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Date: December 29th 1941
From
John Balfour Grey
Letter

Sgts Mess
[censored] Sqdn North Luffenham,
Rutland
29/12/41

Dearest Mother & Dad

Hope you have had a Merry Christmas and I hope you have a Happy New Year. By now you will have, I hope, heard my broadcast from the Beaver Club in London. Harry and I had a nice leave which took in Christmas in Edinburgh. I was sorry to be unable to visit any of the people up in Scotland as service men were forbidden to travel at Christmas and for the few days either side unless they were posted so we just had to sit in Edinburgh but we had a good time.

We took a room in the very nice George Hotel on George St just a block up from Prince’s Street near the Sir Walter Scott Monument or Memorial or whatever that high pointed thing is. I know you will explain to Mother all that Dad as you will no doubt find it all familiar. We were only four days in Edinburgh and three in London with quite a bit of time taken in the long trips on the Royal Scot. I was sorry couldn’t get to see Mrs Potts at Hawick but will do someday if the war lasts long enough which I am afraid it will.

I received your lovely Christmas parcel and it was swell. Gee it was so nice having everything all wrapped up like Christmas – it sure is tough being so far away from home but it must be I guess. The pajamas were ideal and certainly classy. You must have taken a lot of thought with it – the scarf too was something great and looks good – everyone comments on it – a touch of color to the uniform. I wore the shirt for the first time to the Christmas dinner and as I have a new uniform looked pretty good. The dinner was good but not as good as the one I would have liked to be at (Guess where?). We had roast turkey, dressing, vegetables, mince pie etc. Harry and I invited a nice young girl to have dinner with us. She is in the A.T.S. and lives in Dundee but was unable to get home. It sure didn’t seem like Christmas but it was O.K.

There must be a lot of parcels on the way now although this moving around disrupts the mail service quite a little bit. I received the one from you and from the Gyros. Also chocolates from Jack & Frances (I think I told you) gloves from Joan (hand knitted and a vast difference from the sox she once knitted for me. Also a parcel from Bob & Mildred in Rossland. To date that is all I have received but I have heard of many others which are on the way here now. I feel a little sorry that I was unable to send anything home but my love. The Gov’t wont permit it.

As you should know already I have been sent away to a new station. The worst news I’ve had yet was when Harry and I were sent to different squadrons. He is my best friend and really a swell guy. We have been kicking around together ever since Toronto and have been partners as it were after we landed over here. I didn’t realize how much I’d miss the fellow until he left. The rest of the crew is still with me however. This station is a vast improvement over Heyford[?]. The food is 100% better. Now I look forward to the meals which is more than I’ve done for a really long time. The station is not far from Leicester and is only 2 ½ hrs from London if you manage to catch a fast train which is rather difficult. Harry is away north of here in Lincolnshire. I’ll give you his address to use as an alternative address just in case.

Sgt. H. F. Humphries R54094
[censored] Sqdn Coningsby, Lincs.

I hope I’ll be able to get to see him again soon. If we can arrange a weekend we’ll meet in Nottingham. He was unable to get on the broadcast so I put in a little message for him. How did my voice sound. We were supposed to say 30 words but I didn’t know what to say and got up without any script and just talked natural although I’m afraid I outdid the 30 words. Sure hope you heard it.

While I think of it would you mind enclosing “Readers Digest” and “Life” etc sometimes in parcels. There is not much to read around and they remind me of home.

I must go now but will settle down to writing regularly from now on. Love to all.

Your loving son
John

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