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Hand Written Letters


Cartoon Mail : A cartoon stamped letter smiling and happy.


Addressing your mail

Please use the format below:

Service No Rank Name
Operation Name

Please be advised that the Town and Country must not be included in the address. 

There are quite a few ways to keep in contact and you can use every method possible. It is best to go through each way one at a time.

Let’s begin with letter writing.


A “bluey” is similar to an airmail letter but they are free and post-free. They are especially made for sending to and from the Forces. You can get them free from the post office and get them to give you a handful at a time. That way you can write one whenever the fancy takes you be it night or day. Putting pen to paper is a lovely way because not only will you enjoy writing it but it will cause cheery smiles on arrival and an extra something for them to put under the pillow to be read and re-read until they know them off by heart. There is something very personal about a hand written letter.


There will be times when they read them just before they sleep and nod off with letter in hand dreaming dreams of what you have written. You will send many of these.


It is really important to address it correctly with the right BFPO and number. (BFPO = British Forces Post Office) Combined with the number it is similar to our postal code. It means the country they are in and at which camp it has to go.


A bluey takes approximately one week to arrive. It can take longer if it has to be delivered to a FOB (FOB = Forward Operations Base). These are camps away from the main base and mail and parcels can only be taken to them when supplies and equipment are delivered. So don’t get upset if your mail takes longer.


You will no doubt be filling the page with lots of fun, friendly stuff and sloppy talk or mumsy chat. Keep the whole content as light as possible so that they really look forward to each bluey they get. Just the sight of one will bring them a rush of excitement before they even open it up. They are very special to them. There will be lots of queries as to how things are like out there. What the camp is like. What are their shifts like and how gruelling is work in all of that heat or cold. Give them all the latest gossip. That’s a good filler.  However be sure to jam in as much mundane chat as possible. Every mention of your day-to-day happenings. Say about shopping and perhaps something you have bought. Even talk about your daily chores. Try and mention the kids as much as you can so they feel involved.


What was your day at work like and how well your workmates and boss are being supportive…. or not!  If some of your work time is spent crying or frequently dashing off to the loo to sort yourself out a bit and re do the makeup!


Something is bound to break, needing to be mended or replaced. Tut-tut, more expense. There could be other reasons that cause you some petty problems so stick them in too. Sometimes there will be the odd crisis that you have to deal with and that needs to be included.

These things may seem a bit too ordinary but your letter is the biggest link to them and you need to give everything to make them feel closer to you and home and the family with the kind of stuff they can visualise. This is a terrific morale booster and a page of fun. Any hiccups between you should be said but not dragged out with arguing back and forth.  If the boot were on the other foot would you want truths to be held back or hidden?


If you don’t get blueys back then mainly it is due to their inability to get the chance to write but if you think it’s because they can’t be bothered then give them elbow nudges to jostle them to do it. They often need plenty of reminders. After all you need blueys to put under your pillow as well.


You know that the blueys you send will be popped in a uniform pocket so it’s the same for you. You want them to be readily available to keep close to you and snuggle up in the armchair with a nice hot drink and read them over and over. You want them to show off to your friends or read to somebody down the phone. Men can often forget that you need lots of boosting up and lots of loving words too.  This goes especially for Mums and Dads who sometimes can be the forgotten ones. Try and encourage them to write to the family if they get time, everyone will be desperate to hear from them.


If there is any sports news or information on other interests of theirs then definitely tell them that. It won’t be long before you really enjoy sending those blueys.  You won’t even need to think of what to put it will naturally flow from pen to paper.


Send as many as you can as they can pick up their spirits higher than you ever thought possible. Don’t all of a sudden decide to stop because you are truly doing a grand job on the cheering-up front no matter what you think.  It gives them a multitude of things to chew over with their mates therefore it adds new meat to their conversations. You can never write too many.