Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula



Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula


Number 20. No mail. Wonders if she had last card with suggestion she live on farm and lists advantages. He mentions difficulties in maintaining personal, clothing and bedding hygiene. He asks Ursula to pass on news to his mother. He also mentions considering dropping various classes in favour of practising his fiddle playing and asks Ursula’s advice.



Temporal Coverage



Two page handwritten letter


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NUMBER. 20 10-4-43
My Dearest Darling: I have no mail of yours to acknowledge but I am not grumbling for I was overjoyed to receive the two missing ones during the week & thus to know that no letter of yours up to 51 was missing. I wonder if you have had my last card with its suggestion that after your people come home you should go to live on a farm, giving Frances the benefit of a rural life, both of you immunity from air raids & yourself a chance to learn some of the tricks of the trade. Quite frankly, I don’t expect you to be able to secure a house for us & you could very usefully help the nation by working on or near the land. It would be a better life for you after your years of undiluted housewifery & factory work – you haven’t had a holiday since we went to Corse Lawn whereas when I was in England I had a holiday every leave. I look forward to your comments. I’m still very fit but tasteless once more – I’m still worried by spots on my body but don’t think that they are caused by insects. One of the disadvantages of this place is that one can never feel really clean. We get showers once a week (usually – although sometimes a week is missed) & I wash all my clothes weekly but [inserted] as [/inserted] we live in such a crowded fashion & it is difficult to air blankets & impossible to air mattress of wood shavings unless weather is dry, one can never be certain that the insect life is non existent. One of the joys that awaits us on our return is the privilige [sic] of sleeping between sheets (heavenly thought) & in a soft & comfortable bed. I had a letter from Mother in which she said that they seldom have news of me. Would you mind phoning them now & again when you hear from me, but don’t tell them how many letters I manage to send you. You needn’t comment on that to me either but I would like to know the individual numbers that get through. I wish I could see you for a little while – there’s such a lot I could tell you & you tell me which the joint efforts of English & German censors would forbid on paper. I am toying with the idea of going hammer & tongs at the fiddle during the forthcoming months when it will be warm enough to practise long hours in the “latrine.’ It would mean dropping Agriculture, Dutch & Musical Theory but if I could be certain that I wouldn’t be wasting my time I wouldn’t hesitate. At the moment I have grave doubts of being anything but a scratcher which is all I am now despite the many hours I’ve put in to date. Let me know what you advise. I think of you dozens of times a day & gaze on your photo’s as often. Keep well & cheerful & look after Frances, John
[page break]
[underlined] Kriegsgefangenenpost [/underlined]
[postmark] GEPRÜFT 64 [/postmark]
Straße: HENDON
Kreis: LONDON N. W4
Landesteil (Provinz usw.)
Vor- und Zuname: Sgt John 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 May 21, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/19302.

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