start on my course properly. I believe it is to H.M.S. “Duke” at Malvern. I might be able to get a bit of leave then.

We have to get up at 5.30 each morning for breakfast.

We get lectures and exams then till 5.0, at night we usually go to the campus picture house. It is a big place about the size of the Sheldon the only difference being you can get in for threepence. This week we have seen Eddie Cantor and George Murphy in “Show Business”, Susan Peters in “Song of Russia” and Frank Sinatra in “Higher and Higher”. I have seen two football matches while I have been here in the “Stadium” that is the campus sports ground. About the size of the Durex ground with stands all along the one side.

We can get library books, pop, beer, chocolate, anything you want all at reduced prices, almost like prewar days.

Has Dad played his handicap yet, I’ll give him twenty one start when I come home.

Could you send me my swimming costume as I think there is a chance of getting some swimming lessons down here.

We had a plane crash just near here on Friday night on the beach at Skegness. It blew all the doors open here.

I must sign off now as I am going to another lecture.

Remember me to the “gang“.

All the best
Lots of love
Graham
xxxxxxxxx


 

Historical Notes

The Navy training camp at Skegness was called the HMS Royal Arthur. Formerly a Butlins holiday camp, it was commissioned as a training camp in September 1939 and remained so until August 1946.

According to the RAF Incident Logs for the 16th March 1945, the plane that crashed near Skegness was a Lancaster I, which crashed 18 minutes after takeoff, killing seven.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s