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Date: September 4th 1943
Mother & Dad - (Wilhelmina & John Gray)
Hampton Gray

R.H. Gray Lt., R.C.N.V.R.
Box 517
F.M.O. Kilindini
Sept. 4.

Dear Mother and Dad,

I have not had anything from home this week but neither has anyone else so I do not mind so much. This Dr. McLanders I told you about has left for home and will send you my commission for safe-keeping. If I had kept it it would just be spoilt and it is rather a nice keepsake. – You will remember me telling you just a short time ago that the rains were about finished. Well they seemed to be for a short time but now they have started again or so it seems. Every morning it pelts down until about lunch time and then after showers on and off all afternoon it clears up in the evening. It is getting just a bit monotonous as it stops a lot of the work that we should be doing. – I see that we are at last really on the Continent again after over three years. The Canadians are in it again too which should make it go well. – I was just thinking that to me at any rate it does not seem to me that this business has been on for four years although I expect that you two feel as if it were ten. I remember so well hearing Chamberlain give his little speech. Peter and I had just come back from a dance at the Golf Club on Saturday night of Labour Day weekend. We had Eleanor Green with us and we heard the news at Petes old house. I could never have imagine then what was going to happen. Then of course the war settled down to something pretty dull and remote from us. And in a way I settled down to a dull year at university. As you will know now I wasted that year and did very badly. I hope you will not think that I have forgotten that bad year. I am still ashamed of myself and extremely annoyed with myself for missing my opportunities. I never will be able to realize probably how disappointed you must have been in me and how wasted your efforts to give me a chance really were. That was one of the reasons I joined up and I think now it is a good thing. I was mad enough at myself at the time to have done well at university that year if I had gone back but under the circumstances I could not have asked you to help me. Another thing was that I had come to a blank wall. I didn’t know what I wanted to do as I had shot my chances of McGill. – It is easy enough for me to say to myself that I should have known better but I suppose that I am the sort of person that is going to learn the hard way. Still that is in the past now and as long as I have learnt my lesson we can afford to forget it. I will be able to support myself after the war and complete some sort of education. – We weren’t able to have our weekly swim this afternoon (Saturday) as we had to fly and anyway it wasn’t decent weather but I expect that tomorrow afternoon we will have it. It is the best part of this place, swimming. The water is just the right temperature and seems to stay that way all the year around. Nevertheless I still prefer the odd dip in Kootenay lake in August and maybe I’ll have one there next year when it is all over. I wish you would find out for me what Peter is doing. I wrote him a long time ago but have had no answer. Much love to you both.

Your son,


[Editor’s note: While no year was included with the written date, the letter’s contents indicate it was 1943.]

Original Scans

Original Scans

Page 1 of WWII letter of 1943-09-04 from Lt. Robert Hampton Gray, VC, DSC