Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula



Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula


Number 44. Writes that it is the end of his first year in captivity and wonders how it has been for her. He tells of his desire to be reunited, his fiddle practice, his apologies for seeming ungrateful for parcels, a request for no further clothes and that he hopes she and their daughter are well and that they are planning a holiday.



Temporal Coverage



Two page handwritten letter


IBCC Digital Archive


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NUMBER 44 30th May 1943.
My Darling Ursula: In a few hours I shall have completed my first years captivity It certainly has passed tolerably well & if not quickly at least without much wearying I wrote once that a year would be quite enough & I still am of that opinion Im [sic] ready to come home any year now. (!) I wonder how you have enjoyed the year – it certainly can’t have been great fun for you with your nose to the grindstone almost without respite. However I have implicit faith in your ability to keep cheerful no matter how discouraging things can be. Reunion with you is what I long for all my waking hours & someday that wish will be granted- in fact, as I said above, it may happen any year now. To mark the occasion I attended divine service tonight, but discovered that my attitude towards religion hasn’t altered one iota since last I went – which was months ago in 1942. It has occurred to me that if I am to keep up the fiddle after my return time for regular practice will have to be worked into our scheme of things. I reckon I shall require at least 5 years before I can dream of being able to play with you & I don’t think I have any hope of serving those years in Germany? In any case practice is necessary to maintain proficiency so you must get used to the collar of my returning to the lavatory for a long period daily. That is what I do here & the habit might be difficult to shake off. I wonder if you could find & send me a book on violin technique (if one exists) I don’t want music but a text book on the art of playing the thing with possibly some exercises for developing or loosening muscles in the right arm & both wrists. If at any time I have appeared ungrateful for any parcel sent me it was not because I felt that way, but merely because writing space is so limited. In particular I may not have said much about your Mothers parcels & her kindness in sending them. Everything she sent has been most useful & fitted in well with your gifts. I now have quite enough clothing in fact I have given quite a lot away but most people are well of [sic] now so please don’t send any more clothes unless I ask for them. You see I don’t possess a chest of drawers into which superfluous stuff can be placed until required. Living space is very scarce here. When next I write I shall be in my second year of imprisonment – let us hope it will be the last, but I have my doubts. I hope you & Frances are well & that you are busy making preparations for a holiday – a real one. I send you my fondest love dearest, always yours, John.
[page break]
[underlined] Kriegsgefangenenpost [/underlined]
[postmark] GEPRÜFT 64 [/postmark]
[postmark] PASSED P.W 7898 [/postmark]
Straße: HENDON
[underlined] Gebührenfrei! [/underlined] 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 October 4, 2022, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/19327.

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