Writing home for Christmas…
Published on: 20 November 2019
Date: 30 November – 5 January 2020 / Time: 10.00am to 3.00pm / Cost: £3 per person
Join us at the Royal Air Force Museum this festive season and take part in the Letters Home trail, inspired by letters sent during the war from personnel serving overseas, to their loved ones back at home. Families will be given a letter created using real extracts, but to read the letter in full, youngsters will need to search the hangars to find all the missing words. With nine words to find across huge hangars packed full of aircraft, it’s no easy task and will require lots of eagle eyed youngsters!
To assist with the search, which takes place from 30 November 2019 – 5 January 2020, the Museum has produced a Letters Home trail sheet so you can fill in the gaps as you make your way around the hangars in search for the missing words. For everyone who successfully manages to find all the missing words, get your letter stamped with the RAF badge and then receive your chocolate reward.
RAF Museum Public Events Manager (London), Ella Hewitt said:
“The Letters Home trail uses real letters from the RAF Museum’s archive, sent during the First and Second World War from serving personnel in the Armed Forces to their family, friends and loved ones over the Christmas period. They talk of their Christmas experience whilst deployed overseas, some are sad other are humorous, but all are sent with great fondness. By combining extracts from several letters, the Museum has created its own ‘letter home’ and now requires the help of families to complete it.”
Letter and drawing by AC3 John Roscoe*.
Copyright: Mr Arthur Roscoe
RAF Museum Public Events Manager (Cosford), Abi Betteridge said:
“Families will also have a rare opportunity to wish those serving abroad this festive season a very happy Christmas by writing a ‘Bluey’ to serving RAF personnel in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Falklands or Cyprus (RAF Aktrotiri) for them to open in the New Year. Our specially designed Bluey is inspired by the Armed Force’s Aerogrammes, known as Bluey’s, which are a way of sending letters and messages for free to Force’s personnel on operational duty. Children can choose which base they would like to send their letter to by adding one of our special stamps and posting it in the Museum’s post box. In the new year all the letters will be posted by the Museum to the four RAF bases across the globe for the personnel to read.”
Families can purchase their Letters Home trail on arrival for just £3 per person and they have until the Museum closes to complete the trail and collect their chocolate reward. The trail is suitable for children of all ages, but younger children may require some assistance. Writing a Bluey is a free activity for all Museum visitors wishing to take part. Before you head home, why not pose for a photo with one of the giant Christmas pudding and Christmas Tree selfie boards as a fun memento of the day.
Each participant will also get a 10% discount in the Museum shop on the day of their visit by showing their trail sheet when making a purchase from the Museum Shop.
The Museum is open daily from 10.00am and entry is free of charge (excluding 24-26 December and 1 January).
*AC3 John Roscoe:
Roscoe was conscripted into the RFC on 4th February 1918 at the age of 20 years and 8 months from his civil occupation as an apprentice fitter.
He was allocated to the Egyptian Expeditionary Force on 5th July and was at 32 Training Wing by 31st. He was posted to 20 Training Depot Station on 21st August and went to 142 Squadron on 14th March 1919. He returned to UK with Dysentery and was in Bethnal Green Military Hospital by 4th May.
Papers were donated to the RAF Museum in the 1970s.