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Date: January 27th 1942
Mother & Dad - (Wilhelmina & John Gray)
Hampton Gray


S/Lt. R.H. Gray
Canada House,
London, Eng.
Jan. ‘27. [annotation added, origin unknown: “/42”]

Dear Mother and Dad,

This will be just a short note because tonight I am lying in bed trying to sweat a mild dose of influenza out of me so I don’t feel like doing much. I got an Airgraph today dated January 9. which is not too bad. I was certainly glad to get it and know that at last you had heard from me. I am so glad because the period when you don’t hear is so long when I come overseas that I should think you must get just worried to death. The last letter I got from you yesterday I think dated Dec. 22 and you hadn't heard from me then. It seems to me the mail is pretty bad. I never got any letter from you mentioning that you had got the first cable I sent so it must be missing. Jack told me about it or I would have thought you had not got it.

I got a letter from Pauline today too but there seems to be a letter missing from her because she says that she is still in bed and I did not even know she was sick. Most of the parcels seem to have arrived and I have duly thanked everybody.

We only have three more weeks to go here, thank goodness. It is getting a bit dull. It has also been either very wet or very cold for the last month so we are all going away for a week to do an air-firing course which should be interesting. Anything to break the monotony.

I guess the Japs are a bit of a nuisance. We cannot trust them at all because they never seem to make themselves into decent citizens of a different country like most of the European peoples do. But I guess the new Coalition govt. in B.C. will fix them. Incidentally I saw a fair amount of two of Maitland’s sons in London on my last leave. Jack Diamond is back and gone to Torpedo Plane school in Scotland. He got his commission alright so maybe he jacked his ideas up a bit when we left.

Did you ever get the pictures of our course that I sent you. I am enclosing a picture of myself taken on a fence near here on Christmas day. It is rather good and you might like to have it.

John Stewart has given me some pills his wife sent me which are supposed to be pretty wonderful. I don’t trust pills much but I am beginning to sweat a bit so maybe I shall be O.K. in the morning. I got into my long underwear the other day and am really glad I brought it with me.

The other day I went up on what they call an oxygen climb. In an aircraft this time not a decompression chamber, we went up to 27,000 feet with our oxygen on. It was a beautiful clear day and we could see for miles. If you have located us on the map you will realize how far when I tell you we could see the Ile of Wight and also right across the Bristol Channel. It was really quite an experience.

Yes, Jack has been moved to a place north of London. He has probably told you where by now. He seems quite contented except that this friend of his Humpreys has been sent to some other station but he will tell you all about it.

Excuse the scrawl. I never was any good at writing in bed. I will close now and get a long night’s sleep.

Much love to all,

[postscript added along margin of first page:] I see MacKenzie-King is going to have a referendum on conscription. Is he afraid to take the responsibility. 

Original Scans

Original Scans

Page 1 of WWII letter of 1942- from Lt. Robert Hampton Gray, VC, DSC