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Date: December 14th 1941
From
John Balfour Grey
Letter

14/12/41

Dearest Mother & Dad

Well at long last there was some mail for me today. Letters from you both as well as from Phyllis and Xmas cards from Anne McA in New W. and from Frances in Tillsonburg. There was also a lovely box of chocolates from Jack and Frances in Vancouver and a pair of nice knitted mitts from Joan. Also a letter from Hampton. Harry got a lot of letters and a parcel as well so we are doing OK just now. The mail has not been so good lately. I nearly forgot a nice card form Grandad. It makes me a little homesick but maybe next Christmas.

Well the world is at war now isn’t it? I am not going to discuss it here but the opinion is that these are grave times. Is Vancouver blacked out and just what feverish system of defense are being worked out. Someday these countries will wish they had not wanted war.

Just finished reading over your letter again Dad and enjoyed it. You don’t need to worry about me being A.W.O.L. I know what is doing. Speaking of letters to the News I will try to write one after my seven days leave which comes in a day or two. Harry and I are going into London for a day or so and then north for the rest of the time. I will visit Mrs Potts and others if we go far enough north. We are going over to Glasgow I think. More about it next letter.

Have you seen “Target for Tonight” yet? Harry has heard from his folks who saw him in it. Hope you are or were able to see it. Harry and I will go to it on leave. After this leave we are being posted to a squadron somewhere in the north although I don’t know which one now. We are still together as a crew. I told you Bland (English pilot) Holtom (N.Z. observer) and Harry & I (Canada’s war effort). By the way we must be very careful what we put in the letters. One lad is being court martialled because of some stuff he quoted in a letter home.

Just ate a tin of those beans out of that parcel of yours Dad. And we have a little bit of stuff left. Hope you got the wire I set telling you it was the best yet

Mother, I wonder if you could send me one of those Fuller hair brushes or whatever they are that I had. It seems some other fellow had a greater use for it than I so it is now gone elsewhere much to my sorrow.

While I think about it I’ll tell you who is on this station which I am so thankfully leaving soon. It is Harry McKenzies brother John. Harry was in the H.B.C. company in Nelson about 8 years ago and then went to Van I think. I have not had much to do with John though as we are not together. He gives me the willies.

We have just been issued with our new battle dress and it is OK. Much more comfortable than the regular uniform but we cannot wear it outside the station. Also lovely long underwear for flying it is sort of silk wool stuff and cannot be bought nowadays. Also were given heavy woolen high neck sweaters. I was going to ask you for one but don’t need it now. Mrs Curries sweater comes in handy too.

Don’t think I’ll get to see Hampton on my leave. I have just one letter from him since we met in Bicester and I don’t even know where he is now but will find out from Canada House when we go to London.

I hope all my Xmas cards got to Nelson alright. We were not allowed to send any gifts. I sent cards to Boomers, Andrews, Kelmans, Emerys and also to Anne as well as some others I forget just now. I wish it were possible to go around and visit all these people. There is a chance we might be on leave at Christmas but I would just as soon be on the squadron as there is really no place to go through the Sheldons have invited us of course. My watch has been going good although the stem broke off and I had to have that repaired. It still keeps wonderful time though.

Well I must end this now. I will send it air mail although lately it has been all ordinary mail. Give my best New Years wishes to everybody if this by chance gets in time. Hello to Anne and Walter, Bill D. and others around the store also love to Mrs Boomer and family.

Will drop you a line when on leave. Harry sends you his best wishes,

Your loving son
Jack.

P.S. Next A.M.
Parcel from Gyros arrived. No letters.
J.B.

Original Scans

Original Scans

Gray, John Balfour Canadian Air Force WWII Gray, John Balfour Canadian Air Force WWII Gray, John Balfour Canadian Air Force WWII Gray, John Balfour Canadian Air Force WWII Gray, John Balfour Canadian Air Force WWII Gray, John Balfour Canadian Air Force WWII Gray, John Balfour Canadian Air Force WWII Gray, John Balfour Canadian Air Force WWII Gray, John Balfour Canadian Air Force WWII