Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula



Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula


Number 18 date 5.3.43 [sic]. Reports letters arrived one having taken four months. Now has all the letters she has sent. Glad to hear all the news. Writes he is still in the dark about her factory job and requests information. Is fully occupied with influx of new prisoners and has problem that some outrank him. Mentions performance of Merchant of Venice and that he is glad winter is over.



Temporal Coverage



Two page handwritten letter


IBCC Digital Archive


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Darling Ursula: I was very happy today to receive your letters 40 & 49, former taking nearly 4 mos[sic] to arrive. I think it must have been held up in Britain for it had a strange but British envelope & a remark about Bills[sic] & Irenes[sic] fortunes[?] was heavily blocked out. I now have your 1-51 letters absolutely complete & feel very satisfied for I hate the thought of missing anything from you. I was very pleased to have details of the wedding & comments on Bill & glad to know that you had met cousin Jean – I like her a lot. How on earth did Colin Hay come to be at the wedding? The photos of you & Ann are grand & give me much pleasure although they make me long for you more than ever. NO – [one indecipherable word] POTELLE’S wife is not in Britain. He is still away from here & I feel a bit worried about him. I was thrilled to know that you may send all ordinary letters airmail – the thought of being deprived of your long weekly missives was most upsetting – BUT what about this factory work of yours?? I am still absolutely in the dark about it. Could you possibly tell me (in such a way that the censor won’t object) the following (1) How far away from Lido you have to travel (2) How often you go (3) The time you start & stop work (4) Whether you use machines likely to remove limbs if carelessly worked. Do please, please realise that I have an interest in your well being – it matters to me more than anything else in the word & I am not a little disturbed by my ignorance of the truth. But I want truth – not flannel! I haven’t touched the fiddle for 2 days. A rare event in the form of an influx of new prisoners has kept me fully occupied. How I loathe my job – trying to keep the peace between a lot of argumentitive[sic] & rather selfish P.O.W.s calls for endless patience & tact. Also, being of the same rank or in some cases lower rank than them I have no authority to give orders. A letter from Father dated 11th March arrived today with yours of 16th Dec!! Please send (through him if you like) a message of sympathy to Aunt Mary for the accident to her shoulder. I hope the bone will be mended by the time you get this. A performance of the Merchant of Venice was given last night & I enjoyed it thoroughly. I can’t think of any fresh news. I’m glad the winter is over – the summer is much pleasanter here although last year we suffered very badly indeed with flies. I’m sorry that I have not always made specific mention of every photo sent but don’t think that I do not appreciate them. Each & every one of you & or Frances I love and am deeply grateful. In that respect I am [one indecipherable word] the luckiest man in the camp. I also humbly & gratefully acknowledge the privilege of being your husband. Keep well darling. For ever yours, John

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John Ross Mckenzie Valentine, “Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed December 1, 2022, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/19299.

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