Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula



Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula


Number 49. Catalogues letters that have arrived and those missing. Writes that letters give him more pleasure than anything else. Mentions arrival of American food parcel and packets of music. Writes about how difficult violin is. Discusses sock laundry problems and techniques. catches up with family news. Send latest chess move. Thanks for sending strings and encourages her to start looking for house in the country.



Temporal Coverage



Two page handwritten letter


IBCC Digital Archive


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Is Irene married yet??
My Darling Ursula: Truly a delightful week for me, your letter 41 arrived today It’s date was +26/12/42 yet only two days age I got one dated 10th Nov. Your only missing letters up to No 41 are 36, 38 & 40. I am stating the solemn truth when I tell you that, without a single exception, your letters give me more pleasure than anything else in this camp. I read them time & again, thoroughly enjoying them each time. I honestly don’t care a button (or a fig, if you prefer it) if no one else writes – but don’t tell anyone for fear of hurting their feelings – but they might just as well burn their letters as send them here – except Bar. I like her letters because they sound really sincere. A second American food parcel for me is on the camp, but I don’t know the donor yet as I haven’t received it. The two packets of music have also arrived for which many sincere thanks. I now have something to get my teeth into and lack only the skill. It is an incredible difficult process, violin playing & I require fully 10 years to reach any sort of reasonable standard. However I’ll peg away because (1) I enjoy it (2) If I can ever be good enough to play with you it will be worth any amount of effort. Thanks for tips re sock washing I cannot comply with them all. Hot water isn’t easy to come by & I could never get enough to rinse them in warm water. However my technique is greatly improved & I wont have to give away any more pairs to fellows with smaller feet. By the way I have two funny stories for you but as they border on the naughty I’ll keep them till we meet in 1944. Fancy Heath F/Lt – sure it isn’t F/Sgt? Delighted to hear of all your festivities over Xmas. Frances certainly seemed to have a grand time. In the lovely snaps of you in your black dress, you seem to have some flowering shrubbery over your head, or has someone poured the brandy over you instead of Xmas pudding & set it alight. The snap of you holding Frances is superb. Chess moves – sorry over my steps on 1st game (I [indecipherable word] a board & every playing mentally) Game 1. PxP. Game 2. P – Q4. Game 3. – you be white & move 1st. Many thanks for sending strings if you send another lot, don’t bother about the E string- I have plenty. Certainly start looking for a house in the country. Of course we didn’t go in for turkey at Xmas, in fact we didn’t get an extra atom of rations from the Reich. However, we had a Red X Xmas parcel which helped. I’ve spoken to my violin teacher about his neglect of me & he promises to have a session soon. He isn’t really interested & I can’t very well bully him into sparing me some time. All my love you darling. Yrs John.
[page break]
[underlined] Kriegsgefangenenpost [/underlined]
Strasse: HENDON
[page break]
Vor – und Zuname: Sgt John Valentine
Gefangenennummer: 450



John Ross Mckenzie Valentine, “Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed June 30, 2022, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/19251.

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