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Date: May 26th 1941
Mother & Dad - (Wilhelmina & John Gray)
John (Jack) Gray

Yatesbury, Wilts.
May 26, 1941

Dearest Mother and Dad:

Once again I am writing you on Government property but I hope you won’t really mind. I have not much to write about anyway but will try.

Last weekend Harry Humphries and I went into London by hitchhike route. It was interesting on Sunday as we had a look at Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, House of Commons and other places as well as spending a long time wandering through Westminster Abbey. That is a wonderful old place. You can see where all these famous chaps of many years ago are buried. I find it really interesting. The abbey is in good shape except for one end where a large bomb struck.

Big Ben is still going strong despite a lot of shaking. A London cop was quite insulted when we were near Big Ben and I looked at my watch then told him Big Ben was just about right. He thought that was terrible.

Spent the night in a really good hotel down town near Trafalgar. It cost us a guinea between us but it was great to once again sleep in a real bed and to have a private bath and all. Over in this country a room for the night also includes breakfast but as we didn’t get up until noon missed that.

Read the Nelson News in the Beaver Club up to the 18th of April. I think was the latest. It sure is good to read about everything. I saw where Dad went to the coast for a few days. I had heard that from Hampton but as yet have no news myself. It always takes a long time when you first get over here but there will be some this week I expect. Sure hope you have been getting my mail or at least some of it. Also hope you get the cables I send once in a while.

While in London I ran into Tommy Nutter and talked to him for a short time. I guess there are quite a few lads here from the Kootenays just now. I will meet more no doubt.

Everyone is looking forward to Roosevelts speech tonight but I hope he really says something. A few of the people over here are getting a little fed up with so much talk but I think [there?] is plenty action too. That was a hard blow losing the Hood but the Navy will really be out to avenge that defeat. Of course the newspapers here all say it was a “lucky” shot that did it but I would like to hear about the “superb marksmanship” of the British had they sunk the Bismarck the same way. I sure get fed up with these Englishmen at times – they really give me a pain in the neck. Maybe they dont understand us or we them. There is plenty of discipline here but I’m sure thankful we are sergeants or we would sure be in plenty hot water all the time. The L.A.C.’s and A.C.’s really get it here. Enough of my woes – they are fighting a wonderful battle but they aren’t much good till you get to the battle - little needs be said then of course. The R.A.F. is doing its bit and no fooling either.

I guess that is about all there is to tell you just now. Wish I could talk to you or something. It isn’t bad when you are in Nova Scotia even but when you have 3000 miles of water it is no so good.

I see the morse instructor giving me the odd suspicious look so maybe I better get on with my proper business. Sure is the bunk having this stuff again but it shouldn’t be for long. We have to learn a lot of new stuff which has recently been put in use – that is mighty interesting.

Best wishes to all the friends and that around. I must write to Mrs. Boomer and one or two others soon and will do. I wrote Nelson a letter but lost it before mailing. How is Anne –

More later on decent paper maybe. As I said before socks and a scarf will be appreciated.

Your loving son

Original Scans

Original Scans