Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula



Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula


Starts with domestic matters, his activities and uniform issues. Notes examinations starting next week. Still waiting treatment for broken tooth. Has no spare time to read. Mentions he is not sleeping well, that individual interviews with squadron CO are coming up and concludes with description of days activity.



Temporal Coverage



Four page handwritten letter


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1251404 AC2 Valentine John
D flight 1 Squadron
Queens Hotel,

Wed 8/1/41

Darling Ursula, We have got our usual Maths lecture back today so I might be able to do a little more letter writing than I have managed on the last two occasions. Yours NS&M arrived this morning & its enclosed letter. Sorry I forgot to mention the Tall Boy. By all means paint it any colour you like. I think it is much more suited for a thick bright enamel than a mock wood stain so do with it just whatever you please. I was interested to hear of your Tenterden Grove Watch party & think that the idea is a good one but I hate to think though of your having to do a job like that just now & the sooner we get you away from London & all its trials & tribulations the better for your health, for baby & for my peace of mind. I was sent up to the stores yesterday to get a new tunic in place of mine which is so badly split under the arm unfortunately they hadn't one in stock any larger than the damaged one so I am still waiting for a new one. Lord knows when I shall get it but in the meantime I suppose that my present one must go on splitting.
We have our first Exams next week viz: Maths & anti Gas, but I don't anticipate much difficulty with either. I am still waiting for treatment to my broken tooth which I have reported on two occasions. I have been told that my name is on the list of those wanting treatment but until it come along I suppose I must go on tearing my tongue on the jagged stump. I am finding that I have absolutely no time at all for reading. Every minute of the day from the beginning of the week until the end is occupied by sleeping, eating, working, swotting or writing to you. Yesterday I bought a daily paper to read about Bardia but I haven't opened the paper yet. I have read all the articles in the NS&M which hid this letter but not the correspondence. The next issue arriving from you I have thought it better to return the earlier one so that I can devote all my few spare moments to the latest issue. Please continue to send it though for it is nice to have something to turn to. Such has been the pressure on our time that I haven't yet started to read the Lilliput that you included in my Xmas presents. I still have it though as a useful standby.
I am sleeping very unpleasantly just now – in fact I have done for some weeks lately. I don't often lie awake for any length of time but I never have a complete nights undisturbed sleep. I am constantly waking up at irregular intervals & dreaming badly most of the time. The extremely cold weather is partly responsible – our draughty garrets are absolutely icy & many of the fellows have been complaining that the bitter cold has prevented sound sleep. We have put in an application to the CO for an extra blanket each. We hope to have our demand satisfied in June probably in time for a heat wave. Within the next few days we are all to have a private interview with our Squadron CO. The object is to enable him to gather some ever so slight impression of our character which might be useful to him when recommending for commissions
My father has been in the habit of writing to me on Mondays but no letter has turned up yet. I wonder if they have taken umbrage. Today has been a very energetic one (no, I'm not still at Maths lecture) We have had 2 hours drill at the extraordinary break neck pace insisted upon & 1 hours very strenuous P.T. So that we are quite tired physically. I have notes to write up though & Thompson & I hope to retire to bed early & put in a little morse practice in bed (we have borrowed a buzzer). It is too cold in this place to do anything like that anywhere but in bed. My chess move is bishop takes Pawn C8 – G4. Sorry I didn't see your move at the top of your letter until I was re- reading it this afternoon. The University is now in session. You had better hurry here to keep me out of the clutches of the ravishing female students who gaze at us drilling – open mouthed & awestruck I'm sure I'm the private idol of a dozen already as I march at the head of the flight!
All my love, dearest, John



John Ross Mckenzie Valentine, “Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed October 1, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/19168.

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