Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula



Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula


Number 26. Notes mail ban has been lifted and large bunch of letters arrived. Thanks for sending book 'Agriculture' and tells her not to worry about sending sleeping bag. Mentions other items sent and their usefulness. Discuses reasons for stating violin and problems. Suggests she should not convinced glowing descriptions of camp in magazine. Catches up chat about family and friends.



Temporal Coverage



Two page handwritten letter


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[underlined] No. 26 [/underlined]

Darling Ursula: The mail ban was lifted today & we all got a flood of accumulated letters. Yours 1-30 & that of 22nd Oct. are now here. Please resume numbering – it makes not the slightest difference to their arrival. Nor has it any effect on mine. The [one indecipherable word] just sticks it out if he doesn’t like it – but does not delay the letter. Please tell me how many of mine you have now received. Many thanks for sending “Agriculture”. I found that it wasn’t practicable to borrow someone else’s & will refrain from attacking the course until the books arrive. Too bad my letter re parcels arriving late – Don’t bother now about the quilt sleeping bag until it appears likely that I must spend a second winter here for it would be too late for this one anyway. Please send a comb at earliest opportunity. Sandals no good as sports shoes but exceedingly welcome as slippers. I was so glad to read [inserted] of [/inserted] your enthusiasm over my start[?] on the violin. It was solely with the object of playing with YOU that I started. I wanted a wood wind at first because it wouldn’t be so difficult but they are impossible to obtain & I managed at first to borrow a fiddle & then get one of my own. As you know the age of 30 is late for starting one of the most difficult of instruments but it was all I could get. I don’t hope to do any good at all but shall try really hard. My chief difficulty is our[?] efficient instructor – a fellow P.O.W. is doing his best for me but doesn’t know how to teach. Second difficulty is space to practice. It is too cold now to go where I first started & I am now forced to play in the lavatory of our own barrack being the only (more or less) unoccupied room. Its like practicing in a public w.c. with people attending to nature on all sides of one. There are no such things as private closets here (any idea of modesty vanished long ago) so you can imagine the distractions. Don’t be too convinced by the apparently glowing description of this place in the Mag. Although as camps go its[sic] not too bad. Please thank Deidre for this monetary gift. Sorry to hear of everybody’s ailment & hope all are now recovered. I am very fit except for the 3 minor troubles I told you about. Many thanks for your trouble re appropriate medicines. What an awful fright you must have had when Frances was “missing” I, too, tremble to think of her crossing Finchley[?] lane alone. Knowing you I can well imagine how upset you must have been, poor darling. I’ve such a lot to say dearest[?] that I’m going to write another letter at once / Lots of love John

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[Reverse of letter card]
EXAMINER 3638 [boxed] GEPRUFT 29 [/boxed]

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John Ross Mckenzie Valentine, “Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula ,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed July 15, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/19228.

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