Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula



Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula


Number 43. Hopes he will get more letters from her. Mentions going to officers compound for show but with restrictions on speaking to anyone. Reports very cold weather but is able to keep small room warm even with small coal allowance. Mentions he has been skating but only eight sets of skates for hut of 144 men. Longs to hear from her and have news of daughter. He is homesick but continues with violin.



Temporal Coverage



Two page handwritten letter


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My Dearest Ursula: I have not much to tell you just now. Mail fall sorts[?] is at a discount – how I long for just a few letters from you alone. The Germans can burn all the others for me provided they pass yours. I was privileged to go to a show in the officers compound today. They are housed in a camp separate from ours & no intermingling or fraternising is allowed but as a concession a number of us were allowed to go over to see their show (Treasure Island) on condition that we did not speak to any officer. It was a good show, lively & with plenty of laughs. We have had some really cold weather recently one night there were nearly 40°(F) of frost. The next night a mere 20° were recorded & it felt quite balmy by comparison. Today it has been thawing slightly & we positively swelter. The cold is not nearly such a trial as I imagined, thanks chiefly to being an inhabitant of a small room. The coal ration is meagre but we manage to get enough to produce [deleted] an[?] [/deleted] sufficient heat from our small stove wheras [sic] those fellows in the large rooms are not nearly so lucky. Skating has started & I have had about 30 mins. on the ice. 8 pairs of skates (clip on variety) are available for our hut (144 men[?]) & we have a roster which gives each man a short session every other day. Should I be here next winter skates would be a most useful gift for I believe we are in for a long spell of suitable weather. It seems ages since I heard from you & I want so much to hear how you are keeping, what you are doing as well as details of Francis’[?] progress in life. I’m still in the dark [inserted] as to [/inserted] (& not a little perturbed thereby) your job in a factory of which I had a hint in your letter 37. I have been more homesick with longing for you this month than any month so far – it is a period through which we all pass at times here – but its not very pleasant. I have dreamed of you a lot too & get such a disappointment when I wake up. My violin struggles continue. Still [one indecipherable word] – my senses are less troublesome now but not yet fully recovered, while my particular trouble scores fewer successes just now. I often think of this time last year when we were together – in very similar weather too.
Love to Ba, kiss for Francis while I remain yours as ever John.

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John Ross Mckenzie Valentine, “Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 15, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/19245.

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