Search The Archive

Search form

Collection Search
Date: September 18th 1943
Mother & Dad - (Wilhelmina & John Gray)
Hampton Gray

RH Gray Lt R.C.N.V.R.,
Box 517,
℅ F.M.O., Kilindini.
Sept. 18.

Dear Mother and Dad,

You will be very surprised to hear that I am writing this letter while lying in a hospital bed. However I shall relieve you and tell you it is nothing serious. I played a game of football the other day and someone fell pretty hard on my knee. It unfortunately tore a ligament so that I have to lie in bed with it strapped up and taking massage and things until it is better. It is most annoying as I really feel very fit. But it cannot be helped so I shall just have to stay here for a week or two. The treatment is quite good. We have male nurses, V.A.D.’s and nursing sisters. The V.A.D. girls are sort of half way between a qualified nurse and a maid. They take temperatures and do bandages and things and do the dusting etc. I think it is a war time measure but they seem very competent and are all quite pleasant. The doctor I have seems very good too, there is no fuss at all but he seems to know what to do. As he says they have had lots of accidents like mine so I suppose they should know what to do by now. – I hope you are not going to worry about this. The biggest thing is that it is a nuisance and rather than lie about here I could be flying. However these things are liable to happen to anyone so I shall just lie here, doing as they tell me until it is better. One of the nurses is just coming in with an Infra-Red lamp which is going to bake it for a while. – I have not had any mail again for a long time. It is so annoying because it is now coming through from England very well indeed. Undoubtedly, I shall get a great pile of it one day soon. I think I told you I got a parcel of four suits of underwear the other day along with a very cute picture of Jane. Thank you very much. (I have had to stop while the nurse gave me some heat lamp and a little bit of massage and also told me it would take two weeks.) (I have just been interrupted again to have a lunch of soup, liver, mashed potatoes and cabbage, and a fruit salad) – Incidentally the soccer game that caused this trouble was rather a funny one. The eleven of us officers played the squadron third team. Some members of our team had never played before, others like myself had only played a very little bit when we were young. [Colliage?] made us laugh by saying he had not played for twenty-one years which was apparently true as his last game was played when he was seven and he is now twenty-eight. Still we all tried hard and some of us (myself included) were inclined to take great kicks at the ball and miss it was enjoyable. All our ratings were out to watch and of course got a tremendous bang out of it. One of them asked me if I would like a pair of skates. – The war news is still good and we are all hoping that it stays that way. The only danger is that whenever we get a run of good news people tend to get over confident. Still I think that is better than being depressed. – I am beginning to worry a little about Japan. It seems to me that that is what is going to take time. The Americans and Australians are doing well but it seems to take such a very long time to get anywhere. They seem to fight for weeks for one little bit of territory and then have to do it all over again on the next little bit. It probably won’t be so hard however when we finish with Germany as we have done with Italy. We shall then be able to send everything out East and then maybe they will break quickly – It is getting hotter here now, at last and am sure we will all be complaining soon about the heat instead of the rain. It gets hotter and hotter now until about Christmas time but we hope we won’t be there. My room here is full of carnations. There is another chap in with me whose landlady sends a huge bunch each day. Apparently there are so many that the rest of the hospital is full of them too. It’s quite nice really.

Much love to you both,


[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 1943-09-18 from Lt. Robert Hampton Gray, VC, DSC