Letter written by Cyril Coker to his mother’s sister Lizzie (nee Aldridge) and her husband Charles Dobbs.

77384 A.C.I. COKER C.C. Flight 581 Electricians Course No 3. S.T.T. R.A.A.F
ULTIMO SYDNEY Tuesday 24/11/42

Dear Aunty & Uncle,
I promised mother, quite some time back, that I would drop you both a line or two & let you know, how I am doing, as I am sure you will be pleased to hear from me, and also, to know, that I have visited your namesakes, namely Wilfred and his wife, and they were very nice, & made me stay a weekend there, and made me feel quite at home. I paid that visit some weeks ago, and went out again for a few hours last Wednesday night. Wilfred is always telling me that he likes up there and is thinking of buying a car as soon as things get better and motoring overland to Boolburra to you see you all again. They miss their boy, Gordon, very much, but I try & cheer them up when I see him & tell them that Port Moresby isn’t near the danger zone it was. I promised them that I would write to you & tell you I have been to see them and that they were very nice to me. I am very sorry I never paid them a visit before but that is me all over, why I was in Townsville over four months before I paid Harold Coker a visit but I guess it’s better late than ever – eh. Well, I guess, you want to know how I like being in the air force, and what I am doing. To tell the truth, I don’t mind being an airman although at times, whe we strike a rotten N.C.O, or officer, and he starts picking at us, one naturally wishes he never joined up, but on the other hand we get a good spin, plenty of clothes & good accommodation, meals are not bad, but plenty of room for improvement.
I am doing an electrician’s course and so far I am doing well. I got 100% pass in a small exam yesterday and expect to get a good pass from a four-hour exam we sat for today (I hope so anyway). I got good passes in my basic, in the 90% and topped both my flights I was in, so if I keep this up I’ll be an Air Marshall by the beginning of the next century. Maybe I have been blowing my trumpet a bit, but I’m not ashamed to admit I am doing well, as I worked for it. We are annexed in a new hotel, at Bondi Sydney, and it is much nicer and healthier that the large dormitories at Ultimo. Ultimo is where we go every day for our study and believe me it is a dirty slum of a place – it is called the slum of Sydney. We are glad to get back here at night to get some good fresh sea air. I am getting to know Sydney real well now and I guess after I have been here a further three months, I’ll be able to find my way anywhere. I have been her nearly four months now. Lil (Cyril’s wife) is trying to get down and if all goes well, she should arrive this Saturday if I had known I was to be here this long, she would have come down long ago but I guess it is no use crying over spilt milk.
Mother often mentions you & I suppose she tells you most of the news I tell her but I am sure you won’t mind my writing even though I may be telling you stale news. I hope you have got all the rain you need, cripes, it’s fine one day here and wet the next, never know when it is likely to rain here – in fact it is raining now.
We, that is 5,000 members of the R.A.A.F & W.A.A.F are to march in a big “Austerity Parade” through the city tomorrow, Wednesday, and I am one of the “men in blue”, so perhaps if I am on the outside, you may see a photo of me in the paper.
It is nine o’clock and as we have to be up & dressed by 5.15am, I will conclude this letter on the next page. We have a fairly long day as it is 7pm at night before we have any time to ourselves and then we have to spend a great part of that at study, as we get an awful lot to remember. I wouldn’t be too bad if it was driving nails or something in the building line, but this electricity is new to me, but I like it very much so that is the main thing I guess.
Here I am, on page five, and I never asked you how you are doing, I do hope you are both well and that it won’t be too long before I can see you both again, it certainly is a long time now since I have seen you isn’t it – but I won’t forget you, you can rest assured of that. Give my king regards to Alex & Bell & Kiddies, also Nellie & Ted & I hope all are well. I’ll be very pleased to hear from you at anytime, and I’ll try & write again but I can’t promise when, as we don’t get much spare time. Well, I will close now, again trusting you are both in good health & good cheer. Wishing you a merry Christmas & a very Happy New Year.
Your loving nephew