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Date: October 14th 1942
Mother & Dad - (Wilhelmina & John Gray)
Hampton Gray

c/o Fleet Mail office,
Box 512, Kilindini,
British East Africa.
Oct. 14/42

Dear Mother and Dad,

I have just received your Air Letter Card dated Sept. 14 and was I ever glad to get it. It is the first letter I have had from home for weeks and weeks. I also never got the cable you sent but some of the people in mail offices around here are too lazy to sort them out. But it was grand to get something dated so recently. I got one the same day from Pauline dated Sept. 17. Hers was an Air Mail letter. I think it was the above address that did the trick. I only hope you get mine as quickly. I have been having an interesting time lately. I was up in a place called Nakuru sort of cooperating with a Bomber Operational Training Unit. There were three of us went up. You will undoubtedly find it on the map. It is north of Nairobi and being 6000′ it was a grand relief after the heat on the Coast. It was pleasant and bracing during the day and got quite cold enough at night to put a blanket on. Some of the chaps just seemed to fall in love with it and swear they are going to settle there or around there after the war. I liked it too but I must say there is one place that I like just a bit better. I spent last week-end in Nairobi on our way back to the coast. It is the best spot around here. It is quite a modern city with half decent chaps and some rather nice hotels and also a somewhat higher percentage of white people. It gets rather tiresome after a while seeing nothing but black wherever you look. No I wasn’t over to that place you mentioned but Ogilvy and [Cheu?] went. You will find their pictures on the Yeovilton group. Sutton and Gaunt both arrived in Kenya last week and it was good to see them again. Atkinson is the only one whose picture you have who is with me in my new squadron. He was just appointed recently. One of the boys just out from England was telling me about Diamond. According to his story Jack went off with a passenger and was never heard of again. His rubber dinghy was found washed up on the shore. It must have been terrible for his family. I am glad to hear of Jane and to know she is so cute. I am hoping to get some pictures soon. Phyllis said she had sent some but I have not received any yet. I wonder what kind of an officer Leigh will make. He may make out alright but I do think a few months in the ranks would not have hurt him very much. Aunt Norma sent me a nice letter in which I heard for the first time about Walter Bamford. She seems to be more like Uncle Bob. Both of them are better types than their sister in Calgary. We are starting to get rains here in Tonga and soon will have to watch the mosquitoes. We have to wear long trousers and sleeves at night. Malaria is too unpleasant to take chances with. – The natives here have just finished some sort of fast period lasting two months. I don’t know what religion it is supposed to be but they have not been able to eat in the night time. Now it is finished and they are having their fun again. Each night they start about eight o’clock and have terriffic parties. They dance till about midnight to drums and things. They never seem to get tired. But I suppose we would all celebrate if we had not had a decent meal for two months. – This is a rather disjointed letter but I am trying to fill up all the space. – Russia has been doing some pretty terrific fighting the last while and it beginning to look as they might hold Stalingrad after all. But how we all wish it were over. I think I am selfish about it. I want it over so I can get back and see you all again. But how many Russian men and Russian families want it too. It may all be over soon we cannot tell. – I feel that I want to share your troubles with you. But it is hard. I am with a group of people. We are working hard doing a job and there is a tendency to forget what you people must be feeling like. You must be lonelier than I can have any knowledge of. The people at home always have a worse time. We have the compensation that we are doing something while you probably don’t feel that way. I am always thinking of you – and what a reunion we will have someday.

All my love goes with this.

Original Scans

Original Scans

Page 1 of WWII letter of 1942-10-14 from Lt. Robert Hampton Gray, VC, DSC