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Date: April 4th 1942
Phyllis, Ed, & Jane Gautschi - (sister, brother-in-law, & niece)
Hampton Gray

R.H. Gray S/Lt.
℅ Canada House,
April 4.

Dear Phyllis and Ed and my niece,

I was naturally delighted to hear of the safe arrival of my niece. I am afraid I don’t know her name yet so I shall refer to her as my niece for the time being although I mustn’t forget that as well as being my niece she is your daughter as well. I am proud of all of you and wish so much that I could visit you and see what she is like for myself. I know she is a grand baby. I have been looking for a tiny pink dress to send her but I am afraid I couldn’t get the clothing coupons so that will have to keep for a while.

That everything went without any hitches is a blessing to everyone and the whole thing helps us all at this time. Do accept my very heartiest congratulations and all my love.

The loss of Jack came as a great shock to me. It still does not seem possible that such a good person can be taken like this but I suppose it is happening all the time. We, of course, have felt some sort of vague sympathy when we see all the casualties but it never really strikes home until one of own goes. I am just so sorry for Mother and Dad. They will feel terribly about everything. They say people in Nelson have been so kind to them but although that helps it cannot take away the aching empty feeling they must have. It is comforting to me to know that they have something to fall back on that will be more help than anything else to them. They say they are going to try and get away for a while in the car all by themselves. I do hope they can make it and I also hope Phyllis that you and the little girl can spare time to go with them to Nelson for a while. But, of course, I expect you are thinking of that already.

People have been very kind in their letters to me. Alison tells me she is doing all she can to sort of take your place. She tells me that the whole of Nelson has been saddened by the news and I know it was, because Jack was so well-known and so popular there. I got grand letters from Pauline and from the Kelmans and also one from Mrs. Potts in Scotland and I expect there are more letters on the way. How I wish, though, that I could be home for a bit. Not so much for my own sake but for the help I think I could be to Mother and Dad.

This station I am at at present is not very good. We do nothing but stooge up and down railroads helping to train air-gunners. But I expect a change fairly soon now. The only consolation is that spring is here and it is getting warmer. That is quite a thing in a country with as wet and miserable a winter as England has.

There really isn’t much more to say as you will undoubtedly get the letters that I sent to Mother and Dad.

I have a feeling that you wanted to have a boy. But aside from the fact that it would have been nice now that Jack is gone, I must admit that I have been rather hoping for a niece and I expect that you will be thinking by now that there is nothing could be better. But do write soon and tell me all about her. Give her my love and tell her that she has an uncle in England that certainly thinks a lot of her although he has not seen her yet.

I forgot to tell you, Phyllis, that I got a letter recently from you. Thanks very much. In it you sounded as if you would be glad when it was all over as you were having quite a miserable time. But it is now, and you can both be proud that you have brought a new life into the world just when we lost a brother who was pretty dear to us. She is going to do a lot to take Jack’s place.

I will close now and send this air-mail which seems to be pretty fast these days. Mothers letters have recently come in two or three weeks.

Love to you all,


[Editor’s note: While no year was included with the written date, the letter’s contents indicate it was 1942.]

Original Scans

Original Scans

Page 1 of WWII letter of 1942-04-04 from Lt. Robert Hampton Gray, VC, DSC