Officers' Mess,                



Dear Dad,

          Who wouldn't be an officer in the R A F, when you can sit in bed and write letters home five the light of a pink-shaded reading lamp?   We are having a marvellous time - I expect you have already heard about some of the things here.
          I have a room to myself which is as large as the bedrooms at home, and very well furnished in solid oak.   The main features are – book-case, chest of drawers, dressing-table, writing desk - one easy chair, two uneasy (common or garden) chairs, wardrobe, wash-stand, and, of course, a very good bed and a large fireplace.   So much for the room. 

          The lounge or ante-room is an enormous place, with an equally enormous fireplace at each end - the mantle-pieces are about seven feet high, and the actual grate must be about 4 feet across.   Comfortable chairs and sofas abound, and you ring a bell if you require anything.   This summons a small youth in page’s uniform, who fetches your order on a silver salver.   When meal times arrive, a waiter comes in to say “Lunch is served, gentlemen” or “Will you take tea now, gentlemen?”

          The dining hall is a huge pillared room with polished floor, and paintings round the wall.   The waiters always serve over the correct shoulder, and call us “Sir”.   They even pull out your chair, and push it back underneath you when you sit down.   All very correct.   
          The beauty of the food is the vast selection of courses.   They seem to do things in fours.   There is a choice of four entrées, two hot, two cold, and at least four different sweets, although we only get two soups, thick or clear.   There are four cheeses to choose from, Cheddar, Cheshire, Stilton and Gorgonzola, four types of biscuits, digestive, plain cheese, Ry-vita, and sweet biscuits for use with coffee.   Cream is always on the table.

          This afternoon I played soccer, since we couldn't raise enough men for a game of rugger.   It was jolly good fun, though most unscientific.   The Group Captain played for us in goal, and did quite well despite his 55 years.   He is a jolly good sport, and will join in anything with us.   He is an expert squash racketeer, having been an R.A.F. champion at one time.   He certainly sees that we are kept up to scratch in the sporting line, and even makes us get up at 7.30 for P.T.

          Only seventeen out of 37 were chosen to come over here, although about 30 said they were willing to pay the extra, so we should be in a good position when it comes to dishing out commissions at the end of our training.

          There has been no flying as yet as the ground is in a bad state, but we hope in about another week's time to get down to it in earnest.   We have some mid-term exams starting tomorrow, so I must not stay awake too late tonight.   I have ordered a copy of the photograph for you.

          Love to mother and family,

               Your affectionate son,   Geoff.