Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula



Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula


Number 41. Lists books that have arrived and ask her to thank donors. Planning to start agriculture course. He is continuing with violin and would like to master Dutch. Reports second parcel of clothing has arrived and he has most of what he needs except deficiencies previously mentioned. His main wish is for a watch and he asks if she could organise one from Switzerland. If he has to spend another winter he would like another pair of slippers. Mentions food, putting on weight and home sickness.



Temporal Coverage



Tow page handwritten letter


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NUMBER 41 8 – 1 – 42
My Darling Ursula: The following books arrived today 2 German Grammars, Dictionary, Reading & Composition books, Farming Year. Gone with the Wind, Stranger Prince, Kristin Lowrons Doitter, 2 Copies of “Agriculture”. 1 of the latter I have presented to the library. Who sent the books I know not but would like you to thank the donors heartily – they are [inserted] (the books) [/inserted] are greatly appreciated. Would you tell me which I fancy may pass on to our library here for books are greatly in demand. I shall circulate them among my friends anyway. There is no reason now why I shouldn’t start the agriculture course now except that I haven’t time – I don’t want to give up what I’m doing at present while I’ve made further progress. I still do 2 -3 hrs daily on the fiddle but tuition is at a discount. I haven’t had a lesson from my master for 6 weeks. He tired of it sooner than I! I want to persist with Dutch for I’m really keen to master at least 1 language & that might be useful in the office after the war. The Theory of Music classes are still going & we hope to set some esonme [sic] from the London School of Music; & to get some certificates thereby. German I’ll have to let slide for the time being. If we are to spend another winter here, I might be able to tackle agriculture A second parcel of clothing has come from you Mother & I’ve written my thanks. I really have all I want now except the deficiencies I mentioned in an earlier letter to you. One of my gravest wants is a watch. My own being the property of the RAF was confiscated when I was captured. Do you think Mr G. or anyone else could get one sent from Switzerland It really is a confounded nuisance being without one. My 3 Dutch friend came down “in the drink” & all their timepieces were ruined. Incidentally I haven’t had that promised food parcel from Switzerland. Should I have to spend another winter here, would you send a pair of stout, warm slippers I didn’t realise what a boon they would be until your Mothers arrived but hers unfortunately are not robust enough for the hard wear here. At this time of year the floors of our billets are always wet from snow brought in by our boots & the rope soles of the slippers your Mother sent have simply rotted away in a few weeks I have had some success with my sense of taste recently. It is not fully recovered yet but its periods of absence are greatly reduced. Everyone says I have put on weight & I certainly have recovered all I lost in the summer. The amount of potatoes I eat may account for it. The 6th January was easily the worst I have spent here – from the point of view of home sickness. I was thinking of you & of 3 years ago during the whole day & worked up a lovely spell of longing for you. I feel better now but yearn as much as ever. Mail is still a daily disappointment. Hope you are keeping well & cheerful. Hows Frances? Lots of love, as always, John.
[page break]
[underlined] Kriegsgefangenenpost [/underlined]
[sticker] EXAMINER 2719 [/sticker]
[postmark] [unreadable word] FT 21 [/postmark]
Kreis: LONDON N.W4
Landesteil (Provinz usw.)
[sticker] 51-1166 H & S P.C.90 OPENED BY [/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 July 20, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/19243.

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