Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula



Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula


Pleased with arrival of her letter at last. Discuses mail and delivery delays. Provides a list of things he would like her to do. Replies to matters she raised in her letter. Continues with personal matters. Mentions his training day has been extended. Send latest chess move and asks her not to tell anyone that some will be sent abroad to train.



Temporal Coverage



Four page handwritten letter


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1251404 AC2 Valentine
D flight 1 Squadron
Queens Hotel,
Thursday 2/1/41

(Could you send me 5/- please)

Dearest Ursula, My period of suspense ended today with the arrival of your most welcome letter, NS&M & the two foolscap envelopes. One of the latter contained a dividend for 14/5d which I popped into my PO book. What a time your letter took to reach me! I see that it bears the postmark of 5.15 on Monday – I got it at 5.30pm on Thursday, together with one from my Father posted @ 10.45 on Tuesday. He must have written it after you telephoned on Monday, unless you spoke to them late in the evening, but he made no mention of your conversation with Mother. I am so glad that you spoke to her & that the conversation was not marred by any expressed ill feeling – (that extra word is rather important I fear). However, I think it best to forget all about it now & do not intend saying anything on the subject when I next write to my Father. Before I forget, will you do two things for me – if you haven't done them already. 1) Send my 50 fags; 2) Let me know how much you have in Income Tax a/c after Touches December remittance. And could you send me 5/- please. Now about your letter. I am so relieved to hear that you had a good journey – apparently we were both fortunate. I am also more than relieved to hear you dismiss Sunday night's raid as 'nothing much'. My Father's letter & the press have very different stories to tell. Thank you for your reassurances, dear, about any effect that my admissions may have had upon you. I have no 'black mark' against me yet but I admit to wavering in the full blast of the temptation once or twice. Fortunately, the knowledge that you now share my secret & are waiting to know if I succomb at any time enabled me to react. You can have no idea what an effort it cost me to tell you. For twenty years I had been hiding that secret & loathing myself all the time. I was & still am disgusted at my weakness in not being able successfully to fight against it. Often & often I wanted to tell someone (latterly of course that someone was you) in the hope that confession might bring strength. But shame & pride prevented me. I had resolved in desperation to tell you at Xmas & I nearly let the time pass without doing so. If it hadn't been for some chance remark of yours (I forget it now) which compelled me either to deceive you again or confess it might still have been hiding something from you. It is more than sweet of you to place my defection on the same level as your tendency to tears but if you are willing to do so I am overjoyed that you view it in that light. The idea of a 'competition' is very generous offer of yours but I accept it – unreservedly. If I can be cured and you can avoid upsetting yourself when I am not with you to comfort you I shall be more than grateful to you.
As regards your chess move, you hadn't sent me G1 – F3, but I note it now & reply with G7 – G6. Send your next by return otherwise the game will lapse again. I am glad, too, that your cold is going . Do your best, darling, to avoid another. Mine is doing nicely now too but has not yet disappeared finally. And now, dear, once more to the question of your coming down here to live, although I haven't had your views on the subject yet. The people whose place we are now occupying were here 4 months. Absorption by Flying Schools ought to be slower now, so that we might have to wait longer. Four months would take me to the end of April. I think it is almost certain that we shall be here until the end of March. Of our predecessors 15 went abroad for the rest of their training. DON'T PASS THAT FACT ON TO ANYONE ELSE. We had some bad news today though. As if our course were not full enough we are now to work on till 7 pm (official instructions are not out yet|) which would bite into the time during which we could expect to be together. I don't want to persuade you against your better judgement for which I have a wholesome respect, but I want you to know all the facts & to decide yourself. To my mind though, the raids on London, constitute THE most important factor no matter how much you pooh pooh them. I am very tired again tonight darling so I shall stop. This excessively energetic life wants some getting used to. Many thanks for your letter. I heaved a deep sigh of relief when I saw your writing. My love for ever, John



John Ross Mckenzie Valentine, “Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed June 23, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/19164.

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