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Date: November 30th 1941
Mother & Dad - (Wilhelmina & John Gray)
Hampton Gray

No. 1
I shall start numbering my letters from this station.

Sub/Lieut R.H. Gray, R.C.N.V.R.
c/o Canada House,
Trafalgar Sq.,
Nov. 30/41

Dear Mother and Dad.,

I have just today arrived at my station and am just getting settled here. I will tell you what it is like so far. We got here from London at about 4:00 P.M. and got a truck from the station up here. we were immediately given Cabins. I am sharing one with Ernie Gaunt of London, Ont. They are nice big rooms with a bureau and a closet for each of us. There is a wash basin, a writing table, two easy chairs, and a bedside table for each bed. So we are really going to be comfortable, I think. We had tea and dinner, and both meals were quite nice so that I guess we will not starve. There is a very nice mess-room with all kinds of easy chairs, all the latest magazines. And there are billiard and ping-pong tables. We also have a badminton and squash courts and a tennis court. So far then we have no complaints. It really is nice to be officers. The treatment is so much better because we are no longer just one of a large group but are individuals.

We are going to see the Paymaster tomorrow and I will then make my allotment. I would have made it sooner but we were all advised to wait until we got to our stations before we made them. I think may be it is a good idea if I only use one side of this paper.

I don’t really know just what flying we will do here yet. Apparently most of the training is done on Hurricanes and then we go onto whatever kind we are going to fly in operations. But they all say it is a lot of fun so I am looking forward to it.

We are in a place called Yeovilton which is about ten miles from Yeovil itself so there is really no town very close. There are one or two villages two or three miles away so that it is going to be difficult. we will probably spend most of our time on the station. But the surroundings seem pleasant enough so I shall not really mind.

I am finishing this letter the next night, Monday. We have spent the day going to various places, hearing different people give lectures and getting fitted with parachutes, etc. It is always the same when you join a new station, you have a long routine to go through before you can get really started. But apparently we get started on our flying on Wednesday or Thursday so we are all looking forward to that. We are apparently going to be here for at least three months so by the time we are finished it will be almost spring. It is, of course, the worst time of the year to do flying training because you spend most of your time sitting around the crew-room waiting for the rain to stop.

I only saw Jack the once. I spent four days trying to get in touch with him by telephone and he never seemed to be there. They would not say what had happened so I presume that he has moved on to his next station. I wrote him and asked him for his address so I shall soon know where he is. He is a dandy kid and nothing seems to get him down. By the way, I am sorry to have to report (I expect he, too, has told you) that there is nothing at all in the rumour that he might be coming back to Canada. It is just as well not to hope for these things if there is no chance of it.

I sent a letter to you, the other day with a pair of wings mother. If you don’t get them, let me know and I shall send you another pair as I expect you would like to wear them. It is just a sort of brooch affair. I think I asked you for a Ronson, dad with flints, etc. If you did not get that letter will you please send me one. Matches are desperately scarce. And Mother I met a nice girl in London, (nothing serious!!). She is half Danish and half Scottish so that should be a good mixture. But I told her that I would ask you for some size 8 ½ silk stockings. If you wouldn’t mind, because they are so terribly anxious to get them over here.

I expect this is about all the paper I can send, so I had better close with much love to you both.

Your son,

Original Scans

Original Scans

Page 1 of WWII letter of 1941-11-30 from Lt. Robert Hampton Gray, VC, DSC