Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula



Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula


Thanks her for parcel but worries over cost to her. Discusses parcel contents. Discusses financial and domestic matters. Describes daily activities, visit to locals for tea and mentions first rifle range firing in poor weather.



Temporal Coverage



Two page handwritten letter


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Start of transcription
1251404 AC II Valentine JRM
Squad 25 Hut 40
E Flight
2 Squadron 2 Wing
RAF Station
Mon – 11-11-40
[circled [indecipherable numbers] 40]
My Dear Ursula
Another of your ever welcome letters arrived today followed shortly after by your third parcel. The contents of the latter gave my conscience an uneasy turn for it gave many signs of your usual generosity and it came soon after my appeal to you for money. I am afraid that the cost of all your parcels to me must have had an appreciable effect on your strained purse especially in view of the apparent reluctance of the RAF to furnish you with its allowance, meagre as it is.
A jar of honey will be a real joy – thank you very much you darling – and I will do as you suggest about the jam. Those two should last me for some time now. The second lot of fruit too is very welcome. Unfortunately I don’t want the Duraglit. I bought some on my first day at Uxbridge & have been using it ever since but it doesn’t produce nearly such a brilliant shine as the liquid metal polishes. Everyone of experience here recommends Silvo but I shall carry on with the Bluebell just to see how effective it is – so please don’t send any Silvo for the time being. Can you use the Duraglit at home – let me know and I will return it to you.
I really must moderate by demands on you otherwise you will be ruined. I think that by now I have mentioned all my immediate wants so that you may have a week or two for recovery.
In your parcel, I couldn’t find the 2 1/2d stamp nor the letter from [indecipherable word]. I gather that our furniture has been destroyed & that they have repaid the cost. I am terribly disappointed & can only hope that they have sent a cheque for the right amount. There should be full details on my file, but if I remember rightly, we paid £25.7.6 for the suite. If you still have the letter do let me see it. We can conveniently use the money in part payment of Belula’s a/c & take the balance from the joint P.O. Savings Bk. Let me have full details when sending the latter. That will save disturbing your Savings Certs.
[page break]
This will be just a short note. I am taking advantage of another period of pouring rain & can just dash off a few lines before we go for a gas lecture.
Sunday was my most enjoyable day here It only rained at intervals & we were still excused parades because of our inoculations. I went voluntarily to the Church Parade in the morning & we were allowed out at 2.30 – 48 hours after our inoculation. It was my first time out of the camp for a week & Grant & I called for tea again on our aged lady friend. She made us very welcome again & provided us with a nice tea and home comforts for a few hours.
This morning was bitterly cold & we spent most of it lying on our [deleted] le [/deleted] bellies at the rifle range. It was the first time in my life that I had ever held a gun – let alone fired one and I was not such an utter boob as I had expected for my score was by no means the lowest. However we finished our firing and stood up again, frozen to almost solid masses of ice. Immediately afterwards it started to pour with rain & has been doing so ever since. We were soon wet as well as cold & we still are – sheltering in our usual unheated huts. What a life! What a moaner you must think I am! But I am standing up to these foul conditions far better than some of the fellows. Nearly all have coughs & some can’t even speak. Apart from the physical discomfort of the cold the only effects that I have suffered are complete loss of taste for two weeks and slight sore throat.
Do send a chess move sometime. I do want to start the game as soon as we can Dont [sic] forget our first move – each pawn to King 4.
And now I really must stop for our lecture is due fairly soon.
All my fondest love my dearest
Affectionately yours



John Ross Mckenzie Valentine, “Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed June 3, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/19095.

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