Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula



Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula


Number 16. Reports on letters that have arrived. Mentions money he left in his locker at the squadron and discusses finances and income tax. Thrilled with photographs Barbara sent. Writes about life in camp, room mates, his daily routine, Red Cross food and other activities.



Temporal Coverage



Two page handwritten letter


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No. 16 30-8-42
Darling Ursula: Your letters 1 to13 except 12 now here. I left £5-10-0 in a leather wallet placed in a boot in my locker in the squadron hanger. Income tax liability correct & based on both service pay & Touches allowance. Touches should commence deducting it from the monthly pittance in November after which you need not continue setting aside the monthly £5. When they do start doing that pay the accumulated £5 deductions into our joint a/c or use it for house redecoration the estimate for which seems O.K. Amongst my effects was 1 lb homemade jam got from you on my last leave. Hope you had it back. I was absolutely thrilled with Barbara’s large photos & felt bound to sacrifice one of my precious cards to thank her. The amount of pleasure I get from looking at them is incredible! For certain reasons please don’t comment on the amount of mail you get from me & trust me to send you every possible missive out of my meagre rations.
A few words about life here.. We live in huts of 164 men. 80 being in each of 2 rooms while the block leader & 3 others share a small room. My three colleagues are all Dutch. Every morning of the week is taken up with block duties eg. dealing with queries, seeing that rooms are cleaned & keeping the peace generally. Monday morning is particularly busy for we get our towels changed then, coal for cooking & most of the Red Cross food (if available) German rations are dished out at mid day & have to be divided & then the fellows take turns on the stove to cook concoctions from Red Cross & German sources. Our turn is at 12.30 & after lunch (!!) I usually put in some time on the fiddle. A cup of tea at 4 pm is followed by more fiddle work, a wash & then evening parade after which we have a bit of supper & then are locked in I usually have several hut duties to attend to then (eg. Announcements, preparation of sick list) followed by reading or bridge with lights out at 11 pm. I attend a bible class on Wed. (studying St John’s Gospel); Debating Society on Sat, violin lessons Tues & Fri. Church on Sun morning & evening with gram. recital in afternoon. Owing to lack of accommodation the school hasn’t started yet but I am to study German & English literature when it gets going. There is plenty of reading here so don’t worry unduly about book parcels.
Don’t throw away your letters. I left my new cigarette case behind always so that someone else could use it if I were killed. Always thinking of you with infinite longing, Yours ever, John

Mrs U.M. Valentine
Tenterden Grove
Hendon, London N W 4
John R.M. Valentine
M-Stammlager Luft 3

Censor stamps Gerpruft 32 Examiner 3654



John Ross Mckenzie Valentine, “Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed June 13, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/19219.

Item Relations

This Item dcterms:relation Item: Postcard from John Valentine to E B Griffin