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Date: October 9th 1941
From
John Balfour Gray
Letter

63 Springwell Rd.
Heston
Thurs.  9/10/41

Dear Mother & Dad

This will just be a short note to you telling you everything is still fine but I wish I was home.

Harry and I left camp last night and came down here for the night. We will be going back tonight though or tomorrow morning. This is the first time off we have had since we went to Heyford and this day or two is unauthorized but the weather looked so bad for flying that we decided to take a chance.

Let me tell you a little story about my very trusty watch. At last it has started to pay dividends. Up in the billiard room of the mess the other night a couple of fellows were playing as they had the table booked until five o’clock. At five minutes to the hour a flight sgt. came in and just swept the balls off in the middle of the game and said that the time was up as he was booked for the next session. Of course one  of the young lads asked what the time was and the flight said five o’clock. I was asked and I truthfully said it was three minutes to the hour. Of course a great argument developed and finally the flight offered to bet on the correct time. Well as you know my faith in this watch is great so I said I had ten shillings which said mine was right. By the way my first offer was five shillings but he made a couple of remarks so I offered to cover any money he could show. The bet was finally ten and everybody was happy. The little party then adjourned to the radio to await the B.B.C. timing signal. The watches lay side by side and when the signal came I looked with dismay at my Rolex. It was ten seconds out – it was terrible because I had set it dead on only ten days before. Needless to say however his watch was about a minute out. I might say that due to his conduct throughout this whole little affair I thoroughly humiliated him and also accepted his 10s. with thanks. I hope you will realize that it was not my desire to bet but I was driven to uphold the honor of my watch.

A pleasant surprise when we woke up this morning. Hilda brought both Harry & I letters from home. Mine was mailed Sept 27 so that is good. About the parcels – I have so far received six and I expect there will be one this week mailed Sept 12 or 13. I didn’t get the one from Phyllis but still hope it is coming. The mail is good although I think there was some lost last month. The newspapers come now and again too. Harry is H.F.C. Humphries R54094 so that will do you alright.

Thank Anne for the little message on the papers nearly every time. It is nice and makes me feel better. Sure hope Hamp has a nice time – I’ll be glad to see him again. Guess Dad had a good holiday – tell me about it, Pop. You tell me Harold Hunt is married – do you mean Howard or Gilbert. Must go now my dears – love to everybody around – we are still flying plenty all at night. I love you both.

Jack

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