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Date: August 19th 1941
Dad & Mother - (John & Wilhelmina Gray)
Hampton Gray

Hut 12-A,
31 S.F.T.S.,
Kingston, Ont.
Aug 19./41

Dear Dad and Mother,

I got your letter today Dad. Thanks very much and thanks too for your offer of credit. It was very good of you and I may take advantage of it. But I don’t think I shall have to for reasons which I shall tell you. If I do use it it will only be until I get home.

I will now tell you about our trip to Ottawa. It was suggested that someone go up to Ottawa just to see how the Canadian group stand now. Well this chap, Stewart, of Montreal and I went up and saw Commander Brock’s brother who is also a Commander up there. And to our surprise we found that our group is really tops up there now. They cannot do too much for us. So we advanced a few suggestions. The first was that we be granted our commissions over here before we go back. Well they cannot grant that here as that is all done by the Canadian liaison officer in England. Then we told him that our Commander here had told us that we could get our clothes over here if we wanted to, so what about the clothing allowance. Well that was pretty easy. He said we would all get our cheques before Oct. 1. Then we asked about our Commissions. They are going to be dated from Dec 31/40 with full back pay for all the time we have been ratings. So altogether we don’t feel nearly as neglected as we once did and we are all quite satisfied with things. This man was very pleasant and as I said they seem to feel that they cannot do too much for us. Our Commander here told me that all the Canadians are definitely recommended for commissions so we are all set now.

About my uniform. I think I shall get one suit. (I shall need another right away but I shall wait until I get to England.). I shall get one of those navy blue Burburies, a hat shoes and shirts and stock up on underwear and socks etc. By the way I will not be entitled to wear an officer’s uniform but maybe you would like to see it on me so I shall try and get it home by the time I get there.

If you are sure you do not mind me going out to the coast I would like to do that. If I get the same travelling time as last time I can still have a week at home even if I spend a couple of days in both Calgary and Vancouver. If by some chance I don’t get the ten days leave I shall, of course, cut out the visit to Vancouver, as I, like you, certainly don’t want to cut short my visit in Nelson. It was full enough last time. I don’t know what it will be like this time.

I am sorry I forgot your anniversary, It completely slipped my mind. Anyway congratulations and much love although it is a little late. I am afraid I nearly forgot Phyllis too but someone mentioned the other day that it was just a year since we sailed so I remembered at once and rushed down and sent off a wire to her. I am always a bit forgetful about birthdays and such.

Our flying is nearly finished. We just have one more exercise to do. Firing with a camera gun on a drogue towed by another plane. That will take about ten day and we will be finished. It has all been most interesting but I think I shall be able to stand a bit of leave.

There are people chattering away on all sides and I am having difficulty concentrating.

The Canadians are the only ones that are getting leave so I won’t be able to bring this English chap back with me. They are going to get their leave in the Old Country and we are going to join them over there. (Boy, if we don’t get this leave am I going to feel badly).

We are just about finished lectures and no more examinations for which I am glad.

I have had my teeth fixed so you don’t need to worry about that. I just had one tooth to fix, an old filling had come out.

Yes my rank will be Sub Lieutenant, Dad like [Riter?] but since they are antedating them I will be senior to him.

I had better close now. I have nothing much more to tell you. I am going to write Phyllis now.

Love to all,

P.S. I think I will use that letter Dad and I shall be able to pay you when I get home. It will be a better way to do it as the money may not come for a week or so and they take time to get, these uniforms.

P.P.S. – I just got your letter this morning, Mother so I opened this one up again to add a few lines and to enclose Jack’s. I will bring the brown suit home with me for sure so do not worry about that. I am awfully sorry to hear about Ruth [Hoare’s?] trouble. It is too bad. Phyllis seems fairly contented. It is too bad that Ed has to work so hard but the work must go on. Well I will close this up again and thanks for the stamps. It is too bad they cut out the place Jack was going to.

Love again,

Original Scans

Original Scans

Page 1 of WWII letter of 1941-08-19 from Lt. Robert Hampton Gray, VC, DSC