From: Private F. Cleary
UK Division, UNIT
April 1970

Dear Mum

When I said this was going to be a cushy number, I didn't realize just how cushy! For the past few days I've been driving the brass around all the plastics factories on the outskirts of London, and now I've just got back from a long shift guarding a horse box at a travelling circus! Don't ask me what's going on, because I ain't got a clue and none of the top brass will tell us what's going on either.

It's been nearly five weeks since I joined UNIT and still I've seen no real action. We seem to spend all our time on drills and training exercises. The latest weird one they've had us doing is trying to guess what symbols are printed on a special kind of playing card before it's shown to us. Something to do with testing our levels of extra-sensory perception. Apparently they want us to be less susceptible to hypnosis and mind control after some big scare recently.

UNIT's got to be the strangest mob I've ever been in. You hardly ever see the brass, head of which is a brigadier called Lethbridge-Stewart. He seems an all right bloke, a bit bluff and keen on proper discipline - one of the old school of soldiers, you might say. Under him is Captain Yates. He's another public school type - right sort of tie and all that. He does a lot of the Brig's dirty work - detailing clean-up squads and the like - but still keeps cheerful.

Best of the bunch is Sergeant Benton. He's a regular guy with an eye for the ladies and never one to miss the main chance. Likes a pint, does the sergeant, and knows when the lads are feeling the strain. Never shy when it's his round, either. The other night he was talking about something called 'Bug Hunts' but when I asked him to explain he just looked daggers at me and said I'd see soon enough. Nobody told me we'd be doing pest destruction when I volunteered for this crazy outfit!

There's one guy here who really gives me the creeps. His name's the Doctor. Doesn't seem to have a last name, and he dresses like he's an out-of-work actor or something. Big white frilly-shirts with lots of ruffles, purple velvet smoking-jackets, and he drives this bright yellow vintage car he calls Bessie! I swear, he's the strangest looking bloke I've ever met, with the sort of thousand yard stare you only see on Leeds United football supporters. This guy's trouble, I know it.

The strangest thing about him is that despite the fact he's got no rank, and no insignia (he certainly never puts on a uniform!), all the top brass jump whenever this guy says a word. The sergeant says the Doctor is UNIT's scientific adviser and he has got them out of some real scrapes in the past. They seem to take his opinions very seriously - apparently he's the reason why I spent the day helping to guard this horse box. Blue it was, and made this weird humming noise. I've got to be honest, Mum, I'm not quite sure what I've let myself in for here. Still, you always know that your Francis will come out on top - it's the luck of the Clearys!

I'm missing you all and hope to be getting my first 48-hour pass soon. When I do, you can guarantee I'll be on the first train back to Liverpool to see you!

All my love

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