Letter to his wife from Herbert Gray



Letter to his wife from Herbert Gray
No. 15


Opens by expressing concern over wife’s health issues. Goes on to give news about upcoming leave. Mentions crew outing to Scunthorpe. Provides details of tenth operation which was a successful daylight operation. Mentioned that the crew had now completed a good third of their tour and speculates that they may not need to do the full thirty as their captain had completed thirteen and a third. Concludes with some domestic financial issues.




Temporal Coverage



Four page handwritten letter


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[underlined] No. 15 [/underlined]


Monday. 1.15 pm

My Darling,

Many thanks for your Sat. letter (No. 20) which I have just received. I say, you do seem to be having a rotten time just now feeling sick so often. Do see a doctor soon pet – it is possible that, if he can’t stop this sickness altogether, he may be able to give you something that will relieve it to some extent. It has rather upset me to hear how rotten you have been lately. Win and Nan have certainly been most kind but I feel like you do that we cannot depend on them all the time. If my prayers and good wishes can make you better you should be well again [deleted] soon [/deleted] my darling.

By now you will have had time

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to digest [deleted] indecipherable word [/deleted] both the bad and the good news about leave. Just imagine if I’m lucky I shall be leaving here a fortnight this afternoon. At the latest – a fortnight tomorrow !!!

I have answered Geoff’s letter now. I wrote to him the day before yesterday after writing to you.

I have very little news to add except to tell you that our crew is going to Scunthorpe this afternoon. It will [inserted] be [/inserted] my second outing since my last leave – a matter of four weeks now. Naturally we are all looking forward to the break. Pete suggested going to the baths but I told him my costume, although OK for RAF bathing, is rather too revealing for civvy mixed bathing.

[page break]


We did another day – light yesterday – our 10th op. [operations / missions] We were very fortunate that the clouds just cleared over the target as we arrived and so we were able to bomb visually. Believe me it was a wizard prang. I feel sorry for any jerries that were in the target area. We bombed dead on zero hour and it was a really remarkable sight to see the huge company of Lancs. behind us fly in, bomb and wheel round after us on to the homeward course. We experienced no trouble of any kind. We now have completed a good third of our tour as it is possible that we shall be screened before 30. The skipper has now done 13 ½ ops. of his second tour and 2 nd tours are only 20 ops long but he has got permission

[page break]


to do 30, ie. Another 17. That will give us 27. We may in the meantime do an odd trip or two with the Wing Commander as skipper and Van thinks we will then be screened at 28 or 29.

I forgot when I sent you the £4 on, that car tax expires on 30th June - £2. 8. 2. However I can manage that out of my next pay – on second thoughts perhaps it would be better if you sent me a blank cheque on as it may take a few days to come through and it would be just too bad if it was not through in time. So will you do that, please, my darling.

My watch is worse than useless but that will have to wait until I come on leave now.

Best wishes for your speedy return to good health and all my love and kisses to you, my darling little woman.


[underlined] Bertie [/underlined]



Bertie Gray, “Letter to his wife from Herbert Gray ,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed June 15, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/1043.

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