Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula



Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula


Number 165-22. No letters from her but recent news has thrilled them but will probably lead to more delays in mail. Others are optimistic about invasion but not him. Hope she will have holiday after all her efforts in past year. Mentions he is keeping fit and still practising on violin now weather is better and comments on his abilities. Writes he has been in this camp for a year and numbers growing daily. Comments he has not seen a woman for two years but there is only one he wants to see.



Temporal Coverage



Two page handwritten letter


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Start of transcription
11th June 1944
My Beloved Ursula: Unhappily I am still without mail from you & am fearing that I’ll have to go on very short rations of it in the future. The stirring news of the past weeks has thrilled us all but doubtless it will lead to further mail delays. However I’ll willingly go without your letters if our reunion is hastened by the same cause. Optimism is rife as a result of our wonderful invasion but I’m not indulging to any great extent. If I could be home in time to celebrate your birthday I’ll be surprised & that is the most I hope for. I hope you and darling daughter will treat yourselves to a holiday this year. [underlined] You [/underlined] will certainly need one after all your stupendous efforts of the past year. I’m keeping as fit as ever & devoting all my energies to the fiddle. Since my capture I have started several varied intellectual pursuits, but all have petered out after a few months with the sole exception of the violin, my interest in which grows steadily stronger. With the warmer weather I’m able to practice a lot more & it now occupies all my available time every day. I do nothing else nowadays, not even reading. I’ve started playing duets with another fellow & for want of proper material he & I play 1st & 2nd violin parts respectively of a few Mozart quartets for strings. Mind you, I don’t play well. I scratch badly & am rarely in time & usually a bar or two behind or ahead but its good fun to see who gets to the end first. Seriously though, I am improving but it’s a very difficult instrument to master & I’ve a long way to go yet. I wonder if I’ll be able to continue with it after my release If you or H.M. King will allow me time, I intend trying. It has been & is a real blessing to me here & if I believed in God, I’d thank him for it. I’ve been in this camp for a year now & dislike it more as time goes on. We’re growing daily in numbers but not in lebensraum. How I hate men in the mass! You know, I haven’t spoken to a woman for over 2 yrs nor seen one since the journey here. Nevertheless there is only 1 woman I want to see or speak to & I love her & long for her as fervently as ever I did. I wish I had some fresh photos of her & her strapping daughter. I hope you are keeping well, dearest & that the P.G’s have continued to be satisfactory. Fondest love
[page break]
165 22
[underlined] Kriegsgefangenenpost [/underlined]
[deleted] FELMERSHAM [/deleted]
Empfangsort: [deleted] BOTTRELLS LANE [/deleted]
Strasse: [deleted] CHALFONT ST GILES [/deleted]
Kreis: [deleted] BUCKS [/deleted]
[inserted] Little Close
Devon [/inserted]
Vor- und Zuname: J R M VALENTINE
Gefangenennummer: 450
Kriegsgefangenenlager der Luftwaffe Nr. 3
Duetschland (Allemagne)



John Ross Mckenzie Valentine, “Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed December 8, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/19410.

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