Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula



Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula


Number 83-140. Hopes she enjoyed her birthday. Still waiting definite news of house purchase and mentions financial tax matters. Weather now freezing which is improvement on previous slush. Mentions two resolutions one to do more fiddle practise but difficult to find somewhere to do it. List items he would like her to send.



Temporal Coverage



Two page handwritten letter


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Start of transcription
10th December 1943
Dearest Ursula: Your birthday is now a byegone. I hope you enjoyed it. I am sure very [inserted] few [/inserted] birthdays are remembered so often during the day – the thought that it was the birthday of my beloved wife occurred to me a score of [missing word] during 8th Dec & I cursed my inability to do more than think of you. The day was made pleasant for me by the arrival of your letter of 14th Oct – series complete to that date. Definite news of house purchase is still waiting but you had to wait & so must I. Recently I tried to explain how you could get a limited reduction in Inc. Tax because of payments to Blg. Soc. The catch, of course, is that we have to pay a separate assessment based on “ownership” of property. Also there are rates, repairs coal electricity etc etc. I hope to goodness you can cope financially but how we’ll manage when I have to live on the same joint income baffles me. Do your best to take full financial advantage of my detention. Your birthday also saw the commencement of the big freeze up. Everything outside is solid - & a blessed relief, too, from that awful slush of the past 6 weeks. An appalling climate! Its bitterly cold now but hard underfoot - no great depth of snow yet. Coal ration adequate – Cold at night – I could do with that blanket in the missing parcel! To mark the occasion I made one or two resolutions on your birthday – one of which was to do some fiddle practice in the very early morning – before the rest of the camp awakes – I’ve done it twice now but it is extremely cold. The other resolutions I’ll divulge in due course but one of them ensures that I shall be fully occupied for every minute of the day – I’ve never been so absolutely busy in all my life. My fiddle is standing up to the hard wear it gets. Most days I do nearly five hours my average for a 7 day week is over four, which I hope to increase. The actual expenditure of time is far greater for I tour the camp going from [inserted] U/S [/inserted] lavatory to potato cellar, to cook house etc looking for a vacant spot, hovering about until it is vacant & then putting in further practice until dispossessed. Very disheartening at times & I often feel like throwing in the towel. Which reminds me – please definitely include [inserted] light [/inserted] underwear & socks in next parcel. Have had no fags or tobacco for 3 months – stocks still good but not unlimited. Regards to your people – fondest love to self & Frances
[page break]
[underlined] Kriegsgefangenenpost [underlined]
[deleted] c/o LITTLE CLOSE [/deleted]
[inserted] FELMERSHAM [/inserted]
Empfangsort: [deleted] Devon Rd [/deleted]
[inserted] BOTTRELLS LANE [/inserted]
Strasse: [deleted] SALCOMBE [/deleted]
Kreis: [deleted] DEVON [/deleted]
[inserted] BUCKS. [/inserted]
Vor- und Zuname: Sgt. J.R.M. VALENTINE
Gefangenennummer: 450
Lager-Bezeichnjung: M.-Stammlager Luft 3
Deutschland (Allemagne)



John Ross Mckenzie Valentine, “Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed June 22, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/19379.

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