Rover Bulletin No. 30

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NUMBER THIRTY     25th February 1944.

Dear Lads,

In sharp contrast to last month’s electrifying news regarding Tommy Thomson you will be sorry to hear that he is now reported missing. Hardly had last month’s copies been sent when we heard that his ‘plane had not returned from a raid on Magdeburg on the 21st January, a particularly heavy one you will remember. You’re all so much in it yourselves that you will realise that there is little we can do other than hope and pray that he may be alive and perhaps a prisoner. We agree with Jim’s hope that the fortune which has followed the Crew will not forsake us now. Messages of congratulations and sympathy are coming in here and you can understand the mixed feelings being created. Mr Leask visited Tommy’s parents and conveyed our sympathy to them.

Other news is of two possible home comings; Rowan (Finlay) is expected about the end of March and Eck (Wilson’s) people have a strong belief, although no definite word, that he, and his wife are coming home. Safe journeys – both of you

Hearty good wishes to Dick (Spaven) – our one and only Richard – who has been and gone and done it. Dick has announced his engagement to (as the “News” says) Sheila, youngest daughter of Mr & Mrs McCormack, 23 Carlisle Terrace, Manningham, Bradford. On second thoughts, we wonder if it’s safe giving you lads her address as we know there will be a “braw lass” there. To Sheila we say “We welcome you to our happy throng. It’s wonderful the news we get from the ladies.” Here’s to your future happiness. In sending his congrats.. to Tommy and Murray, Dick suggests that we “instigate a Trinity Star to be presented to those who keep the Cottage going and keep all the lads in touch with one another through the Bulletin.”

No further word about Jimmy Reilly. Duggie (Scott) has heard nothing yet after his medical except that he has passed A.1. Captain Band we believe is now back home and was going about here shortly after his accident. Good luck to you Captain and especially to your “Mate”.

Further contributions towards the Bulletin have been received from Mr Wright and Mr Leask the latter in the form of a very good supply of precious paper for making your copies with. Thank you.

Jack (Piper) is “still plugging away literally and metaphorically”, He’s just seen J. B. Priestley’s play “Dangerous Corner” and says “It has a moral for all you married ‘yins’, – never tell the wife the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth it only leads to trouble, Talking about married life, any more additions to the League tables?” No, Jack, none whatsoever.

Eck Wilson speaks of his dropping in some night and wonders if we still get “pudden suppers” from Granton Road and asks if we are short of crockery and if so reminds us of the left-overs from ‘Breaking up the Happy Home’ which he parked under the Hut, Memory for small things, Like the elephant he never forgets. Eck, never mind the small things, we’ll be delighted to see you no small thing!! 

Jim says about George Simpson “I see he’s away to see some of the film stars. Don’t bring back the Yankee accent George, stick to the good old Cupar twang”. Jim has received a letter from Murray saying he has met in with several Scotch lads and had a good time, Tom Bogie is included in the bunch of course and we learn that Murray now meets Mr Ninian Wright (brother of minister of St. Serf’s) who is Padre out there now after his two amazing escapes from German captivity. Murray has also spoken to The Radio Padre Selby Wright. Willie Bowie was a great friend of his and the mention of St. Serf’s brought out a lot of things in common, Selby Wright was a keen Scouter so who knows they may start another branch of the ‘Fourth” near the pyramids. 

Chortie Turnbull visited the Cottage at Aberdour on his last leave, He found everything in order except a bolt for one window, “Tell Jack if he can’t get one I will have the Tiffy make one here and send it on to him.” Now there’s service for you. You say your key wouldn’t fit the Cottage door Chortie. No we haven’t been and gorn and altered it. Here’s the tip. – When you insert your key, gently pull back on the key and then turn. At present he is “on a site by himself and feeling lonely”and says  “I must hie me on to the horizon and see if there are any stray Land Girls a caribou or a moose or two, Failing that there is nothing but the river.”

Joey Stewart now in the Midlands in jolly good billets has been classified as a Navigator. He says “I’m a little disappointed of course, If I am not able to fly with two wings I’ll see what I can do with one”. That’s the stuff Joey. You must be pretty hot all the same. He sends hearty congrats to Dick.

Peter (Williamson) says about Tommy (among other things) I never thought my old Patrol Leader would be winning medals. He says he is getting a clasp to his medal for service, What’s this Peter we never heard? Two portions of your last letter are cut away by censor.

David (Gosman) is now doing initial training for the Intelligence Corp. Spit and polish with the last word in experts for instructors, He’s just about dead already but if he survives eight weeks he’ll get one week all to himself for a holiday. “My main purpose is to come off the course with two arms and two legs. The I.C. is definitely the elite of the British Army but you’ve to prove yourself before you get in”. Great guns David,

Ian (Moffat) now in the Army writes his first letter giving all the normal first experiences, He’s not far from here

STOP PRESS: Most wonderful and exhilarating news of all. T FOR TOMMY IS SAFE and is now a P.O.W. His people have received a P.C. in his own handwriting, dated 26th Jan, saying that he is safe and sound and in excellent health, He adds “Tell the Rovers” so we’re privileged and are we delighted – well. Immediately we get his address we will make up his own special Bulletin as we do for Jimmy


© 104th Edinburgh North East Scout Group