Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula



Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula


Mentions he has written to several relatives. Writes he has finished wedding cake but broke a tooth. Describes walking in hills and describes local area.



Temporal Coverage



Four page handwritten letter


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1251404 AC2 Valentine
D Flight, 1 Squadron,
Queens Hotel
RAF Aberystwyth

Sunday 29/12/40

Dearest Ursula, I have been such a good little boy. Today I wrote a short note to you & then to Barbara, my father, aunt Mary, your Mother, Mrs Grunfeld, the Chalmers, Keith & Teddy Cook so that I feel that I have earned the privilege of writing to you again. Did you by the way, write to Grannie & Aunt Mary or to Grandma (Arbroath)? I don't know what I want to say to you but I get considerable satisfaction from the very act of writing to you. I finished off the wedding cake in the train yesterday in circumstances very different from those in which I first broached the cake nearly a year ago. The pudding I shared with my carriage mates & it was much appreciated by all. I broke a large lump off one of my molars last night & I have a horrid jagged stump left which tears my tongue when the two meet. We are to have a dental inspection this week so I ought not to be long in having it cleaned up a bit. Curiously enough the tooth came apart when I was eating the last of the delicious Canton figs, but I remember hurting my jaws when I struck a lump of something in that packet of sherbet. The piece that came out is slightly decayed so it obviously had to come out sometime. My cold is now firmly entrenched & I am in a state similar to yours at Xmas. I do hope that yours had improved since we parted for I hate to think of you having any kind of illness.
When writing to my Father I made no mention of PM but please let me know if you decide not to inform them yourself, & PLEASE don't upset yourself if you do spill the beans. I spent an hour this afternoon climbing one of the hills which dominate the town & then descending to the beach & scrambling about the rocks. The weather was dull but the fresh air off the sea was most invigorating. I do wish that you were here, for the coast line & surrounding country is lovely & I know you would like it. The place is so quiet too & in every respect it is a far healthier spot than London. Blast bombs – I read of a severe raid last night & I pray that it was nowhere near you. Let me know of your progress in enquiring about arrangements for baby. Having written for hours today I am developing writers cramp & so will shut down for the night. All my love dearest, John
P.S. I will just add a few lines to those written while I was in bed last night. This town seems to be a delightful spot, very picturesque indeed. It fills a small gap in the low hills which slope sharply down to the waters edge. It is quite small & obviously most of the inhabitants live by the tourist business. The half mile front is backed entirely by boarding houses & hotels while the pavements are thronged with troops indicating that many of the premises must be taken over by the RAF & Army. Our hotel is one of the largest but is not very comfortable – not nearly so nice as Stratford. I sleep in a little garret on the top floor, dark & dirty it is, as well as crowded. The feeding though is excellent – much better than anywhere else. We have our own table, we are not crowded nor do we have to queue while the food is really good. In addition there is a comfortable & fairly quiet NAAFI where I am writing this. We had a Church parade this morning followed by the FFI. Thereafter we strolled along the front until dinner time. I do wish you were here. It is so pleasant & quiet & so refreshing to hear the sea & to smell it. A spot like this for April would be ideal, I think, if only we could be together. It seems to be impossible to get any idea of my probable whereabouts at the time about which I would like to have definite information. I think you would love the situation of Aber. It is surrounded by steep hills & the natural haven they afford to the town is delightful. Now, darling I must desist. I really must have a go at all my other letters so good bye for the time being. I long to have a letter from you with some news. Let me know all you can tell me. Love for ever – heaps of it - John



John Ross Mckenzie Valentine, “Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 14, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/19160.

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