Aldwinckle, Eric, Letter, 15 July 1944

Letter to Harry Somers


Case Study: 
Creative Dialogue Across the Ocean: Eric Aldwinckle’s Letters to Harry Somers
Aldwinckle, Eric
15 July 1944
Place: France
McMaster University Libraries
Copyright, public domain: McMaster University owns the rights to the archival copy of the digital image in TIFF format. Reproduced with the kind permission of Margaret Bridgman.


One seems surrounded. The pyrotechnic display. Tracers like jewels playing, cascading in the sky in shades of vermillion and yellow. Meaningless without sound. (Now reduced to drawing ink and drawing pen)
As I was writing this the camp was disturbed by a lot of aircraft zooming about and we were watching one of ours at the end of it all circling several times to come in for a landing when to everyone's surprise he 'shot up' the airfield. He didn't get any higher. He was soon shot down by gunfire. The plane had our special D Day markings on too. Cunning, eh? These Germans. Yet I don't feel nearly so uncomfortable (so far) as I did a few weeks ago in London enroute for here, when every plate glass window, every pile of masonry seemed waiting to wrap itself around you with a little persuasion from these devilish devices the Pilotless bomb, which perhaps you've read about recently. I have seen them drop a few blocks away and there is something so cunning and cruel about them. When you don't see them at night or in cloudy weather it's worse for you hear the ever increasing hum and wonder if it will cease over your head. There is a deathly silence followed by a 'crump' and the heart reaches out to someone in pain. The suspense of these things was more like an intoxicant all day than fear. The heart seemed two inches higher in the breast. It pulsed up and down instead of in and out. Interestingly, the only time I felt an unreasonable sense of danger was on every occasion I had to go to my studio to pick up or pack some more material for this trip, during the ten days I was there. I see in the other day's paper, that a few days after I'd left one went through the roof of this building -- (my room was on top) so I guess I smelt it coming.