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Date: March 8th 1943
Mother & Dad - (Wilhelmina & John Gray)
Hampton Gray

RH Gray Lt.

Box 507
c/o J. M. O., Kilindini.,
March 8/43.

Dear Mother and Dad,

We are finished our leave and are back again at a different station. It was quite a good leave but much more limited in its scope than leave in England is. There was only Nairobi and nowhere else. But we stayed at a very good hotel, had excellent food and generally lived in a more civilized way for a while. I took a very nice girl called Jessie Price to dances a few times. So all in all it was not a bad time though as I said England or South Africa and of course Canada would have been better. – We came back to this new station called MacKinnon Road. You will not find it on the map. It is about eighty miles inland from Mombassa on the railroad. We definitely are living a little more of the rough life here. We stay three in a tent. Fresh water is limited so we don’t get a proper bath unless we get away for week-end. I am also letting my whiskers grow. If it comes to anything I will let it stay on for a bit and send you a picture. It looks at the moment as if it will be full enough but it is going to be a pretty bad colour I am afraid. The only good it will do will be to see if I can grow one in case it ever comes back into fashion in civilian life. – We are flying a new kind of aircraft here which pleases most of us as it is a good one. But we are still not getting very far.  However we live in hope. – I got a very nice airgraph from you the other day Mother. You had just received two of mine. I was delighted to hear that you had got something as it is very slow sometimes, I know. I also got a wire in answer to a long one of mine, saying that you were better again. I expect you had a grand time with Phyllis at home, Dad. It is too bad that you had to go into hospital at that time, Mother. – We have two people at this station whose pictures you will be able to find, Beeston and Broadbent. They have been a long time here and are very fed up with it but it is good to run into old friends once more. Gaunt and Sutton have left to go back to England. I was sorry to see them go as they were both good friends of mine. We have a Canadian doctor in the station from Winnipeg, a Dr. [McLanders?]. He seems quite a personable chap. – It is getting extremely hot now. It is just the last few days before the heavy rains and it gets almost unbearable in the afternoons. We just lie down with nothing on for about three hours and perspire. It is probably better than the rains themselves however because we then get quite flooded out. Just before we got here they apparently had 4½ inches inside one hour and all the tents [?] got nicely flooded out. If it is going to be like that for six weeks we shall be pretty fed up with it. – I was glad to hear that Jane has some hair and is no different from what we were when we were babies. It is a great relief to me to hear about it. I agree with Ed that she will probably beat everyone else at school. I only wish I was there to give the benefit of my experience. – Things are still going fairly well and it is possible to see now that there might be an end to this business some day. You may be sure I won’t be long getting back once it is over. I will close now with all my love as usual –

Your loving son,

P.S. By the way I am now a Lieutenant, which means that I wear two stripes. I did not do anything to deserve the promotion. It is just automatic after two years service as a sub Lieut. It means a bit more pay and I am going to increase my allotment

Original Scans

Original Scans

Page 1 of WWII letter of 1943-03-08 from Lt. Robert Hampton Gray, VC, DSC