This post war diary is by Flight Sergeant Dennis Walter Wright of 149 Squadron RAF Bomber Command.
The start of 1946 sees Dennis still rather bored at RAF Methwold, with not much flying of his Lancaster “kite” as navigator until a posting to RAF Mildenhall in April 1946, though his friendship with a Miss Doris Ringer (his future wife) seems to blossom during the Spring.
During June an entry states “The whole of today was spent on Operation Frontline flying in formation over Germany. Today a tragedy occurred when F/S “Taffy” Thomas was drowned at Lakenheath”.
He and Doris decide to get engaged in early August, however the next couple of weeks have their ups and downs, before Dennis gets posted to RAF Wyton in late August.
Some flying during September including a trip down to Tripoli (via St Mawgan), followed by a local flight on the 17th which resulted in running out of fuel and a forced landing at Waterbeach – a trip on his motorbike the next day to the crash site resulted in him crashing his bike on the way back! He is finally demobbed from the RAF in mid-December.
The start of January 1947 sees Dennis get a temporary teaching job at Ardleigh Green School in Havering, and his engagement to Doris was finally sealed on January 22nd. There are several weeks of snow and his motor bike seems to be continually on the blink. The diary finishes abruptly on April 22nd 1947. The good news however is that they did go on to marry in September 1947, although there is no record of any children.
Sadly Dennis passed away in March 1992 but there is no record found yet for Doris.
Service number 1605269 (indicates allocated in September 1941 Oxford)
Identity card 027036
Weight 170 lbs
Height 5’ 8 ½”
RAF Stations Visited in 1946
Well this first entry in this year’s diary sees me still at Methwold in the RAF. After last night we slept in until eleven thirty when we walked over to lunch. This afternoon I went to the navigation section for the first time since returning from leave, when I sawed up a few logs (wooden). Went to the station cinema tonight to see “Bowery to Broadway” with Maria Montez.
I reported to the section this morning then came back to billet. Lunch. Back to billet again after seeing skipper. Washed and shaved expecting to fly but I was able to go to Wisbech by the transport. Had a supper of fish and chips then to the White Hart for a drink. We finished up at Wisbech New Year’s charity ball at 5/- a ticket – not a bad effort. A letter from Derek Parmiter.
Usual routine today. Sent a letter to Nora in Toronto. This evening went to the Rhythm Club – not a bad programme. The present hard frost has lasted three days. No mail received.
First thing today we flew – the first time for over a month. We were scheduled for bombing but haze prevented that so we stooged over Wisbech, King ’s Lynn & Norfolk generally. Paid £11-4-9 banked £9- to the R.B.C. This evening went to the New Inn & Lakenheath but no dance.
Everyone was on tenterhooks today waiting for a 36. Jack finally gave the word at 2pm. Naturally everyone scrammed off home except Jock & I who went to Wisbech by the six o’clock transport. We went round a few pubs in Wisbech then to the dance in the Corn Exchange – met a wizard girl – a WREN but couldn’t get to first base. Toast & tea. Bed at 2.30am.
Slept in until 11.30am. Lunch. This afternoon pressed battle dress & wrecked my best blue for changing. Had tea then went to the mess played darts and piano. I had a few beers. Back to the billet & had toast & tea. Bed at 12.45am
I got up promptly at 8.05am this morning and I went to breakfast. After which I reported to the navigation section at 9.15am. Stayed there most of the morning, lunch, section again dashed off to Feltwell on Pete’s motor cycle. I sent away for a driving license. I intend to get a motor cycle as soon as possible. Wrote to Bob, Don and Alan Jones.
The same routine today as always. I got a letter from home with bank statement – balance £40, receipt for Canada Weekly, Christmas card from Mrs Turner & laundry – quite a pile of mail but nothing to read. Sent letters home. Went to the mess this evening for darts and 5 ½ pints.
My football pool coupons cane 2nd post today after waiting all day. There was no other mail. After debating with myself whether to go to Wisbech or not – I finally went with the crew minus Jack. Had a few beers then went to the dance – it wasn’t too good probably due to the ropey weather.
Went to the navigation section at 9.30. Break – billet – Section. Driving licence came – still no bank book. Went to Rhythm Club this evening – not too bad. Jock the mid-upper (gunner) is now redundant.
What a day this was! When we arrived for lunch today the dirty dishes were on the table & the cooks refused to serve dinner until they were cleared. Nothing was done until Group Captain came over. We got dinner at last. This afternoon the Wing Commander gave the squadron NCO’s a natter and we had a general bitch. Ken got a telegram saying his kid was ill in hospital. Played darts in the mess this evening.
Got a taxi to Lakenheath caught the 9.58 to London arrived about 1.00. Caught the 1.06 from Liverpool Street home at 2.0pm. Took my shoes to the Bate shoe stores. Collected my wind breaker bought 2 ozs 4 square red. Saw Bing Crosby, Hope & Lamour in the “Road to Utopia” at the Odeon – very good.
Went to Chadwell Heath to see a Triumph 1936 for £55 – no good but I saw a wizard Speed Twin – god knows how much it costs. Stayed in this afternoon & caught the 6.33 from Brentwood. The train from London was late as usual and got in about 11.50pm.
Flew today on the longest trip for two months – a cross country to Chicken Rock, Fishguard, Reading and base. In the evening walked to Feltwell to play darts & fish and chips with no fish. My bank book comes back at last.
Finally got my warrant to draw out £75 which I did and immediately transferred it to R.B.C. by money orders. Flew an air to sea firing mission.
Lecture on accident prevention this morning – no pay until 15.00 hrs. Paid £11-4 as usual. Couldn’t get passes until 17.00. Caught the 6.0pm from Brandon & slow to Brentwood.
After a wizard breakfast of ham and eggs went up town to do a little shopping. Caught the 12.34 to Liverpool Street to meet Bill Tuck at the Nuffield Centre. Saw Frankie in “Anchors Aweigh” – Richmond skating & dancing!
Stayed in bed until 10.30am. Breakfast. Put on civvies and went round the station to meet Bill – but he never came. Played records in the afternoon and after tea I went to the Odeon with Maureen. Bed at 10.45 after a very strenuous day!!
Slept a little later this morning and messed around playing records went up to town to buy a few sundried and take in shoes. Still in after lunch – caught the 4.05 from Brentwood and the 5.48 – 30 mins late from Liverpool Street. After a long wait for the transport, finally reached camp at 11pm.
Up for breakfast this morning, didn’t go to the Section but returned to the billet after break. Lunch. Much the same routine this afternoon. Mess dance tonight but I didn’t go! By the way I got a letter from Wisbech & Pamela today.
With the weather so cold and the visibility nil all flying was scrubbed. Went to the station cinema to see “Music for Millions” a poor film.
This diary keeping is a task in itself in that whilst on camp nothing ever happens. Today I was joed to “work” in the station guard room. Naturally I did all but sit on my arse and drink tea. This evening’s Rhythm Club was a great success with well over 30 bods present. I presented a Boogie programme followed by some Woody Herman etc. piano & drum session in the mess afterwards.
Reported to section as usual. My pool dividend of £1 for 4 aways with 1 postponed match arrived with the OK to send money for motor cycle a Matchless 1935 500cc for £55 taxed and insured. Going to Feltwell tonight for a few beers.
Up in time to have breakfast and catch the 9.48am from Lakenheath to Ely. From Ely caught 10.50am to Peterborough and then the 1.20pm to Leicester. Arrived about 2.45pm. Tried several hotels for lodging until the Bell Hotel finally freed up a nice room. Had some dinner, cleaned up and then went out to start drinking. Had reached the Palais about 9pm, danced pretty well every dance mostly with a blue eyed girl call Doreen – what a peach – but didn’t take her home. Bed at 11.40pm.
After a quiet and uneventful night, got up for breakfast at 9.15am. Left the hotel and walked leisurely to the station, the train should have left at 11.55am, but didn’t leave until 12.35pm. Home at the billet at 5.30pm, tea then cleaned up generally to go to the mess for 5 pints played the piano for 3 hrs. The whole weekend which was a pleasant change cost about £2-15 – expensive? Yes indeed!
Slept until 10 this morning and arrived at the briefing room at 10.10am. Skipper had a good bitch about being late. I was to play piano in the mess tonight but I was too drunk to do it so I went to bed early.
With the weather becoming more & more duff as the day went on we did no flying. Got three letters today from Buck Ramsey, home and the pools, which I sent off with the N.O.W. crossword. Played the piano in the mess for two hours this evening.
My face was considerably worse today so I tried to report sick but was too late so I went special sick and was confined to S.S.Q with impetigo. Spent a lazy day onwards reading and listening to the radio.
What a boring day confined to sick quarters – treatment was penicillin ointment wizard stuff my face was clearing up fast. Reading, walking, washing and listening to the radio – my day. Bed at 10pm.
First day of February spent in sick quarters doing damn all.
Persuaded the ward orderly to let me see the M.O. who in turn finally let me go on leave. Got home after the usual horrible journey at 4pm. Went straightaway to P.O. to draw out £3. This evening I went up town had a drink in the Charles Napier then went along to High Street, met Bob & Pam and went to King’s Head for darts & beer. Artichoke, Town Hall, then bed at 12.30am, very boring.
Took the tire over to Herongate in the pouring rain and saw the motor cycle for the first time. Didn’t ride it however owing to the rain. Stayed in the house this afternoon and this evening I went to the Odeon having seen both pictures before.
To Herongate again – rode up and down the “Chase” very cheesing however as I couldn’t leave it with no insurance. Over again this afternoon. This evening Pam and I went to the Odeon to see “Wicked Lady” which I didn’t like. Went to Romford this afternoon and bought “Skyliner and Twilight Time”.
Took the other tire over this morning and paid Tim 10/- to keep him quiet. Went over to see Bore this afternoon. He has some screwy idea about going over to the States as an interchange teacher.
Didn’t take the bike out today but remained indoors most of the day. Went to the Artichoke and got caned after waiting for Tim in the rain. Went Town Hall and walked home with Joyce??
Stooged around this morning and this afternoon I went to Hutton picked up Pam on the pillion and we went to Southend. Had a wizard time there ice cream and a show. Came back about 10.30 and ran out of petrol at Wickford pushed the darn thing to Billericay. Home at 2am – very tired indeed.
Went to Pam’s house on her bike returning it to her then going by bus to Billericay. Dinner after taking bike home. Left home at 3.15 for Chelmsford – Dunmow – Bishop’s Stortford – Cambridge – Ely – Littleport then ran out of gas. Cadged some from a farmer then pranged a mile out of Shippea Hill – what a bind! I had to wait from 7pm until 11.20 for a train to Brandon.
Saw Jack this morning after skipping breakfast. Didn’t report sick. This afternoon I went to Brandon by cycle – then train to Shippea Hill – got motor cycle and had to empty it of petrol before taking it on the train. Went to station cinema this evening to see “Lady in the Window” quite good. Left my cycle at the garage in Brandon next to NAAFI. Brandon 224.
I did report sick today and the M.O. grounded me until Friday and painted me green. This afternoon I went to Brandon by cycle then went to Shippea Hill and picked up my cycle brought it back to Brandon and left it at the Bridge garage.
Reported for treatment. No flying. Letter received from Pam with a photo! Got my motor cycle back.
Went to Feltwell this morning and took my radio speaker (Wed). This morning I went to Shippea Hill to pick up my petrol. Nothing else to report.
Paid this morning at last £23-10-, banked £16. This afternoon cleaned up my motor cycle and this evening too. No mail again.
Left for home this morning at 9.0 had a bit of trouble finding the A11. Finally reached home via Ongar at 12.15pm pretty good with no trouble on the bike used 1 gallon. This evening went to the Artichoke and had about 7 pints then went to Town Hall and saw Pam – had a wizard time there with everyone. Home after going to the station at 1am (I think). I was awfully tight.
Up at 9am. Breakfast. Went up town, filled up with oil, over to Herongate. Rode around in the afternoon, left bike at home and came back by train.
Reported sick this morning and went to Feltwell M.O. Grounded, under treatment further two days, naturally no mail, wrote to Toronto & Bob Baker.
Treatment forgotten today because of mess dance night, no mail again. Sent off football pools. Mess dance this evening had quite a few beers finished up with a babe called Yvonne Walker of Wisbech apparently a friend of Jack’s. I’m supposed to see her Saturday.
My face was much worse today so I went up for some “green ink” treatment this lunch hour, still no mail. Went to station cinema this evening to see the “Merry Monahans” a poor show.
Up for treatment today as usual, not much improvement in the face yet. Letter received from Pam – very puzzling however – I can’t quite get the gist of the letter but I think she thinks I’m in love or something stupid like that with her after my behaviour under the influence last Saturday!! Wrote a curious reply to her.
Penicillin treatment again, a little improvement, but not so much as before the leave. Letter from Bob at last he’s in the station P.O. at Gloucester or near enough there. Went to the station cinema tonight to see Rita Hayworth in “Tonight and Every Night”, not too good, a few tunes in the mess.
Still reporting to sick quarters for penicillin treatment – it’s clearing up slowly. Shaved this afternoon after I had phoned Yvonne, whose mother took the message. Decided my face was not sufficiently clear to go to Wisbech and sent a message by Shorty. Went to Brandon pictures with Ken in the motor car, home at billet about 10.30pm.
Breakfast of egg, treatment and back to billet. Lunch, billet again. Jack came over and had a general natter mainly about Wisbech and Yvonne!! This evening Ken, Jack & I went to Stoke Ferry had a few beers quite a pleasant evening finishing up in the mess.
Egg again for breakfast. What a life eh when having an egg for breakfast becomes a major event. Treatment. No mail. Went to Brandon pictures tonight in Ken’s three wheeler.
Breakfast. Treatment. No mail.
Nothing unusual to report, essentially the normal routine.
Saw the M.O. again today who grounded me a further two days. I report sick again on Tuesday. Went to Brandon with Ken & Johnny then went to the Rhythm Club.
First day of March brings cold miserable weather. After pay of £11-4/- I got home at 7pm had a bath & went to bed.
It was snowing this morning when I went to Romford and bought a new saddle cover (16/6). Went to Brentwood P.O. & drew petrol ration book. Walked up town this afternoon to try to get new Woody Herman number “Apple Honey” – not issued yet. Went to Odeon to see “Stork Club” pretty good. Four beers & Town Hall. Heavy snowfall tonight.
Still snowing slightly but thawing. Cleaned up motor cycle. Afternoon roads dry went out for a stooge. Evening stayed reading. Bed at 11pm.
What a bind it’s raining and snowing again which means I won’t be going back by motor cycle. Went uptown this morning shopping and left by the 4.27 this afternoon to camp. Back at 11pm after stopping in Brandon for two or three beers.
Didn’t get up for breakfast, consequently couldn’t report sick. No flying owing to duff weather. Letter from Bob who says he will be home on leave with me. This evening after a last minute decision by Jack we went into Wisbech by his car, had a lot of beer and went to the dance. Saw Yvonne but Jack seemed to shine more than me. I took home a previous achievement – Marjorie Henson – 19 Opportune Road Wisbech.
Got up to breakfast and to see the M.O. who put me fit at last. Flew on a “Sinkum” to Cardigan Bay, first flight in 5 weeks. Went to station cinema to see “The Way to the Stars” – very good – two hours piano in the mess.
Little done today but this afternoon after the “bullseye” had been scrubbed we were put on a night cross-country – a very good trip navigationally.
Bed at 1am after night flight. Up at 10am Groupy came round as we were cleaning up. No flying today. Sawed up some wood this afternoon with Jack and left at 5.30 to catch transport home at 10.10pm.
Bike (motor) taken out today got 1 gallon of gas. Went to the pictures this afternoon to see “The Westerner”, pretty good. Had a date to see Pam at 7pm she came and on time too – had a few beers and took her to the Town Hall where she went off with some other guy – boy was I annoyed (I still am) and wait till she gets my letter. Home at 12.
Bought another 1 ½ gallons for bike cleaned up and got ready to leave at 3 this afternoon – no snags until I get to Brandon where I broke the primary chain in accelerating from 10 mph or less in top gear, pushed the darn thing 5 miles. Took off the chain tonight and went to the mess for a beer.
After ascertaining no flying on this morning I took my chain to Feltwell. Collected the same this afternoon and spent the rest of the afternoon fitting it back on. No mail. Wrote a really nasty letter to Pam but am sending it tomorrow afternoon.
Well no flying again thank goodness. Got a 2 page letter of apology from Pam don’t quite know what to do as I can’t press on. However didn’t send the letter.
Little to report today. Spent the afternoon tightening primary chain of motor cycle. Sent off to Matchless for a new oil bath seal and primary chain. Saw “Thirty Seconds over Tokyo” at station cinema – a very good film. The weather is still cold I wish it would warm up a bit.
Can’t think or remember what on earth happened today.
Went on the beer in Feltwell.
Left at 9.30am on the bike for home, about six miles outside Newmarket had to turn back to Newmarket owing to piston rings going. Left the bike and finished the journey by rail. Got home about 4.30 and proceeded to clean up for tonight. Met Bob & Pam had a few beers – the dance etc.
Met Don this morning and Bob – can’t remember much of what happened during the day but this evening Don, Pete Foreman, John Berry and I had a wizard session after which Don and I went up the barracks to the dance – not too bad.
Met Bob again as usual with John Berry, Don is going back tonight so he didn’t come out today. This evening we had a very respectable evening in the Town Hall. Pam it seems is very much more attached to Bob than she is to me as events this week have shown. Maybe the motor cycle accounted for some of my past popularity. I can’t say I worried either.
Messed around most of the morning went to Goodmayes and picked up Pete Foreman at his house – went to London to see “Caesar & Cleopatra” quite good and “Getting Gertie’s Garter” which wasn’t so good. Came home by Green Line about 11.30pm
Bob called on me this morning and we did practically nothing of note except go to an auction all day. This evening I went to the Romford Ritz to see “Three Strangers” Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre and Geraldine Fitzgerald also Ann Sothern “Up Goes Maisie” both quite good. Home 10pm and had a bath.
Took some records to Bob’s place. Afternoon stayed in pressing, cleaning up. This evening Bob & I went to Romford and got quite merry then went to Romford Palais dancing – quite an enjoyable evening.
Met Bob at eleven and stooged off uptown doing a bit of shopping. Bob met Pam at 12.30 when she made a clot of me making my suggestion of a foursome with my sister tonight seem ridiculous. I met Bob at seven tonight and we started drinking, met John Jenkinson had a lot of beer all over town. With six RAF in hand we invaded the Town Hall where I had a wizard time without dancing with Pam.
Saw Bob this morning. Messed around packing all day. Left Brentwood at 6.30 & 7.40 from Liverpool Street. In the billet at 11.0pm quite good. No mail there.
The skipper went to a court-martial today so luckily we didn’t fly. Phone the garage about my bicycle – won’t be ready until the weekend. Went to Feltwell this evening for a beer and fish and chips. Football pools received.
This is one of those days when you can’t remember what the hell you did so long ago especially when you get a week behind in writing it.
Vast rumour circulating as to the squadron becoming redundant, don’t know whether I shall be or not. Little else to report. No mail naturally.
Hooray pay day. Usual pay of £11-4 – not before I needed it. Got the ration money this afternoon. Prancing around trying not to be redundant which was announced today as being so. Got tight tonight in Feltwell.
Up in time to leave on the back of Shorty’s Triumph at 9.30am, reached Newmarket soon after 10am. Picked up cycle which cost me 23/-. Everything OK until Newport Essex where she started burning oil like the devil again. Home at 1pm after 3 oil fillings. This afternoon rode around trying to get new piston rings. Had quite a good time this evening at the Artichoke and Town Hall, took home a blonde called Delphene Knight, not too bad.
Got up at 10am this morning – breakfast – working on bike all morning. Dinner, rode up town to see if my date turned up but no joy. This afternoon still working on cycle but need new chain. Come back by train on 7.40pm from London.
Bank balance £123-2-5. Well it looks as if I am well and truly “redundant” in effect although we are classed as “spares” on the list. Three letters today Ministry of Education, licensing office and one from Buck Ramsey. This evening stayed in.
The ninth consecutive day of fine weather – didn’t do a stroke all day except press and clean my blue. This evening Shorty, Jack, F/Lt Shepherd and I started off in Jack’s car for Wisbech after two breakdowns finally reached Stoke Ferry where I had far too much to drink bringing up my stomach about 6 times. Letter from home what? The pools…
Woke up this morning and what a state my eyes were in. Sore and bloodshot I had to wear dark glasses. Mess dance tonight – not too good didn’t get pissed and Yvonne didn’t come. Letter from Pam – not much to say – sorry for last Saturday as usual.
Eleventh consecutive day of brilliant sunshine. Temp 74oF today. Messed around all day sunbathing etc. my underarm area was giving me trouble today. Went to Feltwell this evening for a quiet 3 beers, fish and chips and a peep at the dance. Shorty on Bullseye to Heligoland.
End of the fine weather I suppose. Raining like the clappers this morning at 7.30am, left for home on Short’s bike catching 3.19pm from Brandon. Home at 7pm where pool dividend won yesterday of £3-15 was awaiting.
Up early at 8am this morning straightaway to work on the bike, in two hours fixed the chain and dynamo and had it running very well. This afternoon I went uptown and did a bit of shopping. This evening I went uptown again in civvies to the Artichoke meeting Alan and his brother Jeff, had a few beers with them then went up to the Town Hall. Danced most of the time with a brunette called Doris Ringer who I took home and very nice too.
Spent the whole morning cleaning up my motor cycle which came up very nicely. Had some sort of lunch with Pop – had a bath then met Doris at 3pm as arranged. We walked to Childerditch common had a kinda rest on the grass there!! Returned to Brentwood had tea at the Odeon, pictures, 1 pint in the “Essex” walked home with her where surprisingly enough Wright “snogged” for about an hour – being sober too – this was truly remarkable.
Nobody seems to know whether I’m in Dixon’s crew or not but I rather think I won’t be. Saw the Adjutant about my interview at Norwich tomorrow and got a 36 until midday tomorrow. Went to station cinema tonight – poor show.
Changed my battle dress on the clothing parade. Caught 10.51 to Norwich arrived about 12.10. Lunch in the NAAFI club – a very nice place. Went to a park to wait while Sheppard had his interview, then came mine, it wasn’t too bad at all. Came back immediately – learnt from Shorty that I was posted to Mildenhall. Went to Wisbech – pretty poor – in bed at 3am.
What a terrible day! Clearing all day. Charged £4 for my lost bike and nearly put on a charge for it. Should have been at Mildenhall today. Practically finished tonight supposed to get paid tomorrow morning.
Unable to get paid this morning – pay accounts hadn’t enough money. Left, about 10.30 for Mildenhall in F/Lt Thomas’ car, arrived reported to Adjutant, arrival chit – arranged for pay tomorrow. Went to station cinema tonight saw “Dillinger” – pretty good – had supper and a beer.
Arranged parachute harness etc. Pay at 2 £10-14. Walked down to local café. Few beers in “Bird in Hand”. Bulled up generally for Group’s inspection.
Up at 7. On parade for Groupy then Wingco’s inspection of billet then Squadron parade. Went by motor cycle after to Newmarket, lift to Bishop’s Stortford, bus to Aldgate then to Brentwood – home at 3.20. Dinner then went round to Doris on the motor cycle – she is going out with a rotten Dutchman. Had quite a few beers tonight and didn’t get organised – home at 11.45.
Up this morning early fixed the bike again – connecting link of chain was off – riding round on it this morning. Dinner and out again. Chain came off around Warley pushed it to the station and saw Doris waiting for her Dutchman – the rat! After a lot of talking to the contrary I caught the 7.50pm to Shippea Hill and got back to camp at 11.10pm.
Reported to the section – drew new kit etc. Letter from Renno’s saying bike is ready today wish I could collect it and wish I had the money. Flew on a cross country to St. Quentin – Isle of Wight – Oxford tonight, not too bad, but very late at night to fly. Wrote to Renno’s saying I hope to collect bike Saturday.
Slept until eleven this morning – had a bath and shave. Lunch. Don’t know that I did much of interest the rest of the day.
The main event of today was the fact that I wrote to Doris!! After I had said I never write letters. Rather boring evening as usual here.
Scheduled to fly on a day cross-country today but thinking it was scrubbed arrived late for briefing and it was scrubbed. Left Lakenheath by train at 4.10pm home at 8.0pm. Saw Bob on the train.
Couldn’t do a lot today owing to this being Good Friday. Met the boys this morning and again this evening when we had a few beers together. But the whole day was really quite dignified.
Up early left on Matchless for London got up to bank uneventfully drew £104 got to Renno’s, who only gave me £37-10 on Matchless, home with new Triumph uneventfully. Met Bob and Don with John Berry, bags of beer felt sick, took Doris home again with the inevitable snogging!
Went down to Bob’s place with Don in the morning playing records. This afternoon had a date went to the common – cheesed – bogged off with Don then saw them again in the Artichoke, walked home with Doris.
Met the boys this morning after Bob had called on me, played billiards all morning. This afternoon went to the Laurie cinema Romford. This evening 7 pints in the W (?) barracks to the dance – cheesed saw Doris there – but didn’t speak. Bed at 11.
Up at 5.0am, left on the bike for camp at 5.30am, arrived without mishap at Mildenhall at 7.50am a 2 hr 40 min run. After a boring day at the navigation section I was preparing to leave on the bike for Methwold when I was “joed” for a night cross-country with F/O Munson.
Slept in until 10.30 had a bath – lunch – went to the station cinema for lecture on Switzerland. Left afterwards for Methwold – saw Shorty and Johnny who were very impressed with my bike. Had a couple of beers with Johnny then went to the show – back at camp 11.15 bed.
Duff weather prevented all flying today – didn’t do a lot in the section all day. This evening went to the station cinema to see “Mr Skeffington” – poor show – then on the bike for supper. Pay day £11-14.
Didn’t do a lot today as usual except mess around in the section fixing the wall map. I believe I went to the station cinema again this evening.
Up early for parade at 7.50am. Group Captain away and Wing Commander Monk took it – no inspection. Left for home about 10.15am on the bike and after a pleasant and uneventful journey arrived home at 12.45pm. Then I went up to the “Nap” to meet Bob at 7pm – he arrived about 7.20pm and we had a couple of beers there then went to the “Choke” where after a few more I met Doris remaining with her the rest of the evening – bang on. Bob? He took home Barry (a girl) with little joy.
Spent the day waiting for tonight. It’s raining this morning but I pressed on to see Gil and Tim. Gil adjusted the tappets but seemingly no effect. Saw Bob this morning and afternoon. Spent a very pleasant evening with Doris and spent is right – boy how one has to pay in the evening for a little snogging at the end!!
Rain! Rain! Rain! It messed up my schedule in that I couldn’t fix neither clean my bike. However collected my shoes and bought some “Karpol”. This evening, after inviting Doris who refused, I went to the Hammersmith Palais to see Ted Heath who was really wonderful especially his Frank Sinatra type singer – Paul Carpenter. Wonderful!
Spent the day cleaning, gassing up and riding the bike and the evening at the pictures and snogging with – Doris! A glorious end to April.
Stooged all day with little to do – I went to Doris’ shop this afternoon and arranged to meet her tonight when we went to Southend on the bike – spent a very pleasant evening.
Much the same routine this morning however this afternoon Doris and I went to Southend again. Spent a pleasant afternoon on the pier, tea, walking and then back by train, much snogging etc.
This morning I received word that I had been accepted for training as a school teacher. This evening I went to the Palace with Doris to see “The Corn is Green” with Bette Davis – not too bad, bags of snog at the end.
This morning I set off at 10.30am to pick-up Bob which I did at 11.35am. Back home at 1.10pm. This afternoon I walked around aimlessly uptown. This evening I met Bob at the “Nap” at 6.45pm – two there then to the “Tap” one there, to the “Railway Tavern” 3 John Bulls, then to the “Essex” with Doris who left soon after on business.
By this time I was feeling tight and being cheesed with waiting I stooged over to the Artichoke alone and ordered a beer. Bob followed up smartly then Doris & Barry turned up whence we all went to the “Town Hall”. After dance took Doris home when I told her I thought I was in love with her – am I? * I don’t know. Bob & I staggered literally home. Home at 1.45am.
*After note – June 7th – I’m not thank goodness.
Further after note – June 15th – I am!
Went down to Bob’s house on the bike arranged to see him at 9pm this evening. Met Doris after dinner at 4pm after waiting ½ hr (fool) when we went to Romford with Syd and Edith to see Edward G. in “Barbary Coast”. Caught bus back to Brentwood, I got off at Kavanaghs Road, picked up kit and bike meaning to see Doris again at the top of the town where I was to meet Bob. Bob and I left for camp at 9pm after waiting ¼ hr. Back at 11.25pm.
Reported to section once again this morning. Rumour has it that we shall be moving to Binbrook Lincolnshire shortly. Wrote home and Doris. This evening after flying was scrubbed I went to the station cinema to see Joan Fontaine in “Frenchman’s Creek”.
Much the same day routine as yesterday. No mail received or sent. This evening Les & I went to Bury St. Edmunds on our bikes to see “Dolly Sisters”. B. Grable, June Haver, John Payne – not too bad. Back at eleven after fish & chip supper.
Usual uninteresting air force routine this morning. Sports afternoon – played baseball. My 22nd birthday very uneventful.
Flew today for 5 ½ hrs – cross country to Berwick, Bradford, Wyton. Fighter affiliation and air to air over the Wash. Still no mail from Doris of which I take a pretty dim view. I think I went to the station cinema tonight. Paid £10-14.
Detailed today to clean up an aircraft. Had a wonderful time on the beer at the mess dance & met a WAAF, that’s all I remember.
After the group captain’s inspection we had a further one standing by the aircraft. Back to the Flight for a roll call. Left for home on the bike at 10.30. The skipper is posted to a Photographic Reconnaissance Unit at Benson. Got to Stanstead at 11.35 waited 5 mins for Bob home at 1.0pm. Went to Romford and shopping uptown this afternoon. This evening I met Bob at 7 in the “Nap” started drinking but didn’t get tight. Met Doris at the dance and took her home.
Went down to Bob’s house on the bike taking my latest records. Met him again this afternoon he had tea with me. When we met Doris all three going to the pictures. I took Doris to the “Choke” for a beer took her home very nice too – home at 11.
Arose at 5 this morning breakfast left home at 5.30 and after a fairly comfortable ride arrived back here at 7.30. Breakfast, wash, shave etc reported for discipline course at the Corporal’s NAAFI. Tonight a surprise not much to do and no bull. This evening went round to Morley’s for supper.
Still on the discipline course – it’s ok nothing much to learn so far. This evening I was supposed to have a date at 7pm but apparently she was there for when I went to the station cinema later – she was there and said she had turned up. I was called out of the cinema to play piano at Chalky’s going away party only had a couple of beers.
Lectures and drill on the course this morning. Supposed to be on sport this afternoon but skived off to Mildenhall village on my bike for tea at “Tilly’s Pantry”. This evening I met the WAAF – Vera her name – at 7pm and took her on the bike to Bury St. Edmunds where we saw “Leave Her to Heaven” with Gene Tierney. Rather wet and cold. Bed at 12.
Can’t think what on earth I did today of note, other than this bull course that I’m in the midst of. Still looking (stupid of me I guess) for mail from Doris. I can’t make up my mind quite whether I like that woman or not.
Same routine almost as yesterday. This evening I’m supposed to have a date with Vera but she met beforehand to postpone it until Wednesday night. This evening I went over to Tuddenham and picked up Shorty, Bill Tuck and Stewart whence we all went to Mildenhall cinema then to Morley’s for supper and very nice too.
After reporting for further instruction on the discipline course we had an intelligence test after which I left for home on the bike in a violent rain storm. Picked up Bob and home at 1pm. Met Bob this evening after missing Doris – beer, beer all evening – took Barry and Doris home and get home myself at 2am.
Up at 10.30am. Breakfast. Raining. Bob came down we walked and talked in the rain. Went down to Bob’s house this afternoon for darts. Evening. Stood up Doris (fool) met Bob – pictures – saw Bob off – to the Artichoke for a beer saw Doris but didn’t speak – home at 10pm & bed.
Up at 5am to return to camp, left home at 5.30am and back at Mildenhall at 7.30am. Breakfast, then back to discipline course. Drill all day with rifles in the afternoon. This evening spent quietly cleaning bike.
Similar routine on camp as yesterday. Wrote to Doris, Don Birchley and home. Continued cleaning this evening then went to Ely pictures with Les the mid-upper gunner.
Drill again this morning. On parade in best blue this afternoon for Groupy. Drilled before him then march past. After which everyone had to drill the squad. This evening I went to Cambridge with Vera Goldup, a WAAF in the dental section here, on my motor cycle. Spent a pleasant evening at the pictures eating & returning. Bed at 12.
Missed morning parade returning rifle. Reported to navigation section for the first time in two weeks what a terrible place this section is! Saw the Education officer. Set off tonight with Ginger and Les to Thetford. 60 mph on the bike (first time) returned to camp, had a few whiskies went to the station dance piss poor went and had more beer and got drunk. Paid today £10-14.
Nothing to report today. No mail.
No C.O.’s parade today, usual squadron parade. Today the station is open to the public to raise funds for St. Dunston’s. Luckily I wasn’t joed for a job and I skived off at 12.30pm for home arriving home at 2.30pm. Rode down to Bob’s house. Meeting him at 7pm in the “Nap” in civvies went on our usual round drinking to the dance, saw but didn’t speak to Doris.
Up at 10.30 collected Bob and we proceeded to change the oil on the bike & cleaned it. Walked uptown – pictures at the Odeon tonight. Left Brentwood at 9 on the bike back here at 11.45 after a piss poor journey through every kind of ropey weather you can imagine.
Breakfast – section – nothing special happened on camp. This evening Les and I went to Newmarket on our bikes to see “Duffy’s Tavern”, Bing Crosby very good. Supper back to camp.
Same routine all day, no mail. Picked up by the Wingco for being outside camp before 12. This evening I went to Tuddenham by motor bike by motor bike to see Jack & Shorty.
Same routine in the morning – walking as sport this afternoon – I was going to Methwold this evening for a party but rain prevented me so I saw “They Were Sisters” with James Mason & Phyllis Calvert at the station cinema.
Saw Squadron Leader Pilgrim about my leave but no decision forthcoming until tomorrow. It rained today.
Flew tonight at the last minute on a bombing exercise; landed about 12.10am. My leave starts on Tuesday night.
Left Mildenhall on my bike at 8.30 home at 10.30 saw Bob this afternoon and saw Doris this evening. The four of us went pub-crawling playing darts piano etc. Then Doris, John & I go to the Town Hall – took Doris home when she went in it was 2am. See tomorrow. One of the best nights I’ve had in years.
I awoke this morning with quite a thick head and got up finally as Bob called on me around eleven. Went for a quiet beers uptown and visited the swimming pool – bang on. Left for camp by train at 6.30pm from Brentwood, 7.50pm from London, in the billet at 11pm.
After laying all my kit out for inspection I was Tannoyed and flew on a cross-country fighter affiliation to Isle of Man with my new crew F/O Cockerill. Went to Ely with “Les” on his “Ariel” arrived back at camp to learn that I am flying again tomorrow! On a “front line”.
Saw the Navigation leader and got off the flying – paid at 2 – £10-14. Hitchhiked to Newmarket, by train to London and home at 8.10pm. Went uptown immediately to meet Bob – had a couple of beers, fish & chips and returned home at 11.
First day of leave sees me meeting Bob uptown at 10.0. S.F.A. to do except walk around & drink tea at our new sound NAAFI. This evening Doris & I went to the Palace to see “The Lisbon Story” piss poor this time, however I did get her home at 11.
Met Bob again at 10.30 stooged all morning. This evening however we had a session – met at 6.30 in the “Nap” every one which was opened, to the “Horse & Groom” Warley, arrived at the barracks dance slightly pissed not a bad evening though, especially when I took Doris home and afterwards with the boys.
No swim today owing to continued duff weather. Surprise this evening Doris stood me up – I felt pretty awful until Don walked out of Brentwood station and we went to Romford jugging then to the Town Hall.
Celebrated as Victory Day.
Swimming this morning and afternoon. Jugging this evening starting from the “Nap” ended up at the Town Hall slightly cut and saw Betty – Bob’s sister. Cousin Gertrude and her friend (married) Ida arrived for the weekend.
What a boring day the weather this morning was awful and again this afternoon. After going to church met the boys uptown when we had a few quiet drinks then home on the bike.
Met the boys at 11.30am after I failed to go round to see Doris as I said I would last night. Had a tea at the “NAAFI”. Then we went to the “White Swan” had six pints in half’s until 2pm. Home for dinner slightly pissed jumped on bike collected Bob came back to Brentwood @ 65 mph then went to the sports saw Doris got a date for tomorrow. On the beer and to the Town Hall again tonight.
Not much done today owing to the rain, slept in until midday. This afternoon messed around shopping. Met Doris at 7.30pm she looked wizard in jacket and pants we went walking round Warley -wonderful – home at 11.10pm.
Up at 6am and left home at 6.30am back at camp at 8.35am – there was a C.O.’s parade on for the King’s birthday after which the rest of the day was free. This afternoon I went to Cambridge with Les on his bike – quite a nice evening at a show, meal and dance, back at 11.30pm.
Usual parades then to the section nothing special to report. Detailed for Fighter Affiliation exercises this afternoon but u/s planes scrubbed that. This evening I went to the station cinema with Billy Gillan an air-gunner and Londoner. Saw “Tin Pan Alley” – piss poor.
After the C.O.’s parade had been scrubbed because of rain, I left at 10.15am with Bill on the back in the rain for hours. After numerous stops due to air locks arrived home at 1pm picking up Bob and dropping Bill at Stanstead.
Afternoon met Doris and saw “Thrill of a Romance” Van Johnson & Esther Williams. Evening, Romford with Doris for a couple of quiet drinks, back to Brentwood walked home with Doris.
Met Bob at 11.30pm walked up town with him stuck my head in the Town Hall, caught the bus home.
Two years ago I got my wings.
Cleaning up the bike most of the morning after which I get a further ½ gallon and left it outside for returning in the morning.
Met Doris at 3.30pm this afternoon when we went walking over Weald Park it rained some of the time. Returned to Brentwood had tea and went to the Odeon. Walked slowly home, stopped in the Cornsland’s when the snogging became very serious. I told her I was nuts about her, to my surprise she told me she was about me too, wonderful. Meeting her again next Saturday morning or if I get home Friday night.
Up at 6am left home at 6.30am a pleasant, wonderful ride back at 8.20am. Uneventful day at the Section, I didn’t go on any parades. Went to station cinema this evening to see “English Without Tears” – no good at all.
Little to do, little to report.
After having my name down to go swimming today I was joed to fly on a “Constant Speed Exercise” tonight. Letter from Doris. Nothing else to say today.
Lazy day again. This evening Bill, Alan and I had a few beers in Mildenhall and a few whiskeys in the mess and got a bit tight.
Today I reported to the Section as usual skipping again the squadron parade. Flew to Wroughton this afternoon with the Wing commander not a bad trip. Wroughton is near Swindon. After landing had tea rode home on bike, home at 8pm. Went to see Doris we went up to “The Thatcher’s” for a quiet drink then to the Tattoo.
Met Doris at 3pm went to Southend, boat trip, Kursaal, walking along the front, home by 10.39pm train at her house at 12.30am.
Rudely awakened by Mum & Maureen who said Doris was waiting downstairs for me, also my face was still covered in lipstick – it was – but Bob was downstairs.
Went swimming all morning I did 12 lengths, home for lunch. This afternoon I met Doris at 3pm & we went walking to Weald Park, stopped at a very quiet, cool spot from 4pm to 7pm, it was extremely hot in all senses & I almost broke my pledge. I shall always remember “Clarinet a la King” by Benny Goodman.
Walked by Pilgrims Hatch back to Brentwood had a kinda tea then went over Shenfield Common & saw Bob with Peggy then I took Doris home. On the way she almost had me in tears it’s pretty obvious she really cares for me so I guess that I’ll never give her any reason to change that feeling.
Up at 6am again back at camp at 8.20am. Reported on parade for the first time in a week. Did SFA all day. This evening played a few records down Sandes. Wrote to Doris.
Reported as usual – did SFA. No mail received, letter home and to Dan Forster. Saw “Follow the Girls” at the station cinema.
On parade this morning with the crew to go to North Weald drawing tropical kit. Reported to sport stores and went down to Lakenheath swimming – bang on. Went down to Sandes home to play a few records. Nice letter from Doris.
Another letter from Doris. Bulling billet for AOC’s inspection tomorrow. Little else to report.
The AOC’s inspection today. Remained in and around the Section all day. Went to the pictures this evening on the camp. Still another from Doris. Cleaned up the motor cycle as well.
The usual Group Captain’s parade and inspection today. After which we parade again at 9.45am. I left for home on the bike at 10am, home after fairly uneventful journey at 12.15pm.
Met Doris a per plan at 3.30pm went on bicycle to Weald Park stayed there walking and snogging until 7pm, had tea then went to the Essex saw John, to “The Thatcher’s” rode out in the country on the bike snogging again and back to her house at 12.
Up at 9.30am, breakfast, up town but no swim, posted letter off to “Canada’s Weekly” cancelling order. Met Doris at 2.45pm walking around Warley left her at 7pm home for a quick tea and caught the train into London at 8pm. After a hot & wearisome journey back at camp at 12.30am.
On parade as usual this morning. No flying – letters written & sent to Bob, home, Doris & license dept. This evening I went swimming at Lakenheath – Shorty joined me and we went to Lakenheath with Bill Tuck and got drunk.
Quiet day – little of note to report. No flying for me. Received letter from Doris.
The whole of today was spent on Operation Frontline flying in formation over Germany. Today a tragedy occurred when F/Sgt “Taffy” Thomas was drowned at Lakenheath. No letters received.
Spent the morning uneventfully. Still no mail received from Doris. On a cross-country this evening preparing this afternoon. Scrubbed – on local flying smell of burning rubber noticeable from wireless operator’s transmitter stood by with fire extinguishers.
Up at 9 today breakfast in the Victory sent back to billet to collect best blue and weekend kit. Flying to Kemble – back to London by train – home at 7.30. Spent the evening indoors pressing blue sowing etc. Bed at 11.30.
Up quite early took bike & filled up with petrol – round to Doris at 10.30 invited to her brother’s wedding. Arrived at 2.30. Went to the church back to her house. After tea left on the bike for Romford had a few drinks and went dancing, home at my house 1am.
Up at 8 after a very restless night – up to the swimming pool but I didn’t go in. Lunch – collected Doris on the bike at 2.0pm and we went to Southend. A pleasant time there returned at 8. Took her home at 11.30. In bed at 12.
Special stamp issued for Victory Day July 8th
Up at 6.0am breakfast left for camp at 6.30 arrived back with no trouble at 08.20. No flying today. No mail received. Wrote to Doris.
Flew today a cross-country. No mail received. Went out with Les on his motor cycle. My lips are healing slowly.
Flew on a Fighter Affiliation this morning bloody annoying. Down at 11.30 changed to go to Cambridge swimming to catch the transport 12.30. Didn’t get a letter from Doris today which made me very cheesed – I’m wondering if she’s changed her mind about me. After swimming went to a show – had some supper – feeling so awful & with my lip unable to go to a dance came back to Mildenhall by the 7.40 train.
Usual routine today. Flying on a constant speed exercise tonight. Letter from Doris at last. Flew on the constant speed exercise GEE u/s & the DRC, not too bad a trip after the first leg.
Continuation of the hot weather which has lasted all this week. In the section all day. Flying again tonight on circuits. No more mail received. Syd the skipper got me a gallon of gas.
Up for CO’s parade at 7. On parade again at 10.15 for the squadron roll call. Left for home at 10.30 called in for a beer, home at 1.0 changed into civvies met Doris at 3 we went to Romford & bought 3 records including Frank Sinatra’s Day by Day. Went to the Savoy had a meal. Home at 1.30am after snogging in the moonlight.
Spent the morning messing about on the bike to Herongate. Called Doris at 3.0 & we went walking to Weald Park – snogging in earnest – it’s hard to put it down how much I love her. This evening we decided to get engaged on my demob leave. Got indoors at 12.00.
Flew on a cross country as soon as I got back to camp at 08.40. No trouble at all on the motor cycle. Didn’t go to the show tonight the weather being so awfully hot.
No mail received today – and no flying either. Dad’s birthday, didn’t send a card. Saw “Princess and the Pirate” this evening with Bob Hope – very good.
Up at 7.30 as usual – breakfast – and flew on a ferrying trip to Wroughton near Swindon. Remained in and around the billet all evening. Expecting but didn’t get a letter from Doris. Expecting now to be demobilised in December – very poor show.
Uneventful day – two letters received from Doris. This evening was spent drinking in honour of Taffy Benjamin and his 27th birthday. Got quite drunk in the “Bird” making quite a clot of myself on return to the billet.
Still another uneventful day, weather is poor thank god so no flying. Mess party tonight – local flying laid on with me flying. Johnny Cleaver (I don’t like him) flew for me. Rode over to Tuddenham on my motor cycle where had a few beers with Shorty and two WAAFs from Mildenhall ex 149 Methwold. Got cheesed came back to Mildenhall had a few more beers and whiskies in the mess – drunk again.
Up OK for the CO’s parade, on parade again after the squadron leader had inspected the billets. Paraded at 10.30am, left for home on the bike at 10.45am; home at 1pm. Shopping on the bike this afternoon; afterwards cleaning the bike. This evening I went to Romford to meet Bob as I thought but no joy. Back to Brentwood had a beer in the “Lion and Lamb” then round to the “Artichoke” and had a lot more. Left there and went to the “White Hart” had three ciders. I was quite merry by this time when Pam and her friend Joan walked in started talking. Saw Pam at the dance and had a long chat with her the gist of it being “what a good type Bob is and what a rotten bugger I am” for my part and hers being “i.e. you’re not you are OK and Bob is no good”. Can’t say I remember too much about it anyway.
Up early with still no hangover although stomach not too steady. Finished off cleaning my bike. Up for a swim on my bike. Met Doris at 2.30 walking over to Weald Park again – snogging – when I should have had my face slapped but didn’t. Had tea in the Odeon saw “Double Indemnity” with Barbara Stanwyck – not bad – took her home at 12.00 midnight.
Overslept slightly and in trying to catch up time had to cool off bike which was pre-igniting. Not flying today. Wrote to Doris. Shorty came over this evening and we went to the “Bull” for a drink.
Reported sick after being up all night ring trouble probably caused by the weekend beer. Scrubbed of the flying detail. Went to Sandes Home the local canteen this evening & wrote letters to Doris, Al Jones, Pam McQueen.
Flew once again on a ferrying trip to Wroughton near Swindon missed going to Cambridge for a swim owing to late return. Heavy thunderstorms this afternoon. Went to the station cinema tonight in civvies – very hot – poor film.
“Operation Front-line” on today but strange as it seems we weren’t on it. Had a lazy day. No night flying tonight owing to non-return of Front-line kites. Went to the “Bull” Barton Mills this evening had a beer with Les, Shorty & Bill Stewart whence we all went to Newmarket to a dance – very pleasant evening.
Another lazy day – paid this afternoon £11-14 making a total in my pocket including £1 ration money of £20. This evening after the boys finally persuaded me I went by taxi to Mildenhall and got rather drunk on Younger’s Scotch Ale.
What a head I woke up with this morning I feel it is going to burst. No CO’s parade but a stupid ASR lecture by Syd until 10. Left with Billy Allan on the back at 10.30 and home without mishap at 1.0. Called on Doris about 2.30 whence we went to London. Rang Shorty saw “Easy to Wed” with Esther Williams & Van Johnson at the Ritz – Wembley back to Hyde Park supper home at 1am.
Up at 9 (I think) breakfast down to Bob’s home but he wasn’t there. Lunch, picked up Doris with my bike at 2.30 we went to Maldon. Took out a row boat caught in the mud. Tea, back to Brentwood saw “Let’s Face It” home after taking Doris home.
After wasting most of the day adjusting my bike I called on Doris at 7 and we went to the Hammersmith Palais to see Ted Heath & his band – it was wonderful – I shall go again when he returns on Sept. 16th.
Can’t remember much about today. Met Doris this evening.
Bob came down we saw Mrs Birchley uptown and learnt that Don was coming home Friday night. Saw Doris again tonight.
Little to report of the day’s activities. This evening Doris went walking to Weald Park – very nice too – I asked her to marry me!!!! She said yes.
I think it was today at midday that I was drunk after having 5 pints in the Napier. We went to my house drank up the white wine went to the Palace tonight with Doris.
After spending the morning shopping and stooging – I called on Doris at 12 whence we went to Clacton by my bike – had a wonderful time swimming, took the odd photo. Came back around 10pm. Home at 10pm. A really nice day indeed.
Swimming with Bob & Don. Quite hot. Crafty drink at lunchtime. Went walking with Doris this afternoon to Weald Park. Pictures at the Odeon to see “Johnny Apollo”.
Bank Holiday. Called on Doris at 9am, went to the swimming pool had wizard time with Jeff, Bob, Don & bad Snell. Afternoon called on Doris at 2pm went to Weald Park by my bike. I made her cry by an unscrupulous remark, it was heart rending. After inevitable snogging went home collected coat. Childerditch Common.
Set course at 6am in fine weather on my bike. Back at camp safely, although slight engine misfiring, at 08.35 usual section routine in the morning. Flew tonight on 4 ½ hr cross country over northern France.
Pretty poor weather today. Slept in until 09.30. Not much to do today. Went to Bury St. Edmunds on my motor cycle – ran out of petrol 4 miles out of it. Heaved the bike on a truck. Les and I had a wizard tea then saw “Make Mine Music” at the Odeon. Back at 11pm.
Normal day – no flying thank goodness – at least no cross country, but local stooge this afternoon. Went to the station cinema to see a pretty poor film called …….oh bother I’ve forgotten.
Not flying today. Weather pretty ropey. Went to the station cinema tonight to see “Weekend at the Waldorf” with Lana Turner, Ginger Rogers, Van Johnson & Walter Pidgeon. A wonderful picture especially Lana Turner!!!
Raining again this morning – to the station at 9. Paraded again at 10.15 left for home at 10.35 with Les Austin a passenger, dropped him at Newmarket. Home at 12.35. Met Doris at 3.15. Show at Romford Ritz “Quiet Weekend” no good. Supper at the NAAFI in Brentwood – walking over Shenfield Common until 12.30!
Up at 10 swimming with Bob at 10.30 pretty good. Pint at the Napier home for lunch – met Doris at 3. Walking over Weald Park again. Tea at the Odeon saw “Cargo of Innocents” at the Palace – bang on. Walking – home at 12.
Arrived back at 08.30 not too wet but rather uncomfortable. Normal day – flying tonight but didn’t go owing to duff weather. Write a letter to my girl – Doris.
Again a perfectly uneventful day. Flying tonight on a cross country. Returned to base for local flying after getting ¾ way on the first leg owing to more duff weather. Bed at 2.0am. Flew the Lancaster for about ½ hr around Ipswich by instrument – bang on.
In bed until 10.30 when Squadron Leader Mickey Moore woke us up with some rude remark. Sports this afternoon cycled down to Mildenhall had a pound of greengages – tea at “Tilly’s Pantry” – back to base & went to the station cinema. Letter from Doris.
That sad Moore cancelled our 48 because the billets were supposed to be not up to scratch. No day flying owing to proposed Bullseye tonight. At first Bullseye was scrubbed and we went on a 3 hr cross country to Exeter & Binbrook. Quiet evening. Missed pay parade.
Normal morning – no flying – paid £11-16. At 2.0pm. Went to Mildenhall on my motor cycle returned to base then after tea went over to Tuddenham to see Shorty but he was on leave. Returned to camp again and went to the station cinema.
Left for home at 11 after messing around with Moore’s parades. Home at 1.30 everyone away at the wedding got myself a meal of spaghetti on toast. After shopping called on Doris around 4.30 went to a show in Hornchurch. Returned to my home picked up my (?) then went to the Town Hall – poor – took Doris home bed at 2.0am!! (at my home)
Bob woke me at 10.30 and I arrived at the swimming pool around 11.15 swimming pretty cold. Whipped myself up some sort of lunch and called on Doris around 3. Went to Canvey on the bike no good returned to Brentwood and went to Palace to see “Girl Crazy”. I was in a very cheesed off mood with a kind of yearning to be on the beer with the boys not because I don’t love Doris but that I wanted a momentary change. Doris again convinced me very much that she loves me and I’m sorry to say I made her cry again. I had overcome my mood by 4 this afternoon but apparently she was still worried and this evening she said she would give me up to make me happy in fact she said she wished she was killed whilst I lived so that she would never have to give me up. I’ve never felt such a heel in my life and I hope I never get like in the mood I was on Saturday and Sunday again. The trouble with me is that one minute I know my own mind the next I don’t. I’ve still got the restlessness in me which will have to be overcome now!! I should imagine this is the most frank statement I’ve ever put on paper.
Still a bit dopey from the weekend. Arrived back at 08.35 after an uneventful ride home. Bike not running too easily.
Little to report for today. Supposed to fly on a “Front Line” with F/L Smith but scrubbed owing to the duff weather.
Flew on a Front line today but turned back over Amsterdam owing to duff weather shot up everything. Sports afternoon in Mildenhall for afternoon tea and greengages. Station cinema tonight. Received a nice letter from Doris. Pool winnings on 4 aways are 16/=.
Can’t remember a thing about today. Nothing special happened as far as I know.
Usual day – flew on a cross country with duff GEE – over to Tuddenham this evening to see Shorty, had a few beers in the “Bull” Barton Mills and supper at the roadside café.
After the usual Saturday morning bull left for home about 10.45 home at 1. Dinner round to Doris went to Romford – shopping for motor cycle – show at the Ritz – supper in Hornchurch left for Brentwood caught in the rain. Went home for me to change, mother came home met Doris for the first time – played a few records while mum & Doris nattered. Took her home after some wizard snogging!!!
Arose at my usual Sunday morning time. Breakfast & cleaned up my bike. Round to Doris left for Clacton about 12.45 lunch in a pub arrived Clacton about 3. Tea – went for a swim tea again – got to Kelvedon and caught in a thunderstorm – wet through – left bike in a garage back by bus. Doris felt ill & took her home.
Up at 9 breakfast put on uniform bus to Chelmsford and another to Kelvedon picked up bike at 12 & rode home average speed 50 mph. Called on Doris after lunch & later went to the Odeon “Somewhere in the Night” took her home as she felt ill. Back to camp at 11.
Announced today on parade we are now moving to Wyton on Thursday – withdrawing flying kit. Started on the bike this evening with Cyril for decarbonisation. Hope to finish it tomorrow night. Wrote letters to Doris & home.
Packing and preparing to leave Mildenhall for good (I hope). Pay parade at 2 received £11-16. This evening most of the squadron went to “The Bird” for a few beers came back and went to bed. Wrote another letter to Doris.
Up early today finished packing. After various small tasks left Mildenhall for Wyton about 10.30 by motor cycle arrived about 12.15 after stopping in Cambridge for a break. This afternoon spend settling in and this evening in Huntingdon at the pictures.
RAF Wyton Huntingdon
Mainly spent in fixing up the navigation and bombing sections. Letter received from Doris at last – not too thrilling however. This evening Les and I went into town looking for a dance but no luck so we had supper and returned to base going to bed fairly early.
Reported to work this morning at 9. Clearing up generally. Back to billet for inspection at 12. Left for home at 12.00 home after finding new route at 14.30. Cleaned up round to Doris not at home. Waited until she came home tea – pictures at Romford – home – snogging – home to bed at 10am. August and Saturday finished quietly.
Spent the morning cleaning and DI’s on my motor cycle filled up with 1 gallon, lunch, pressing uniform etc . Round to Doris at 3.30 until 4.45 home for tea. Pictures – our usual place under the tree – confessions and queries by me – she had to be in by 11 on account of being late last night. I don’t think she is as keen on me as she was although I am more of her.
Returned to camp by motor cycle as usual. Not a lot happened today there was no flying.
Rain today as usual. No mail received although I confess I was expecting one from Doris. This evening went into Huntingdon and Godmanchester drinking – spewed up my ring and came back to camp by taxi. Spent most of the evening in the “Royal Oak” Godmanchester.
Usual day spent around the section up to lunchtime. Expecting the usual letter from Doris which did not arrive. I therefore assumed after the weekends happening that everything between Doris & me was off. If it hadn’t been raining I would have gone home today and seen Doris as it was I wrote, a niggardly letter suggesting the calling off our future marriage. I felt awful the whole afternoon & evening and went to Cambridge dancing.
Still feeling very blue couldn’t sleep or eat breakfast. However at lunch time a letter arrived from Doris. I immediately sent off reconciliation letter & felt wonderful again.
Received a further letter from Doris and felt even better. This evening rode into St. Ives had 4 pints, supper & returned to camp after a very pleasant time. Flew today on a H25 cross country.
After quite a bit of work this morning left for home at 12.00pm with Billy Allen as passenger. Home at 2, lunch, changed into brown suit called on Doris, went to Weald Park on motor cycle, pictures at the Palace & home after very pleasant snogging. A very satisfactory day.
Raining like the very devil all day today. After a lazy morning I called on Doris at 2.30 and come back home to play a few records – she had tea with us & this evening went to the “Towers” Hornchurch back to Brentwood after supper in Romford Market Square for the inevitable snogging. Doris tells me she is volunteering to join the Land Army of which I take a very dim view.
I’m 22 & four months today. Returned to camp by motor cycle as usual. Briefing at 11 to fly to St. Mawgan, Cornwall. Arrived at St. Mawgan at 3. Food & billets, washed, shaved and into Newquay – quite a nice town but very poor beer situation. Went to the Blue Lagoon Ballroom and spent a very pleasant time.
Up at 7 took off at 10.30 for Castel Benito in Cyrenaica just 12 miles outside Tripoli. We came via Istres and Sardinia the trip taking 7 hrs landed at 5.30 had a meal got a billet had a beer went to bed in the sweltering heat.
Up for breakfast then to the airfield for transport to Tripoli waited ages for transport then the whole thing was scrubbed owing to the town being out of bounds because of smallpox. This afternoon we had a wizard swim in the camp this afternoon I took a few photos.
Up at 7 – breakfast at the airfield – took off for St. Mawgan at 10.30 diverted over the English Channel owing to duff weather to Waterbeach – cleared by customs then to Wyton. Spent the evening reorganising and pressing.
Most of the day spent in around the section the cheeky rats put me on circuits with the Wingco – a bit dicey especially on one bumpy over-shoot. Bed early after supper.
I spent the morning in the usual unorganised way. Called on Doris at 2.30 but it was raining and George was taken to hospital with a collapsed lung. Afterwards Doris and I went to the pictures at Romford and came back to the place behind Warley where we snogged once before in the moonlight. Home at 11.15pm.
Back to camp this morning by motor cycle. Flew this morning and this evening. Wrote to Doris.
Flew this afternoon on local and GCA flying. About 3pm we ran out of petrol owing to the failure of the engineer to change tanks and we force landed in a field outside Waterbeach shaken up a bit but came back to camp by transport.
Bags of inquiries and form filling this morning. This afternoon went over to the crash by motor cycle and crashed on the way back, shook ourselves up a little more time and smashed the front lamp & bent mudguard.
We flew today to regain any lost confidence.
Court of Inquiry today on the prang. Left camp at 5 for home by the repaired bike on a 48. Called on Doris this evening in the rain and stayed at her house.
This morning was spent shopping in Romford and stooging round Brentwood this afternoon called on Doris at 3 we went to Romford by train to see “To Each His Own” – pretty poor. Came back to Brentwood and had some supper. After which we walked slowly home via Cornsland’s and our favourite tree. Hmm I won’t record the rest not that it’s un-writable.
Up at 9 for breakfast, cleaning bike & fixing new lamp but couldn’t wire it up. Called on Doris at 2.30 and went to see George, her brother, at Brentwood hospital. Afterwards to Shenfield Common where we didn’t get on very well for a while but everything came out OK. Pictures, then snogging, phew it’s hot to think of it.
Up at 5.30 this morning to come back at 6am. No lights on bike I couldn’t leave until 6.20 back at 08.05. Flew this morning on dummy runs and again tonight on a 5 ½ hr cross country to Newport, Peel, Whitby 53N 3E, York, Leicester landed 2.00am.
Sleeping in this morning until midday after last night’s gruelling cross country. Lunch. Reported for work and went to Huntingdon for a little shopping with Les Austin. Back to camp for supper at the Blenheim café outside camp. Wrote to Ministry of Education, Shorty, Bob & Doris.
Usual routine in the morning. Played football this afternoon. Not much else to report. Letter from Doris.
Flew today on dummy bombing runs. This evening was the Sergeant’s Mess Party. Went into St. Ives for a few beers came back to the mess on my motor cycle had quite a few more and became a little drunk. Not too good an evening on the whole. Cleaned up motor cycle this afternoon.
Spent the morning working in and around the section after Mac (the navigation leader) tore me off a horrible strip for skiving yesterday. Frontline scrubbed meaning we are getting our 48. Spent the afternoon working again in the briefing room. Flying tonight on bombing.
Reported for work in the section again. Left for home at 12 and reached home at 2. Lunch, changed & went round to Doris. Went to pictures at Romford to see John Hodiak in some film or other which I can’t remember.
Usual Sunday morning routine. Called on Doris in civvies at 3pm went for a short motor cycle ride. Had tea at her house went to the pictures and spent a very pleasant Sunday evening as usual.
Still at home today on the 48. Had breakfast did the odd bit of shopping. Spent the whole day pressing. Met Doris at 5.30 from work & again at 6.30. Spent a wonderful evening again. Back to camp by motor cycle at 11.40 in bed at 2am.
I know we flew again today on what I can’t remember and I believe we did again this evening. Naturally I didn’t expect any mail today. These last 3 months in the RAF are certainly dragging but the wonderful weekends certainly help things.
Flew again this morning on fighter affiliation. This afternoon went down into Huntingdon. This evening went by taxi to St. Ives where we had the Bomb Aimer’s and Navigator’s binge – had quite a lot of beer in fact I was drunk played the piano solidly for two hours came back to the billet roaring drunk and spent a very restless night.
My head wasn’t too bad today owing to the fact I had about 4 aspirins. Went into Fenstanton by motor cycle had three beers & went to the dance not too bad but was bloody hot , came back to camp by 11pm.
Flew again today. Resumed Court of Inquiry for medical evidence from Alec. Flew again today on bombing. Wizard letter from Doris.
The Wingco had a bull parade today after which we went back to the sections and finally got away at 11.30. Home at 2, lunch and round to Doris & went to Romford to see “London Town”. Came back on the bike in the rain to my house changed and had tea as mum, dad and Maureen were in London we stayed in all evening. It was wizard and we left for her house at 11.30. I can’t remember a more wonderful evening.
Usual routine until 10am. Went up to Don Birchley’s house & him and I went for the odd pint and natter. Called on Doris at 2.30 rode on my bike to Weald Park took three pictures had tea in the Yorkshire Grey, pictures “The Sky’s the Limit” at the Palace and the rest of the evening in the Cornsland’s, very nice too.
Came back at my former time of 6.30am again today – bloody cold journey back but arrived safely. Flew tonight on a bombing detail with our only bomb falling about 1 ½ miles from the target.
Writing this day up a week in areas always makes it very difficult to remember what on earth happened so I’ll just leave the entry at usual routine. Wrote to Doris naturally.
Almost flew this morning on a fighter affiliation but the rear turret sight luckily was u/s. Played football this afternoon – pretty good and interesting game.
Spent the whole day in the sun picking up spuds on a farm near Fenstanton – bloody hard work & back breaking. Got back to camp at 5.15pm and this evening went to St. Ives for a few quiet beers.
Syd & Tony were grounded today and we were informed that a summary of evidence is to start on Monday. Didn’t fly today working on the white posts outside the billet. Went to Huntingdon tonight to a show.
Left the camp at 11.30am by motor cycle and got home about 1.45pm. Had the usual wizard dinner then called on Doris whence we went to the Towers Hornchurch to see “A Night in Paradise” with Merle Oberon – not very good. Stopped on the way home on the arterial Southend Road. Bed after going home at 11.30pm.
Usual Sunday morning routine and of course in the afternoon called on Doris whence we went out Ongar way on the bike – a bit bloody cold but enjoyable nevertheless. This evening went to the pictures as is our want every Sunday night and afterwards some nice intimate snogging. Oh là là.
Back by motor cycle this morning pretty cold – first thing that happened today was that leave & release are still cancelled. Syd & Tony are under close arrest pending Summary of Evidence.
I haven’t a lot to say about today. The crew are asking the Adjutant to get some gen on our leave.
Again normal morning 44 Squadron routine. So far this week I have managed to keep on the deck. This afternoon went with Les & Billy Allan to a village called Houghton for a nice tea. No letter from Doris today which niggled me rather, still I expect there will be one tomorrow.
Learnt at last we are to get leave – I’m banging on for 10 days. Flew tonight on local with Squadron Leader Moore not too cheesing.
Friday Oct 18th
Working the whole day in 44 Squadron map room. This evening went into Huntingdon to see “Easy to Wed” with Van Johnson & Ester Williams. Supper of fish & chips & back to camp.
Did the odd spot of work this morning before coming home by bike on leave. Arrived hours about 2 called on Doris at 3pm whence we went to Romford by motor cycle. It rained again & we came home to 31 where we stayed in all evening playing records & snogging etc. etc. !!!!**!!
The first day of probably the last leave I shall have in the RAF. Spent the morning working on the chains of my bike. This afternoon I called on Doris at 3pm we went out walking. The enclosed short verse was written by her – very sweet & sincere. Pictures at the Odeon in the evening.
A sad & sorry sigh
That came from the mind
But not the heart
The mind for fear of a love that may die
The heart knows that it will live for another day to sigh
Sunday at 5pm 20.10.46
From Doris to Den Darling
Monday 21st to Sunday 27th
Was spent very quietly at home on leave spending most of the day at home and all of the evenings with Doris – did some very useful wok on the motor cycle. Had several unpleasant moments when Doris thought we were through but everything finally straightened itself out as tomorrow’s entry shows.
After wasting the day – walking in the morning for miles and doing nothing in particular in the evening, Doris and I with Barry went to the Barracks dance. Up to the interval everything was very quiet and steady – during the interval I went for the odd drink at the “Horse & Groom” after which I came back to the dance where Doris was waiting for me. It was while we were dancing to the music of “And So Do I” that she told me with a very starry eyed look that she wanted to become engaged at Christmas and married the one after – my word I was pleased and now everything in the garden once again is rosy. After the dance I went back to her house where we three had supper.
Spent the morning lazily and the afternoon at the Palace seeing “The Stranger” a wizard film. Crazy as it may seem Doris and I saw the film again this evening after which we walked very slowly home to her house.
A quiet day in the house then this afternoon Doris came down & we played quite a few records until mum came home when we had tea after which Doris and I went to Romford to see “Monsieur Beaucaire” with Bob Hope not a bad day.
Up at 7 to come back to camp but couldn’t get the bike to start – had to take down the carburettor after re-assembling the bike went OK and I got back to camp 1 ½ hrs late. Boring day & in the evening a heavy cold came on so I went to bed early immediately after supper.
Spent the day as usual on the camp doing as little work as possible without appearing too lazy after which Mickey Bridger & I after getting our passes skived off on my bike for home. Reached Doris’ house at 6. Took her home while I had tea. Walked back with her to her house. Again she tells me she wants to postpone the engagement, what is a guy to do or think?
Spent the morning dashing around the town shopping. This afternoon called on Doris at 2.30 and we remained in all of the afternoon when I went back home to tea. Called on Don at 5.45 and we both met Doris at 6 whence went to Smart’s party arriving at 6pm. The party didn’t look like starting at 7pm so Don, Doris, Maureen & I went to the “King Harold” and had a few drinks. Came back to the party where I had a few more beers & got a little tight but nevertheless enjoyed it. It was while taking Doris home that I put up the odd black which subsequently proved the end of my affair with Doris.
When I met Doris at 3 this afternoon she kissed me which seemed to indicate everything was again OK. Later today she once again seemed to be drifting from me although I have tried my hardest to prove how much I really care. Walked home rather heavy of heart.
Back to the camp by motor cycle this morning where the muddy roads thoroughly messed up my clean bike. Usual routine on the squadron. Three crew are supposed to be going to Malta today but weather scrubbed it. Doris joined the Land Army today. Went into St. Ives – drinking & dancing.
Working spasmodically today in the squadron briefing room. Kind of expecting a letter from Doris today but naturally didn’t get one. Went out tonight to Huntingdon pictures. Three crews went to Malta via St. Mawgan.
Much the same routine on the camp. Didn’t get a letter from Doris today although I was expecting one very much. This afternoon went into Huntingdon for tea, this evening darts & beer at the “Jolly Butchers”.
Really worried today because I didn’t get a letter from Doris. I have a feeling she really means to pack me up this time although it’s the last thing in the world I want as the letter I wrote to her last night must indicate. Another evening of darts & beer in the “Jolly Butchers”.
Nobody of the squadron left here – we could have bogged off home this evening but suspicious of Mickey Moore’s intentions tomorrow.
Cheers Cheers a letter from Dottie at last – what a relief. Left for home at 10am with Les Austin on the back to Huntingdon. Home at 12.30pm. Dottie came home at 3pm – I went back home to shave and when I returned she proved everything to me by the way she kissed me.
We rode out to a friend of Doris at Blackmore and got caught in the wet. This afternoon she came round to tea when Auntie Emily & family came up to tea also. Doris & I went out about 7.30pm to our usual spot in the Cornsland’s – it was terrific.
Bad weather today otherwise I would have been flying with F/O Palmer. This evening went into St. Ives to have a quiet beer and go up to the dance.
Flew back to Wyton today. Went to the dentist having a filling. This evening Ken Williams & I went to Wisbech by my bike. Unfortunately no dance this week – came back to March still no dance & so through Chatteris back to camp. One of the most beautiful letters I have ever received from Doris today.
Rained most of the day preventing flying. Not much to do this evening.
Still raining today. Left at 4pm with Alec Griffiths on the back for home on a 48. Got soaked through in the duff weather. Home at 7pm. Went up the “Artichoke” for a quiet drink.
Just about to leave for Southend to pick up Doris when she came rushing down the road to greet me. Walked back with her to her house then had dinner. We went to Romford this afternoon saw a show etc. After a wizard supper in the “NAAFI” rode out on my bike to a spot near Warley – spent the rest of the evening making love to her.
Up as usual about 8.30am had breakfast raining hard again collected petrol called on Dottie home for dinner called on her again – walked round to home – tea – pictures at the Odeon & then to the “tree”. Returned to camp tonight in bed at 1am.
Monday 18th to Thursday 21st
Nothing special to report except that my release will be OK. Dinghy drill in Cambridge on Friday.
Didn’t get a letter from Doris today and felt pretty cheesed so I cadged my leave pass from F/Sgt Whitbread in the orderly room and came home. Sat over the fire at home all evening.
I was just leaving for Southend to bring home Doris when she walked in. I was pretty annoyed at her for not writing and I didn’t greet her too well which in turn annoyed her. Spent a very pleasant afternoon with her after straightening everything out.
Usual monotonous day except of course when I met Doris this afternoon – we had a wizard evening she went back at 9.50pm but knowing I shall meet her gain tomorrow she wasn’t cheesed at all.
Didn’t do a lot of anything today except wait for this evening when I went to Southend by City Coach and went to a show with Dottie. Being a brilliant type I missed the last train and bus back to Brentwood and walked the whole 22 miles – it taking me 7 hrs.
Tonight I went to Southend by motor cycle to make sure I get back safely. Doris & I went out walking along the front where we had a wizard snogging session. Home about 11.15pm.
Went down to Southend again by the 4.30pm train from Brentwood. Doris & I went out walking again. Suspect Doris has impetigo on her chin.
Left for Southend early today to buy a roll necked sweater which I finally did after seeking 6 shops. Went to a news theatre then to Doris’ billet where I learnt she had left for Brentwood after lunch. I rushed back home as fast as I could and finally go to her home at 8.30pm. She is at home for the rest of the week with her chin. We went to the Palace to see “Concerto”
Doris and I walked uptown this morning shopping – I had dinner at her house then we went up to London to try and see “The Outlaw” but couldn’t get in instead we saw “The Kid from Brooklyn” with Danny Kaye we had some supper then came home by train – bang on the whole time.
Went up to Don’s house this morning to see him after I had seen Dottie. Dottie and I went to try and see a show in Romford but couldn’t get in came back to Brentwood had supper then went to the “Artichoke” saw Don Birchley had a quiet evening after having a drink in the Nap too.
Supposed to meet Don for a drink this morning at 12 but he left before me. Called on Dottie to ascertain whether she wanted to go to Finsbury Park Empire next Saturday. After dinner called again went to her oppo’s house at Blackmore very cheesing – went to the Odeon this evening.
Dottie and I went uptown this morning and this afternoon she came round my house where we spent a very very pleasant time (silk stockings) she had tea with us then we went to the Palace to see “In Old Sacramento” not too bad. Spent a short time at the tree but it was too cold to stay out. Left her at 11.
Up at 7am and left for camp at 7.30am – bloody cold ride back – as soon as I got back I learnt I am to be released next Tuesday and I spend the whole day getting cleared and getting rid of my kit. This evening I went to Huntingdon to see “Spellbound” with Ingrid Bergman – had supper of fish & chips. Wrote home to Dottie.
Handed the remainder of my kit in this morning. This evening went down to the “Jolly Butchers” for a further binge S/L Moore’s.
Commenced clearance today. Paid this afternoon in the NAAFI. Usual £11-14.
Final clearance from 44 Squadron today and from the RAF. Away on a 48 at 2.30pm on my bike arriving home at 4.30pm. Remained at home this evening.
Quiet morning shopping in Romford with Doris. Went to Finsbury Park Empire tonight by a special “City Coach” – I thought it was piss poor.
Up to Don’s house on the bike this morning and around to the “Choke” & “Nap” looking for him but no joy. Went to Doris’ house this afternoon & evening for tea & snogging very nice too.
Left for Wyton at 11.20 from King’s Cross station arrived Huntingdon at 1. Terrific binge in the “Jolly Butchers” tonight. Fought Tommy Williams.
Left Huntingdon for Peterborough at 9.30 then train to Rugby changed to Preston then from Preston to Lytham. Arrived at Warton with fog & frost. Bloody cold Nissen hut.
Owing to an overseas draft going through we spent the morning in the billet waiting – demobbed this afternoon at Kirkham – through by 6pm back to Warton by train from Lytham to Preston and stayed the doubtful night.
Left Preston at 9.30am for London, lunch on the train with Bill Drackett, the bloke I joined and left the RAF with. London at 11.55am and reached home at 1.55pm. Called on Doris at 6pm we went to the pictures.
Spent the day collecting identity card, ration books etc and went to the pictures in the evening. Bought a new sweater.
Shopping in Romford in the morning and in Brentwood in the afternoon. Spend a pleasant evening in the “Artichoke” which was spoiled by the Town Hall dance later.
I stayed at home until having a midday drink with Don. Called on Doris at 3pm this afternoon & went to the pictures back to her home for supper.
I called on Doris in the morning and she came round to me in the afternoon. Went to the pictures again had supper then went to her home.
In the afternoon went by train to the London Pavilion to see Jane Russell in “The Outlaw” a terrific picture which influenced no end the ride home in the train with its inevitable and wizard snogging.
Shopping etc. not much else to say.
Still shopping in the morning. Doris came down this afternoon. Mum went for a hair set, bags of snogging. Remained in the evening. After everyone was in bed we had some very skin close snogging until 1am wizard.
Quiet day altogether for me & Doris waiting for something to happen. Got some gaskets for my bike from Wilsons at Romford.
Tonight I went to the Selo with Doris, Les & Joan & Edith for a social – wasn’t too bad but rather too many people there – had quite a few beers.
Commenced work this morning on my motor cycle stripping it down and starting on the cylinder head. Went out with Doris tonight.
Still working on my bike today. Actually got it together again & it runs perfectly. Maureen, Don, Doris, Barry & I went out on a session tonight.
Wednesday 25th Christmas Day
Up at 11 after a beery session last night. Drink with Dottie wizard Christmas dinner – to Dottie with Maureen in the afternoon – tea back home for snogging session.
Thursday 26th Boxing Day
In the morning I went round to se Dottie and in the afternoon the same. This evening after tea at home we all went to the “Queens” to have a few beers and I got a bit tight. Home after a wonderful session at 1 in the morning with Dottie.
Went out with Doon, Barry & Doris tonight for a few beers in the “Artichoke” & the dance at the Town Hall. Dottie got tight & so did I and I felt thoroughly cheesed at 12.30pm I can tell you.
I’ll think of something for today. Spent the evening at the pictures I know.
I went up for don this morning to have a drink but he was out so I called on Dottie and arranged for this evening. Dottie, Mrs Humphrey, George & May came round to tea this evening & we had a very pleasant time & so did I when I got back to her house!! I have some new property now!!?
Dottie didn’t go back last night because she was too tired to go to the Doc yesterday morning. This afternoon we went to Romford by my motor cycle to see “Blue Skies”. This evening we spent snogging in the front room of her house. She went back at 9.30pm & it was pretty foggy.
Tuesday 31st New Year’s Eve
Spent the morning in my usual lazy manner getting up late. Tried to contact Don Birchley but unsuccessful. Got changed into my uniform & went to Southend by my motor cycle about 6.10pm arrived at 6.45pm. Doris had had all the afternoon off. We went down into a Southend pub where there was some wizard jive music. Spent the time of the New Year coming in kissing Doris. Wow!
Spent today at home as usual. Received a card from Grays Divisional Education board acknowledging my application form. Not much else to report for today that is of recording interest. Went to the Conservative Club with Pop tonight.
Still at home doing SFA. Went down to Southend this afternoon on my motor cycle and saw “My Darling Clementine” in the afternoon and “The Green Years” with Dottie in the evening. The weather changed on the way back to a thick fog which slowed me down considerably.
There was a train smash at Gideon Park tonight in which 7 people were killed and over 30 injured.
Spent today again indoors. This evening I went to Romford & went to the King’s Head & various other pubs but got cheesed & came back to Brentford and the Artichoke. Had supper at Holland’s & came home.
Went to Romford by motor cycle this morning and bought some gauntlets 32/- white leather. Took Pop up to the football match this afternoon where Brentford were playing Leyton (won 3-1). I stayed a while then waited for Dottie at her house until 4pm. Came home for tea & shave etc. Went to the Palace with her tonight to see “Three Little Girls in Blue” which was piss poor. Stayed at her house pretty late this morning.
After getting up late went straight to Gidea Park after breakfast on my motor cycle to see Syd Cockerill my last former skipper. Afterwards returned to Brentwood to see Dottie. Home for dinner at 2pm, shave, then back there for tea. Stayed in for the evening then took her to Southend on my bike then back home here, bloody cold, at 11.45pm.
What a bloody awful day this was. The radio went wrong last night consequently I sat in front of the fire all day no one to talk to & no music. It’s been snowing like the clappers all day & now it’s about 3”.
Went out tonight with George Ringer & had a few drinks including some wizard cherry brandy. Home at 10.30pm.
Bank balance £17-3-3.
Last year £40.
Stayed at home naturally all day. Went down to Southend this afternoon early. It was snowing like the devil but apparently Doris had been working in it. It began to thaw tonight and we two spent the evening in the Ivy House drinking on my 5/- & listening to the fire.
Another lazy day. Went to the pictures this afternoon to see “Blue Skies” again. Don’t know what I did tonight.
Home still in the morning. In the afternoon went to Southend early again on my bike & went to a News Theatre. Met Dottie promptly at 6.30pm & we saw “A Matter of Life & Death” a very good British film.
Usual morning routine. Letter from Westminster Bank to go for an interview Monday. Phoned Divisional Education Officer & got an interview for this afternoon at Grays. Saw this bod & start an on Monday at Ardleigh Green Primary School. Went down to the Fleece tonight with Pop for darts & beer.
After early dinner picked up Dottie at 2.30pm back to home tea to Romford to see “Night & Day” with Cary Grant – O.K. She again postponed our wedding & this time I tried to walk out but I couldn’t & after a great deal of tear shedding on both parts which could have been avoided if she would only give in to herself. I come home.
Called on her at 11am. She was very surprised to see me again – home for dinner – walk with her this afternoon – tea – really straightened everything out nicely this evening in the front room by the fire and made her & myself very happy.
Reported to Ardleigh Green School for temporary teaching. Attached to a Mr Barton for preliminary instruction. Very interesting but surprising at the age of the kids.
This evening saw “The Dark Mirror” at the Odeon very good.
At the school again this morning. The kids are from 7-11 the one’s I am with being 11 years. They are not very intelligent.
Went down to Southend tonight & saw Dottie who said she wanted to get engaged on her birthday next Tuesday which suited me swell, except of course for the ackers involved but for her OK.
Back to Ardleigh Green School again today. Went out with George Ringer tonight for a few beers & games of darts.
Spent today as yesterday and this evening went down to Southend again to see Dottie – wizard time again.
Spent this afternoon at the school marking out a netball pitch in paint on the playground.
All this week my motor cycle has been giving me trouble, I don’t know whether it is ignition or valves. This evening spent at home working etc & phoned Shorty.
Saw Shorty this morning in London & had lunch with him – told him of my impending engagement to Dottie on Tuesday – drew out £20 from RBC & endeavoured to buy a ring but could not see one suitable.
Spent a wizard evening with Dottie as usual.
Went to Romford this morning with Dottie to see the ring I had in mind but couldn’t see it. Had dinner then went to her house for the afternoon & evening. Bang on. She went back at 9.38pm. She also had a slight toothache.
School today again – still with Barton. Having tea tonight when Dottie walked in home with toothache – naturally went round to her house later.
Much the same day routine as yesterday, called to Dottie this evening & we stayed in all evening wizard – although her toothache wasn’t so good – her birthday today.
Dottie went to London today with Edith and we finally got engaged tonight – drank to it at “The Feathers” with Mrs Humphreys.
Same routine as yesterday, Dottie went back to Southend tonight at 9.30pm much to my great dismay.
I had to take P3 myself today on account of one of the permanent teachers being away. Didn’t do too well but managed after a style.
Bags of snow everywhere! This morning shopping up town, Dottie got home nice & early & we went to the Romford Palace to see “Suspense” & “Joe Palooka, Champ” not very exciting – had a wizard time every minute with her.
Saw Don Birchley this afternoon.
Snow everywhere about 4”. Did a bit of work on the tappets of my bike. Went walking this morning with Dottie. Dinner.
Dottie came round to tea after which we returned to her house & she went back on the 9.06pm train.
Teaching class P3 by myself today and all the week. Bags of snow everywhere. Went to the palace by myself tonight to see “A Stolen Life” with Bette Davis & Glen Ford.
Same routine as yesterday – when I got home today Dottie came round thus saving me the job of going to Southend – we went to the pictures to see “Dark Mirror”.
Similar routine as yesterday went to Romford tonight I think.
Paid today at lunchtime £11 for three weeks work I guess. Dottie and I went out again & returned to her house afterwards.
Still bags of snow everywhere. Dottie and I celebrated in the Artichoke tonight.
Cleaning up this morning to go to London this afternoon with Dottie, was buying my ticket when I dropped my wallet not seeing it realised later I could not go. A bloke returned it later, bless him.
Went to the Essex for a few drinks tonight, then to Dottie’s house.
Worked on my bike this morning in the thawing snow. Around to Dottie before & after dinner. Pictures tonight & then back again for a snog & tear session.
Normal school routine. Went to Southend tonight to see Dottie – went to the pictures. Letter from E.C.C.
Again normal school routine – letter from Al Jones of New Zealand. Stayed indoors. Snow everywhere and it’s bloody cold.
Again went to Southend to see Dottie & we went to the Regal to see a variety show.
Went to the Odeon tonight to see “The Killers” still very cold & bags of snow.
Last day of school this week thank god. Stayed in tonight because it is so bloody cold.
Got the screws of my gear box loosened at Maryland’s garage today. Dottie got home this afternoon at 3.30pm she said she went to the Ivy House Southend last night on a session & some type took her home & kissed her!! Any more of that and I shall quit regardless of how I feel about her.
Spent the morning fixing my kick starter spring. Went round to Dottie later, home for dinner & back there for the rest of the day. Spent a bang on evening with Dottie – firelights & trips to Brighton – happy thoughts.
After school today I went to London to see Ted Heath with Don Birchley and George Ringer. Bang on got home awful late.
Normal routine at school today. Went to Southend tonight by train to see Dottie – bloody cold & miserable – went to the Regal to see the show. Piss poor.
Quiet normal day – Dottie came home this evening was to have had a session with Don instead had a quiet one with Dottie.
Spent the morning cleaning my bike, bloody hard going in this damn cold weather. Saw Dottie this afternoon & made her cry again this evening – what a horrible type I am.
It is still very cold and there are bags of snow and ice everywhere with an almost continuous frost.
Went to the school today as usual and still teaching class P3.
This evening I went, rather I didn’t go anywhere but remained indoors catching up on my mail & diary etc.
Weather the same & school routine the same. Went to Southend tonight to see Dottie & we went to the “Ivy House” for a drink.
Still the same routine – went to the pictures tonight but it was bloody cold there.
Went to Southend again tonight to see Dottie – went by train of course – the blackout of street lights is still in force. We went to the Regal again to see “Meet the Navy” not too bad.
Last day of the week at school finds the ground covered completely again with snow. Went round to Railway Square tonight but Dottie didn’t come home so went out with George & got well & truly oiled on rum & bitters.
Arranged with Don Birchley for a “do” tonight after Dottie said she was going to London to see her pen friend “Bobby”. Started off at the Nap at 7pm with Don but Dottie caught up with us at the Choke at 8pm, had a very good evening jugging “some”, collecting & snogging as well.
The sun is shining beautifully today started cleaning my bike nearly finished but will completely next Monday on my holiday.
Went round to Dottie after lunch & she put on a skirt for the first time in weeks – wow – had a wonderful afternoon & evening with her. My tonsils are very sore!
Not needing much persuasion with Dottie I decided not to go to school today owing to sore tonsils. Spent a pleasant day in the sunshine with Dottie some of the time. Saw “Calcutta” at the Odeon tonight.
I didn’t go to school today either but in the afternoon I went round for Dottie and we came back to play records etc. This evening went to pictures.
Today I did go to school and taught P3 as usual. Called on Dottie tonight and we went to the “Feathers” for a drink. During the evening she said she would most probably marry me in September but as I thought then she changed her mind again by the time I saw her next Monday.
School as usual – paid today £16-18- not too bad but not as much as I used to get as a W/O and with more to be paid. I went to the pictures to see “Love Laughs at Andy Hardy” in Romford.
Usual school routine although we left at 3.30pm owing to there being no fuel.
I had a quiet drink in the Choke tonight with George.
Cleaning my bike today. After panicking around last night and this morning & afternoon Don Birchley didn’t come home so George, Maureen & I had a drink in the Choke after which I took Maureen to the P.O. dance.
Still cleaning my bike all the morning – this afternoon went to Weald Park ice skating – bang on. This evening I went to the Odeon to see “The Real Glory” with Gary Cooper & David Niven – pretty good.
Holiday from school today, this morning still cleaning. This afternoon felt very cheesed and low, so I went to Southend to see Dottie, she had only just returned from Birmingham, poor show. Anyways we went to the pictures had supper & I came back on the bike.
Back to school in the morning, still no fuel at the school so we came home at midday. Went to Southend again tonight to see Dottie.
Same situation as yesterday home at midday again – went to Southend again – and we went to the Regal to see Terry Cantor etc. not too bad, cold & snow everywhere.
Normal routine today with fuel having arrived from Brentwood School. Went again to Southend this evening to see Dottie.
Same routine as yesterday. This evening I went to Southend again – we went to the Ivy House to have a quiet drink. I came home as usual by 10.34pm train.
Had a good lay in this morning. Still no news of my pay from the RAF.
Went round to Dottie this afternoon – she was there – had tea & went to the Essex this evening where we had a few drinks.
Had a tremendous snogging session this evening & Sunday morning!! Home at 2.30am in the snow.
Had another good lay in this morning – couldn’t do anything much this morning on my bike – went round to Dottie at 12. This afternoon went round again and stayed all evening.
Didn’t feel too bright today – had a bad cough & cold. After today’s school I stayed in tonight felt too bad, had a bath, bed at 9.30pm.
My RAF back pay came – £16-17-2.
Cough & cold a lot better today – still ice & snow everywhere. School as usual today. Went to Southend to see Dottie this evening. Dottie didn’t feel too well.
Weather beginning to change but no fuel left at the school after today. Went to Southend again tonight, had a nice evening.
Didn’t have to go to school this morning because there was no fuel, this afternoon had a safety film.
Went to Southend again. Had ignition trouble with the bike all this week because of floods at Harold Wood which I went through.
Gain the normal routine, the thaw has really come at last after 6 weeks of almost continual snow. Dottie and I went out for a picture show tonight.
Had a very nice late evening tonight.
Slept awful late today – went round to Dottie at 12. Home for dinner – dressed & washed – returned to her house after the air plunger of carburettor had gone u/s. Came home for tea then returned to her house.
Dottie had bronchitis as she learnt from the “doc”. I went to school as usual today. This evening stayed in after I had had a bath & caught up with correspondence.
Normal routine today. Dottie still home – went to the pictures tonight.
Normal routine today also, nothing special of importance to record. Roll on September and let me go to college so that I can get nearer to earning some real money.
Still the same routine – went to the Artichoke tonight with Dottie.
Last day of the week thank goodness. Shall be glad when I can catch up some sleep tonight after this week of late nights – getting me down a bit. Went to the Artichoke for a quiet drink and some supper tonight.
Had a good sleep in today – called on Dottie this morning at12 – went up town. Had an afternoon at home when I pressed my demob suit. This evening Dottie & I went to the Essex for a quiet drink.
Dottie said today she would marry me in August if I have to go to college in September. Let’s hope I do.
Had another good sleep in today. Went round to Dottie at 12 and again after dinner at 3pm. Had tea and went to the Palace, supper and then home. The fens at Methwold & Feltwell are flooded!
Monday 24th to Thursday 27th
Finishing off school this week. Spent every evening with Dottie either going to the pictures or staying in evenings at her house. Next term at school I shall be a roving bod in school.
Dottie and I went to London today and spent the afternoon and evening at a show and the Overseas Club with Shorty. Had a pleasant day although we were rather unlucky in the train coming back having a carriage full of people. I got home rather late about 2.30am I think.
This morning spent shopping & generally clearing up things I should have done during the week.
It was raining this afternoon as usual! A year ago today Dottie and I first met so this evening we celebrated at the Cherry Tree where I played the piano for two hours. I’m afraid Dottie, who had six cocktails, at the end was pretty woozy and had to go to bed after reaching home after I had carried her most of the way.
Slept as late as I could, had a good breakfast then went round to Dottie, stayed until lunch then went round again to bring her to tea with Cyril & Eileen. We went to the pictures afterwards at the Palace.
Started cleaning the bike this morning with Karpol after cleaning it down with petrol yesterday – what a job!
Brought Dottie round here this afternoon. I had a bath then we went to Romford to see “Margie” and back to her house.
Spent the morning as yesterday cleaning my bike. This afternoon Dottie and I went for a short ride on my bike home here for tea – then on to the Odeon to see “Odd Man Out” – her house for supper. Home to bed about 12.30.
Home today – most of the time spent with Dottie.
Thursday 3rd to Friday 4th
Similar to yesterday.
Left with Dottie for the weekend at Dartford at 4.30pm. Arrived at Aunt Daisy’s around 8pm in the wind & rain. Spent the night at Eric & Trudy’s place – bang on house.
Walk this morning over Dartford Heath with Eric. Bang on lunch. To Aunt Daisy for tea. Did the Railway Hotel with Eric & Trudy in the evening, quite a pleasant dirty joke & beer session.
Went to Sevenoaks Kent today, had lunch of roast goose costing 5/- a time. Home for high tea to Trudy’s place & stayed in the evening. Had quite a snogging session with Dottie after all had gone to bed!!
Left for Brentwood at 10am arriving home at 1pm. Mum had sold 20 records for 36/-. Dottie and I went to Romford pictures then came home to my house.
Slept in until 11.30am started on the bike. Called on Dottie before dinner. She came round in the afternoon!! I took her back on the bike in the evening.
Worked on the bike cleaning & repairing all day. Went to Southend to see “Till the Clouds Roll By” in the evening. Home at 11.30pm.
Worked hard cleaning until dinner time then went for a ride to Chelmsford. Went to Southend again this evening.
After a usual non-achieving morning, I went to Southend to bring home Dottie. Supposed to meet her at 12.30pm but she wasn’t even home. Finally got home at 3pm & had my dinner.
Went to Romford then had supper and finished off at the Tree!
Perfectly normal and usual Sunday although we went to Weald Park this afternoon and took some pictures. Went to the Palace with Dottie to see “Step Lively” with Frank Sinatra. Good film. Dottie went back to Southend.
Last day of the Easter holiday, hair cut and hair wash. Went to Southend early this afternoon & spent the evening with Dottie.
First day back at school and I took over Miss Cunningham’s class as she was away. Went to Southend again and we went walking.
Second day back at school, still with class S. Dad and I went to the Palace to see “Song of the South”.
School – Southend, usual routine nothing special.
Miss Cunningham whose class I had the first three days of this week returned and I assumed the role of general relieving bod under my new timetable. Didn’t do a lot of interest tonight.
Got up a little later today, wasted the morning. Went to Southend to bring home Dottie which I did. Went to the Palace to see “Song of the South” with Dottie. Supper at Holland’s Rest & the Tree!
Being Sunday morning naturally I had the usual sleep in. I hadn’t any cleaning to do on the bike except one of the silencers making the bike run a whole lot better. Dottie and I stayed indoors this evening. She didn’t go back.
After another day at school operating my new timetable of which a large part of the time is spare, I went to Southend on my motor cycle with a strong tail wind and with the bike running very well it didn’t take me very long. Dottie and I went to Garon’s Cinema. Home again at 11.15pm.
Dennis Walter Wright and Doris Ringer (a brunette!) met on Saturday 6th April 1946 at the Town Hall dance in Brentwood.
They got engaged to be married on Wednesday 22nd January 1947, celebrating in the Feathers pub, they finally tied the knot in September 1947 in Brentwood.
Dennis was born on the 8th May 1924 in Billericay, Essex to parents Walter and Florence; he had a younger sister called Maureen. He passed away in Exeter, Devon in 1992 aged just 67.
Doris was born on the 21st January 1928 in St. Pancras, London and lived at 28 Railway Square, Brentwood Essex with her parents. She joined the Land Army on the 4th November 1946 based in Southend aged 18 and she married Dennis aged 19 when he was just 23.
Unfortunately I can find no record of them together in later life nor of any children.