Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula



Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula


Number 35. Lists letters and parcels (contents) received. Writes of nasal problems and relates issues of another prisoner, Frank Pepper who has been in interned for 2 1/2 years. Describes treatment of prisoners and reckons he is in best camp. Reports little progress with violin.



Temporal Coverage



Two page handwritten letter


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My Dearest Ursula: Your letters 1-34 are here. Sorry I didn’t mention the number before. In my last card I mention a parcel from Sweden – I have sent a card of thanks perhaps you’ll do the same – through whose good offices did it arrive? Its contents were more of a pleasant surprise than a hearty meal, though none the less welcome There was a 1lb jar of marmalade [inserted] box sweets [/inserted] small packet of fags 3 packets of soup powder, 1pr underpants & toilet accessories. Up to date I have had at least 12 packages from MR Clark of Lisbon – they are all small – each contains a tin of sardines or a packet of dried fruit. The latter I’m saving for Xmas & the former converted a few dull exclusively vegetarian meals into something more interesting. I haven’t anything very thrilling to report from here. My cold persists in a most uncomfortable state & I look like being unable to taste the few Xmas delicacies that will be available. When I get back, I’m going to have my nose attended to if I do nothing else – of that I’m certain. Frank Pepper I’m afraid, is definitely going to seed. He doesn’t do a single thing (apart from necessary domestic chores) from one weeks end to another & certainly bemoans his fate. Admittedly his health can’t be too good after over 2 1/2 years abstinence from a properly balanced diet but he doesn’t intered [sic] himself in anything to present himself from going mentally stale. Heaven preserve me from ratling [sic] away like that. Knowing his Vera, I can’t imagine them settling down to a life of bliss such as we are to enjoy. By the way it occurred to me that you might have been imagining us in shackles recently but I’m glad to say that we’ve had no threat of it so far. We’re really quite well treated here – I honestly don’t think theres a better camp in Germany – so we’ve a great deal to be thankful for. I still keep as busy as ever but wish I could feel more hopeful with my fiddle – I’m really keen on it but get very little help from my master – I’ve been going 4 months now but have made astonishingly little progress. Both any wrists & the fingers of my left hand are confoundedly stiff – getting them supple is going to be a lifes work. I’m sorry to tell you that my record of 4 months good behaviour is shattered & though I’m constantly making vows & my intentions are often of the best I don’t seem to be able to put up much of a struggle nowadays. I wish I could get some news of Leslie – he’s lucky (in a way) still to be free & able to pull his weight while I’m a dead loss here (as far as Britain is concerned). You won’t get this before Jan 6th but I shall be thinking of you fondly then – as always. Yours ever. John.
[page break]
[underlined] Kriegsgefangenenpost [/underlined]
[sticker] EXAMINER 4405 [/sticker]
[post mark] GEPRUFT 52 [/post mark]
Kreis: LONDON N.W.4.
Ladesteil (Provinz usw.)
[sticker] OPENED BY P.C.90 [/sticker]
Vor- und Zuname: Sgt JRM VALENTINE
Gefangenennummer: 450
Lager-Bezeichnung: M.-Stammlager Luft 3
[underlined] Deutschland (Germany) [/underlined]
[page break]



John Ross Mckenzie Valentine, “Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed February 24, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/19237.

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