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Date: July 17th 1943
Mother & Dad - (Wilhelmina & John Gray)
Hampton Gray

Box 517,
F.M.O., Kilindini,
Mombasa, Kenya.
July 17

Dear Mother and Dad,

You will see by the above change that I have moved again but by the time you have this you will have had the telegram. It is just one more place in Kenya, a colony which I am getting to know far too well. According to regulations I cannot tell you anything but that it is a new place and more pleasant than some of the others we have been to (There are still no potatoes, however). – I am back rooming with Atkinson again but they are great big cabins so I don’t mind so much. I must say however that I did like my stay in Nairobi when I had a single cabin. The only trouble with this place is that the lights are always going out. Last night we had only about half an hour in all with the lights on and that was in driblets of five and ten minutes at a time. – We will be working hard for the next while and then lets hope that we will get a move some place. – I suppose everyone will be very excited and hopeful about the invasion of Sicily and I suppose, too, that there will be a lot of anxious families in Canada now that the army is in action. Let us pray and hope that the casualties will not be too high. – But it seems to be a step in the right direction. I hope we go on from this quickly and get this thing finished. It is an alarming thought that it has been going on for very nearly four years now and not any real sign of an ending for at least another year. But we are on the right side and are definitely winning at last. – (The lights are flickering at the moment and may be going out at any minute) – The mail is slow again. All I have had lately is one air mail letter card from you dated early in April and an Easter card (very nice) from Mrs. McLanders. Will you thank her for me please. But all your letters are nice to get even if they are old and they all seem to say how surprisingly good business is keeping. You have no idea how that relieves me. Don’t forget, though, to use my cheque if you ever need it. It is not much but it might help with something. You mentioned the Horswills in that letter Mother and told me how blue they looked. I am very sorry that Sid’s things were lost. It is terrible to have nothing of his personal things come back. I am so glad that all Jack’s things arrived safely. They must be pretty miserable stuck up in Slocan away from their friends, too. Give them my kind regards when you see them, won’t you. – Do you still get bananas at home because if you don’t I wish I could give you my share. We get piles and piles of them and at the moment it is the only fruit worth eating. You can buy a whole bunch of them for about ten cents. But there are no decent oranges or other fruit. The only other thing we do get is paw-paw. I don’t remember ever having it in Canada. It has a different flavour. I have had it for breakfast for months it seems so am getting just a bit sick of it. – I suppose Pauline by now is happily married I have had no news of it yet but hope to hear all about it soon. I don’t suppose she will like being so far from home but then Aunt Beth and Uncle Hector won’t like it either – All my love to you both and don’t worry about me ever – I am in good hands –


[postscript at top of first page:] There is bags of swimming at this place. I am getting a fair amount of it and its doing me good


[Editor’s note: The envelope’s postmark has been used for dating the letter's year.] 

Original Scans

Original Scans

Page 1 of WWII letter of 1943-07-17 from Lt. Robert Hampton Gray, VC, DSC