Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula



Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula


Number 51. Describes conditions in new camp. Mentions they no longer cook their own food therefore little distraction from monotony. Mentions difficulties in continuing with his violin. States that mail will be slow for a few weeks, comments favourably on new camp and how the train journey to new location proved a tonic.



Temporal Coverage



Two page handwritten letter


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Start of transcription

51 1108

21st June 1943

My Dearest Ursula: We are slowly settling down here but a lot has to be done before the camp reaches the standard of the last. As yet we have no sports field, theatre, [deleted] or [/deleted] facilities for organised education or library. These things normally fill in the time for most of the fellows who at present are mooning about like list [sic] souls. In addition we don’t cook our own food as we did before so the days are long almost to the point of distraction. However, we hope in time to get some of the things we need to help the time along. Deprived of facilities for playing my fiddle I spent a miserable & inactive week until yesterday when in desperation I went into the tiny little box like shambles leading off the barrack room which serves as a [several censored words] I fitted a mute to my violin & struck up. There is only a flimsy door to keep the sound out of the barrack where the fellows live but with the aid of the mute I have [inserted] been [/inserted] able so to muffle the hideous strains as to excite only good natured leg pulling from the unwilling listeners. It isn’t good for a learner to play with a mute & the room is so small that [one sentence censored] subject to the continued tolerance of the audience, I intend struggling on. Mail of course is at a discount & will be until the camp has been going for some weeks but Red X parcels are here - not direct from Geneva but from the stock at Luft III. I am still tasteless

[several words censored] longest ever & there seems to be little sign of improvement. I like the barrack rooms & surroundings of this camp much better that the last [inserted] while [/inserted] the train journey & change has acted as a real mental tonic to me & everyone else. The sight of women on roads & stations caused the greatest excitement for they are phenomena quite unknown to prison life. We are all hoping that our next move will be homewards but I personally don’t expect to make that for more than a year at least. Don’t forget your holiday. Keep well & look after Frances. My love for ever


[page break]

[underlined] Kriegsgefangenenpost [/underlined]

[post mark]



Bottrells Lane

Chalfont St Giles


[deleted] LIDO [/deleted]

Empfangsort: [deleted] TENTERDEN GROVE [/deleted]

Straße: [deleted] HENDON [/deleted]

Kreis: [deleted] LONDON N.W.4 [/deleted]


Landesteil (Provinz usw.)

[post mark]

[underlined] Gebührenfreil [/underlined]


Vor- und Zuname: Sgt John Valentine

Gefangenennummer: 451


Lager-Bezeichnung: [underlined] VIA [/underlined] M.-Stammlager Luft 3

Deutschland (Allemagne)



John Ross Mckenzie Valentine, “Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed June 23, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/19332.

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