S/Lt R.H. Gray
c/o Canada House,
April 10. 42
Dear Mother and Dad,
I have been lying here thinking about you two, all alone. And I feel terribly badly that I can do so little to help. By the time you get this the first shock will be all gone and you will be beginning to realize the whole thing just as I am doing. Jack and I never did many things together but he was my brother and I could talk to him about home and other things, that I can not talk to others about. I am beginning to miss him so much and although I didn’t see him very often over here the visits I did have with him meant so much to me. If only I had realized at the time how much they really did mean. One thing we can be grateful for. He was the kind that left many good memories behind. And that is going to be a great help to you.
I got three more letters since I last wrote, one from the Kelwans. They seem to feel it almost as if Jack was their own son. He did have so many friends in Nelson. Everybody knew and liked him and I can just imagine the whole town being saddened. I got two letters today, one from Phyllis and one from Peter. Phyllis seemed so gloomy and sad and I am just relieved that it hasn’t caused any complications. She was saying how much she wanted to get to Nelson but her hands, too, were tied for a different reason. By now maybe you will have all got together. I hope so, because it will help, and there is so little to do. She said she hadn’t been well for months. I think it will have been such a relief to get it over with and get back to normal. Peter wrote me a very kind and sympathetic letter. One thing he said that I liked “Jack has given his all for his country - if there were more like him we wouldn’t be in the spot we are in now” He says his whole family, especially his Mother feels terribly blue about it I and guess that is the way a lot of people in Nelson will feel.
I have a roommate here I don’t think I have told you about. You will find him in the Yeovil picture. He is a Canadian from Saskatoon and a grand chap. He reminds me a lot of Jack and is just about the same age. He is having love troubles at the moment and keeps asking my advice. He has a girl in Prince Albert who says she will “kick him in the teeth” if he doesn’t come back and marry him and he got a letter from a girl in Kingston the other day who wants him to marry her. Not having much experience in these complicated affairs I don’t know what to tell him. The big trouble is that he hasn’t told either of these girls about the other one so each one of course thinks that she is the only one.
I got a letter today from R.C.A.F. Headquarters who apparently have Jack’s stuff. As I told you I had written about it. They want to know if I wish to have the effects released to myself as, if so, they have to get permission from the Administrator of Estates in Ottawa. Now I think I will ask them to to this. If you don’t want that you can tell the Administrator of Estates in Ottawa, who will undoubtedly ask for your advice. So you can use your own judgement on this point. If they won’t release them to me I shall know that you want something else done with them.
Eddison, the chap who I went on leave with, has been posted abroad. I suppose the censor will cut this out, so I won’t say any more about it.
At the moment, Friday night I am on week-end leave. Sutton and I are going away to some quiet place tomorrow. We don’t have to be back until Monday morning. The reason we didn’t get away tonight was that we are a bit tired. I have been doing a lot of flying this month and before doing anything wanted to get a decent sleep. Also I have a good deal of correspondence to get caught up with.
I have a couple things that I am beginning to feel the shortage of. I need some more socks. I did have quite a good supply but they all seem to have disappeared. I hope you have some more of those nice ones with the stripe around the top, mother. They are my favourite kind. And, another, thing, I need writing paper. It is now impossible to get any decent stuff so if you could send me a couple of pads I would appreciate it. Not air-mail, I have a fair stock of it at the moment.
The parcel you sent to Jack arrived here. We ate the stuff in it but I would have given anything to have had it eaten by Jack.
I am going to go to bed now and leave this blank to put anything I think of in the morning.
I have been reading this over and I am afraid I have not done much to cheer you up. I am sorry but I was feeling things last night. Tell Mrs. Boomer that her cakes were just grand. It was a good idea to send them now because we get a lot around Christmas time and don’t appreciate them so much then. We have a new man in place of Commander Brock. A man called Commander Price and I must say he is a big improvement. He seems to want to go out of his way to help us which is a big change. The Air-Graphs are quick but no quicker than Air-Mail letters so that since you can say so much more in the letters I think they are worth the extra postage.
All my love goes with this and I do hope that you will have been able to get away from Nelson for a bit.
Your loving son,