Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula



Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula


Mentions arrival of letter 56 from her. Asks after daughter Frances and recent birthday. Thanks her for sending music and looking forward to the photographs. States parcel of cigarettes have arrived but no books. Writes that relations with camp guards has now improved and recent reprisals lifted. Mentions internal prison 'cooler' and some recent sentences on prisoners. Comments on his health. Side slip note 'P.C.11. POSTAL CENSORSHIP, The British Censorship is not responsible for the mutilation of this letter, M18235 6000 10/42 RP, signed CCB 19'.



Temporal Coverage



Two page handwritten letter


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Start of transcription
Darling Ursula: Your letter No 56 arrived today breaking a silence of a month. I was sorry to read of Frances’ illness at the time of her birthday but glad to know that she recovered so quickly. Did she appreciate the significance of the day & did she enjoy getting presents? How much can she speak now & how much can she understand of what you say? You mention a sand pit. Where is it & whence came the sand? Considering the state of current affairs, she did quite well in the way of gifts. I hope your dental treatment wasn’t too painful – which man did you go to? Very many thanks for sending off music & manuscript & strings – everything will be most welcome I assure you & if you could get anyone to send odd lots of manuscript from time to time to the camp (or to me) it will be greatly appreciated. I’m eagerly looking forward to the packages of photos – they are tremendously welcome I really do assure you (& Ba – who really has quite a lot to do with them) I’m sorry I can’t send another snap of myself. I’d do anything within my power to give you pleasure & you say that a snap of me would do so – but I’m afraid opportunities are few & far between. From Bish, 1 parcel of 200 Cigs has arrived & 4 letters but no books yet. Please give my sincere thanks. From the Wardens, 4 tobacco parcels are here & I have sent a card of thanks – which I really meant. Are your people en route for Blighty now? Relations with our captors are better now & all reprisals for alleged offences have been lifted, so we should have a show at the theatre soon. We have a private jail here to which fellows are sent [inserted] by the Germans [/inserted] for any sort of misbehaviour eg. attempts to escape, smoking on parade. Nobody minds a spell in the “cooler” as it is called, & there is a steady stream of temporary tenants. Last week 1 fellow was sentenced to 3 weeks confinement on bread & water for shouting “Huns up” when a German entered a barrack. We always give warnings in that or a similar fashion in case any of us are busy [inserted] at [/inserted] things we ought not to be doing but the word “Hun” wasn’t appreciated by the German. Bread & water confinement includes sleeping on wooden boards. I am still absolutely tasteless. I have been so for a week or two while before that I wasn’t entirely free from the wretched trouble. I have had, [inserted] it [/inserted] off & on for some months now – blast it & I’ve plenty of stuff to smoke too. I continue to plug away at the fiddle – it seems hopeless at times – All my love, dearest. I wish I could see you & Frances again soon. Always yours John
The British Censorship is not responsible for the mutilation of this letter.
M1B235 6000 10/42 RP
[page break]
89 (31)
[underlined] Kreiegsgefangenenpost [/underlined]
Strasse: HENDON
Kreis: LONDON N.W4



John Ross Mckenzie Valentine, “Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 24, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/19314.

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