Letter 8 - Pups and Camels and Ardent Spiritualists.

A note from the Editors:

Oliver is getting stuck into the final stages of his training at Uphaven now, putting hours in on several Sopwith machines.


Franked 25 JUL 17
Mrs Chas. E. Pearson,
Hillcrest,
Lowdham,
Notts

Central Flying School, Uphaven, Wilts.

24.7.17

Dear Mother
I am very sorry my last letter should have had the note of sadness in it it was not meant to convey also that this one is so late for a Sunday Epistle. You I am sure read into my letters far more than is meant to be there. I don’t withdraw any of my statements this is a dismal hole & the mess is awful so awful that we “the Nine” as we call ourselves have permanently bagged the end of a table, from which at meal times there arises howls of laughter & loud jokes to the horror of the rest of the fellows.

A bicycle is impossible as I could hardly use it in the time I have left if I could get one even. Aprs la guerre Maman je explainera tout les photographses till then you must be content with the pencil notes on the back. I am enclosing two more lots (if I don’t forget.)


I have done well in the flying line. I only had to do 45 mins on Sopwith 2 seaters while most chaps had to do at least 2 hours. I went off then on Sopwith Pups : a dear little single seater scout, about the handiest bus made : I did 2 hours 45 mins on on those & then to my huge delight I have been picked to go on the Sopwith Camel I have now done nearly 2 hours on them & shall do some more tonight. The last is one of our best single seater scouts. It has a wonderful performance & will do 130 easily & more when wanted. It has a wonderful climb too & its only drawback is it’s a bit hard to fly as it spins at once if you make a mistake of any sort not that spinning matters except near the ground.

We have rather a nice program here. Flying for everyone starts at 8 oclock & goes on to 12 oclock during which time you do an hours machine guns. You have the afternoon off till five & flying goes on from then till dark.

During the afternoon one is supposed to exercise oneself & go either bathing or walking but there are tennis courts & fives courts & a golf course as well as cricket pitch & a Rugger ground so if one knew how long you were to be here you could get some kit up & have a fine time. We bathe in the river Avon which stream is about the size of the Dover beck only it has a larger volume of water & is perhaps a little wider. It is pretty muddy but has a fair bottom.

Last week end I spent in Salisbury with Mrs Hinkly. She looks a lot better but has gone from bad to worse being now an ardent spiritualist. Its awful isn’t it; letting a matter like that prey on ones mind so much.

Never suggest the Flying Corps for Donald. He would have an awful time & in the end I should very much doubt if he would ever make a pilot. A Private in the HAC is just his book believe me.

With best love to all & I will write to Dad from Oliver

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