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Date: August 25th 1942
Mother & Dad - (Wilhelmina & John Gray)
Hampton Gray

[top line of text cut off]
[c/o Fleet Mail Office?]
Box 512

Dear Mother and Dad, –

I understand this is a good way of sending mail. I did not know until yesterday that it was possible to send these to Canada. So will you let me know how it goes. I have been sending you air mail letters but they take over six shillings so if this goes just as fast I can send more of them and it will be much cheaper – with all our movements the mail situation is very bad and I have not had any mail for over eight weeks and the last I got was dated May 5th so you can see I am quite out of touch with things. —. The biggest bit of news I have at the moment is about Gus Airie. I ran into a chap, Al Powell, by accident. He is one of the chaps I came over with first and is now an observer in the Fleet Air Arm. He told me that he had met a friend of mine, Gus Airie on his ship. So yesterday I went up to see him. Unfortunately I was in a terrific rush as I was flying and had to get back to my station but I did manage to have lunch with him and half an hour or so afterwards. It was grand to see him and I am sure he was glad to see me. He was interested to hear about Phyllis and the baby. He is just the same only quite a bit older looking than I remember him. But of course he left Nelson a long time ago now. I will be seeing some more of him for a few days. Charlie will be able to tell you more of his work I expect. Gus said he had written you, Dad when he heard of me being here too I expect you will be getting a letter from him. —

We are in a rather nice spot at the moment. It is quiet but still is better than most of these tropical places. It is quite near the equator and used to be German property before the last war. I cannot tell you its name as we are not supposed to. We do a fair amount of Flying, not enough really but enough to keep in practice. When we are going to get into action we don’t know but we are all hoping it will be soon.

I am hoping to hear from you soon with some pictures of Phyllis baby. I really am getting anxious to see what it is like. It will be just over five months old now and I expect pretty cute. But there must be mail on the way so I shall just have to wait patiently. You are probably feeling the same way about mail but I have sent as many letters as I could. Being on the move all the time and constantly getting further away will make it longer for the mail to get home, but since I am settled here and again writing regularly you will be hearing more regularly soon I hope. By the way I believe these things can be sent from Canada too so if you could find out about that.

I wonder if you have got Jack’s stuff yet. If you have not don’t worry about it because I believe it generally takes a long time to get back to Canada. I hope that you will be able to have another trip to Calgary soon or that Phyllis may be able to get down with Jane to spend some time with you. Nothing can be better in these times to see a new life starting when there are so many losses and such terrible times elsewhere. Jack’s going was such a terrible loss but Jane will partially fill his place. But the war is in its last stage now. Everybody is in it that can be and it cannot last much longer. Nobody can stand it and when it is over I shall be home so fast they won’t be able to see my dust. There does not, I am afraid, seem to be much chance that I shall get home anytime soon, much as I should like it. I can only write on this side so I shall stop now giving you all my love.



[Editor’s note: The envelope’s censor stamp date has been used as the letter date.]

Original Scans

Original Scans

Page 1 of WWII letter of 1942-08-25 from Lt. Robert Hampton Gray, VC, DSC