Monday 19th August, 1940
|Dear Mother and Father,
I was very sorry not to be able to spend Sunday evening at home, but we made up for it in the mess. The station dance-band came in - a swing sextet consisting of musicians from Henry Hall’s, Harry Roy's and Ambrose’s dance orchestras. By Jove, they were pretty wizard. Two of them played Tiger Rag as a piano duet with the keyboard completely covered with a woollen scarf.
After the interval I was waiting to hear of the next number announced, but instead of that, he announced that it was Pilot Officer Hall's 21st birthday to the tune of “21 Today”. This shocked me severely, particularly when everybody shouted “Speech, Speech”. I was helped to my feet, and said a few modest words to the assembled throng, who seemed tremendously amused. The CO sent over a bottle of champagne, and I was toasted very boisterously, together with “For he's a Jolly Good Fellow”. Rather good show, I thought. I certainly won't forget it for the rest of my days.
There is a much more pleasant atmosphere about this place than there was at Heyford. It is brand new, and the mess is a splendid place - pillared entrance, concealed lighting, suntrap windows and all that - very tasty food, for which we pay 3/6 a day extra - oh, marvellous place.
Doncaster is only seven miles away, and within easy pedalling distance. We are here for a fortnight, and will then join a squadron for operations. After a few trips as second pilot, we will, I believe, come back here for a short while for some further night flying experience, and then go back to the squadron as first pilot - that will be the day.
If possible, I shall get some leave before joining the squadron - I think that is the most likely time to get seven days or so.
Oh by the way, did you find a couple of letters in my bedroom containing cheques and postal order? If so, would you please forward them when you next write, if you have not already done so.
Cheerio for now, I must away to supper. All the best.
Love from Geoffrey. (Big Man!)