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Date: September 20th 1943
Phyllis Gautschi - (sister)
Hampton Gray

R.H. Gray Lt R.C.N.V.R.
Box 517, ℅ F.M.O. Kilindini
British East Africa
Sept. 20/43

Dear Phyllis,

I expect Mother will have told you that I am on my back in a hospital with a torn ligament in my left knee. I feel quite a hero as I got it playing soccer, a silly thing to do considering my advanced age. However I have learnt my lesson. I am getting quite good treatment so it really is not too bad except that I have to lie with my leg in one position feeling aside from that extremely fit. We are looked after by five different classes of people here. There is the doctor who seems to know his stuff, the nursing sisters who are like you except that most of them look as if they would never get married, the V.A.O. nurses who don’t know a great deal about it but try hard, and who will all be able to find husbands after the war, if not sooner, male nurses, called sick berth attendants, who seem to have more of a clue than anyone else here and the black boys who serve the meals and sweep up. – At the moment it is a bit uncomfortable because there is a very sick patient next to me who has just come from the operating room. I think maybe it was rupture. About ten minutes ago he started to twitch violently and I had to scream out for a nurse. (There are none of the modern conveniences here like bell pushes) When I had achieved a suitable note of panic in my voice they came running and soon everything was under control. The only inconvenience I am suffering now is that the wire lead which goes to a vast metal heating arrangement on his bed, passes over my bed and keeps slapping me in the bad knee. Still all I can say is that I am glad I am not as sick as he is. Ordinarily of course a patient like him would be isolated at least for a while but there just isn’t the room. (Oh, dear! he has just been sick again) We don’t worry about crowded quarters of any kind any more. Thats gone with dozens of other things that we used to worry about in peace time. – I seem to have gone on at great length about this place but you will excuse it. There is nothing much to talk about here – I got a letter from Dad the other day. He seemed quite cheerful I was glad to notice. I think it is the rather surprisingly good business which helps don’t you. By now you will have finished your holidays I suppose. I hope nothing cropped up at the last minute. Both Mother and Dad were looking forward to Jane playing on our grass at home. Is Ed well, and Jane. Give my love to both and much of the same to you.


[postscript at top of first page:] I got a very cute picture of Jane standing beside a birthday cake.


Original Scans

Original Scans

Page 1 of WWII letter of 1943-09-20 from Lt. Robert Hampton Gray, VC, DSC