D’Arcy Collection. Paintings and Prints by Bill Perring. Aviation, Landscapes, Marine, and Figurative.




What's New




Mary Kelly

Scrap Book
Contact Me



A Halifax bomber and the ground crew that kept it flying


Halifax bomber and ground crew by Bill Perring


A Limited Edition of 850
Image Size 11" x 22" (280mm X 560mm)
Price £40 inc p+p

Dear Mum and Dad

Ever since I did that driving course I’ve been kept pretty much on the go, driving the C.O. around. It’s quite strange really because they say he hardly ever left the office before I arrived, but now he seems to want to go anywhere and everywhere, yet he never gets out of the car when we get there. Still - I’m sure it's all very important and hush-hush.

You do have to laugh sometimes. Yesterday I took the most gawky looking boy out to one of the dispersals to meet the ‘Ritz’ lads. They’re a lovely bunch of blokes and will be sure to make him feel at home - not like that miserable lot down at ‘Church End’ - always moaning about every little thing. They’re one short at the moment, too, so the new boy doesn’t realise how lucky he is!

Anyway, you know how it is with these sprogs, I expect he’d done all his training on a small section of fuselage in some out-of-the-way place or other, and it was obviously his first sight of a Halifax close up. Well, he took one look and I thought his eyes were going to pop out of his head! Fortunately, Tiny had just brewed up and after we’d all had a bit of a laugh we were able to fortify him with a nice hot cup of char!

Tiny used to be a boxer in civvie street, something of a celebrity, apparently, but you’d never know it to talk to him (although I suppose his nose is a bit of a give-away) and I don’t think I’ve ever known him to so much as raise his voice. Frank, the sergeant, says Tiny looks after them so well he’ll make someone a lovely wife when the war is over!

Frank is one of the oldest men on the station. He’s an E reservist who was in the last lot, and they used to call him’ Pop’ even then!. He’s seen an awful lot of changes and will tell you about them if you’re not careful! He does have a habit of referring to everyone else, including the C.O (behind his back of course) as a ‘bloody bit of a kid’ but underneath it all he’s a perfect gentleman. He won’t allow any swearing in front of us W.A.A.Fs and keeps young Horace in check when he starts getting a little too familiar.

Horace is - was - the youngest and has two great passions: cards - and anything in a skirt! At cards he cheats outrageously and I often wonder why Frank agrees to play with him, but since he never seems to profit from his cheating I’m beginning to wonder whether Frank isn’t just as bad - only a little more subtle! Horace was as pleased as punch when he saw the sprog because it meant he wouldn’t be ‘the kid’ on the crew any more - except to Frank, that is!

It came as no surprise to find Jack washing up, ready for a much sought after late meal ticket. He always manages to find some little job that needs his attention just at the crucial moment and confirms his reputation as the Squadron scrounger. The ’Ritz’ was one of Jack’s acquisitions, and rumour has it that somewhere there is a very irate Group Captain who long ago gave up any hope of ever receiving his garden shed! It certainly lives up to its name. Once, when I got splashed by a passing lorry, the lads let me shelter inside while I dried my clothes over their stove. It was ever so cosy. The boys were so sweet too - not trying to peek in or anything - that afterwards I gave them all a thank-you kiss. I even gave Horace an extra one to soothe the painful looking thick ear he’d somehow acquired.

Have to close now as the C.O wants to go for another drive....

Fondest love

For all enquiries regarding these prints please contact:
Bill Perring
D'Arcy Collection
8 Marlpit Lane

Tel: 01737 555727