Search The Archive

Search form

Collection Search
Date: November 26th 1941
Mother & Dad - (Wilhelmina & John Gray)
Hampton Gray

Overseas League
Nov. 26/41

Dear Mother and Dad,

It has been now sometime since I wrote to you but I have been on leave and I have been rushing around so much and have been settled down so little that I just have not got around to writing any letters at all.

I am at this moment trying to get through on the phone to Jack. I was down to see him one day and spent a long time with him. I delivered the fruit Mother. Unfortunately the pears were spoiled and I had to throw them out but everything else was in good-shape and I know Jack appreciated them a lot. Jack looks well but is a bit discontented at the moment. He is still at this operational training unit, two months overtime, and he is pretty tired of it. He wants to get out of there. This place Upper Heyford is just a little village and there is no place to go. He is fairly near to Oxford but he does not like it there. So he will be glad to move someplace. He expects to move anytime now. But outside of that he is just the same and as happy as he usually is. As far as I can make out he has no particular girl over here as yet so you still have no cause for worry Mother.

My own plans are just definite now. I have been hanging around London most of the time waiting for instructions and just got a wire the other day. I am to report to Yeovilton, just twenty or thirty miles north of Bournemouth on Sunday, Nov. 30. (You will be able to find it on the map easily enough. There we will spend something like eight weeks on an Operational Training course in Fighter aircraft. Then we will go north to Arbroath for a course in night flying and deck landing. That is all I really know about the course yet. When I get there I shall be able to tell you more about it.

By the way, they are still taking our mail at Canada House so that is really the best address to use. I found out that they are not allowed to do this for the Air Force as they have their own base post-office and the authorities did not see fit to take our extra staff for the job.

There are only four of us Canadians going to fighter school. In fact there are only eight altogether out of our Kingston Course so, of course, I consider myself very lucky. All the rest are going to T.S.R. course at [Kracel?]. The four Canadians going to Yeovilton are Stewart, from Montreal; Sutton, Saskatoon, Gaunt of Toronto and myself. We four are also missing the course at Royal Naval College, Greenwich (a knife and fork course). The other four Canadians have to report there before they go to their O.T.U.

The other day I went up to [Ruton?] to see how they were getting along there. But it is all changed around there. Most of the people I knew are gone. But it was interesting anyway just to see how everybody was and to take a look at the place again. A lot seems to have happened since we were there.

I have run into quite a bunch of fellows in London who came over with us in the first place. They all have their Commissions and most of them are in small ships of some kind or another. The group, as a whole, I believe, has done extremely well and is pretty highly thought of. They have all turned out to be very good officers and I think now that although there were a lot of beefs at one time the scheme maybe has proved worthwhile.

I just got a message on the telephone that there is a two hour delay on my telephone call but I must get it through. There is no point in going all the way out there unless I get through to Jack first as it is an out of the way place and it is much better to make arrangements to meet before I go out. So I shall just wait around and try and get him.

London is much better this winter than it was last. All the shows are open and it really is quite an entertaining spot at the moment. The only trouble is that it is quite expensive. You have to spend at least eight shillings for a decent meal and a picture show costs at least four or five shillings. But it really is worth it. There is no other place which is so lively.

I am going to close and mail this. I want to enclose a pair of wings which should go if I dont put any more paper in. They are a rather cheap pair Mother but Tibbitts and I each got a pair and I thought you might like them.

Love to you both and lots of it,

Original Scans

Original Scans

Page 1 of WWII letter of 1941-11-26 from Lt. Robert Hampton Gray, VC, DSC