Letter to Mr Victor Wakeling

Object number

LDVAL 2006.21.2


January 23rd, 1991


Letter dated 31 May 1989 to Mr Victor Wakeling from Lloyd Forbes, News Editor of WRVS News. Mr Forbes writes to ask Mr Wakeling if he will be willing to do an interview for the magazine regarding his works for Northern Ireland and Brunei. .For 12 years Mr Wakeling spent all his free time collecting books, games and puzzles to be sent to British troops in Brunei and Northern Ireland. He began in 1976 after his brother-in-law returned from a tour of duty with the Air Force and complained how short of books, playing cards, games etc, troops were while serving abroad.

After making a number of phone calls to the WRVS Head Office in London and to the War Office, it was finally arranged that a van from the WRVS Wapping Depot would visit Mr Wakeling to collect any items that he would like to send to Northern Ireland. Mr Wakeling was later asked if he would like to send items to another forces station, and he chose Brunei.

Between 1977 and 1989 Mr Wakeling collected a total of approx. 34,500 books, 956 packs of playing cards, 978 jigsaw puzzles and 52 games.

After the Wapping depot closed in 1989, Mr Wakeling began collecting books for Barking and Dagenham Home Library Service, and has donated approx. 12000 books.

Mr Wakeling has received two awards for his service to British troops abroad.

Physical description

Typescript letter on a single sheet of cream A4 paper. The paper is headed with the Woman's Royal Voluntary Service logo. Signed in blue pen, with a handwritten Post Script at the bottom.




The Training Team Brunei (TTB) comprises a British Army Infantry Battalion and a Bell 212 Helicopter Flight of the Army Air Corps. The Battalion is supported by the small British Garrison, which provides all logistical and administrative support. The TTB is the Army's jungle warfare school. It runs a number of courses, ranging from jungle warfare instructor courses to long range patrolling and tracking.




Whole length: 296.5mm
width: 209mm

Collection type



Inscription Typed On front: Women’s Royal Voluntary Service WRVS NEWS 110 Walter Road SWANSEA SA1 5QQ (0792) 643946 LLOYD FORBES News Editor Mr. Wakeling, 25 Bradfield Drive, BARKING, Essex. 31 May 1989 Dear Mr. Wakeling, I first heard about your tremendous achievements collecting thousands of books and puzzles over the years to send to the troops in Northern Ireland from Alison Roden and I have now had a letter from Major Helen McMahon of the WRAC, BOAR together with a black and white film which I am having developed. We would like to tell your story in the Summer issue of WRVS News and I would be glad if you could let me have some more background. I would be interested to hear what first motivated you to undertake this mammoth task and what experience or connections you have with the Forces; how & where you collected the books and puzzles; did you select books or send whatever came your way; was there any ‘feedback’ from the troops about what they preferred; indeed, any ‘angles’ or anecdotes that come to mind. (I will recall when I was serving in a Destroyer in the heat of the Far East during the war receiving a Red Cross parcel containing warm clothing, including a balaclava Helmet!). Please drop me a line and tell me what you can in you own words, and I will look forward to hearing from you. Yours sincerely, Lloyd Forbes PS. What’s you Christian name?

Alternative reference

Entry Number 1656/2 (2006-06-27)

Looking for records

Objects that are not on display in the museum can be viewed by appointment at the discretion of the Museum Curator. To find out more about accessing the collection please email: valencehousemuseum@lbbd.gov.uk or telephone: 020 8227 2034

Write something

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


DateJanuary 23rd, 1991
InstitutionValence House Museum
Collection typeEphemera