RAF Crest

A letter to home, 20th July 1942


Reg was 19 years and 3 months of age when this letter was written, on the day of his first flight in an aeroplane.
The original was handwritten and the spelling is as the original
The __ signifies the original page breaks

1473358 L.A.C. JEFFCOCK, R.


JULY 20th/ 42

Dear Ma & Pa etc/

    Thanks a million for the parcel which I received this tea-time, its grand, theres enough grub to feed all the boys on the 'drome, but dont worry, it will go through the usual sources!
    I got your letter same time as the parcel. Thanks.
    Delighted to hear my bruvver has got promoted again. I thought I might beat him to it, but apart from that, - dont you think it is a terrible scandal
the way they throw stripes about in the army! They aint so generous in the R.A.F., one has to work now & then for a couple of stripes! But joking apart, I think he's doing damn fine & I only hope I shall get on in the service as well as he.
   You may be pleased to know, folks, that I've been on my first "flip" today, yessir, had 40 mins. We didnt go very high, only 1,200 ft, but it was great. I felt fine right through the trip except when your "kite" gets into an "air pocket",
(an "air pocket" is an area of warm air & the pressure in that area is less than that of the surrounding air, therefore, when a plane , ("kite" to the R.A.F.) flies into an air pocket, there isnt enough pressure to hold it up, naturally, it drops until it reaches a pressure strong enough to hold it) Get me, folks!
   When the kite drops, your stomach objects & tries to stay at the same height. Rather a queer sensation but you get used to it 'cos you're running into 'em every few minutes.
   The really thrilling, (& sometimes a little sickening) movements, I haven't got to yet, but I shall be doing within the next week. Such movements as stall turns, slide slips, dives & vertical spins & rolls are what you may term as thrilling!
   If things work out as per schedule, I shall be coming home about the 4th of August, if that is so, I shall miss Eric by 1DAY. So we can only hope that my leave will be delayed for a day or two. Col is having
his leave on the 7th of august so I shall see him O.K. But I suppose it will be ny luck to miss seeing Cyril.
   The house where I am staying is a nice placeitself, but I cant settle down in it somehow. I believe Capt. Mathews is still in the army & I have only seen his wife for about 10 mins all told. I have a room to myself and its very quite at night, in fact it tends to get rather depressing. I cant get out much at night 'cos
I dont get back from the drome till well after 7p.m. Last saturday night I didnt go to bed till 11 o'clock (which isnt really late) & the maid tried waking me at 07.45 am on sunday but her efforts were fruitless. I didnt get up till 0850 then I had to tear round the corners to get to church parade for 0930! So now I am scared to go to bed late for if I shouldn't get up in time, and I dont want to be on a charge at this stage of my course for being late for (or
absent from) parade!
   I should be O.K. if my London pal was with me (he's a genius at getting up on time. Just like you Ma.) But unfortunately, I'm all on my "owneeo".
   You were a bit out in your estimation about this dive & Scarboro. I've never seen such a dead place as Carlisle. From reliable reports, I hear that it has one dance hall about the size of a modern corporation house kitchenette. - A cinema with admission fees
of 4d & 6d! & a more decent cinema whose prices range from 1/-d to 2/6d (There is no reduction for the forces like there was in Scarboro). I had a glass of beer whilst I was searching for billets one night & it was absolutely putrid.
A Consolation.
Dear Ma, you have no need to worry about your son becoming a drunkhard. Alchohol is strictly forbidden to us 'cos it will affect our flying capacity. That was the
one and only glass Ive had here (I only had it because I needed it). So there, ya fast thing! Quite a dramatic statement (& a worse sacrifice) eh Pop?
   How am I doin, folks? 9 Pages and all out o' me own 'ead!
   By the way, why mention Gretna Green, Pop? You dont think Im one of those dashing young "Glamour boys" who whisks shy damsels to the old smithy & pledge myself to a life of misery over
the jolly old anvil?
   Pleased the old tomatoes are coming on. I'm hoping they'll be ripe for august week. Try emptying the jerry on 'em, ole man. (I do know a bit about gardening, see)
   So Len has finally got his papers, "huh"! Do you know what he's going as? I dont suppose it will be air crew 'cos he wears glasses & those sorta things wont do for us glamour boys!
   Speaking of glamour, Ive manage to grow about
another inch of hair, but I'll be damned if I can get a parting in it!
   That, by the way, is another racket here. There isn't a service barber & we have to go to the civvy barber & it costs us 1/- just to have our necks cleaned up. No, we dont get any extra for it.
   Will you give me the date of when Cyrils leave as soon as you get it folks? Yer see, I want to shake him, you know, flourish the jolly old "props" and show him what a clever
little boy Reginald is !!!
   Well folks, 12 pages aint bad going & my arm is nearly dropping off. So I'd better call it a day. I may send you a spot of washing this weekend, ma. But dont worry it wont be much! Remember me to the neighbours and Peggy, give her a squeeze for me! So -
            Cheerio, best o' luck &
            keep smilin'
            Son Jeff.
P.S Just think of it, 12 pages, its terrific!
P.P.S. I know the writing's getting worse. Please excuse it.
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All original sketches and photographs are Copyright © R. Jeffcock 1941-46 
No reproduction is permitted without written authorisation of the Jeffcock family