grasped your offer and enjoyed it, for at the time all other accounts would have been sounding of misery. The rain beat on my tent and a high wind together shrouded me in sound pierced only by that of a cheap record of blatant music coming from the mess tent opposite. My rubber boots stood on guard at the tent flaps swathed in chocolate mud. I had had another futile day, one of too many, which is another story too dull to tell. My bed was being dripped upon, and all things were damp. The glue of my easel died. Paper became rag. Others were less fortunate. Airmen six in a tent, had theirs blown away. The RAF regiment mess took off. Poles cracked. Floods created squads of drain diggers from what had before been resting or sleeping figures. This I learned next day, which was still bad. Planes skidded and crashed. Trucks furrowed the plains into an amazing pattern of gluey ruts. Twenty pilots were two or three weeks living in the clothes they wore because an aircraft which was to follow up with their kit became missing, and to live in dirty clothes becomes very depressing. No mail no chocolate or cigarette rations but there were other things. Here we were in the fruit and vegetable belt and it seemed astonishing to find plates of peaches, pears, plums, apples grapes and walnuts on the dining tables.
Aldwinckle, Eric, Letter, 2 November 1944
Creative Dialogue Across the Ocean: Eric Aldwinckle’s Letters to Harry Somers
2 November 1944
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.