Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula



Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula


Number 173-30. Reports on recently arrived letters and writes of his admiration of her energy in building up their new home. Comments on her visit to Devon. Despite war news he is miserable as a prisoner of war despite others optimism that war will soon be over. He also lacks anywhere to practise violin and the camp is unfinished and lacking light or conveniences. Sorry he is being so gloomy.



Temporal Coverage



Two page handwritten letter


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StalagLuft III 16th Sept. 1944
Dearest Ursula: Another two letters during the past week – 1st & 10th April – I think all are here up to end April bar one. I also had one from Ray Cowdry & 2 from my fathers Swedish friend MR [indecipherable word] [indecipherable word] I shall be able to spare a card – He is the gentleman who so kindly sent the fiddle bow & cloth [indecipherable word] every letter I get from you I become more and more amazed at your tremendous store of ideas & energy – particularly that which you devote to building up our home. Each fresh acquisition or self manufacture makes me feel more and more grateful. I shall never be able adequately to thank you for all you’ve done nor to do enough to justify all your labours on my behalf. I am [underlined] really [/underlined] full of admiration & just bursting to tell you all I think of you. I’m delighted to hear of your Easter visit to sunny Devon and hope you’ve been able to manage at least one more trip this year. Despite the ground war news of these days, I’ve been more miserable here than ever before as a P.O.W. To begin with optimism is so rife that one can’t help feeling unsettled. Everyone speaks as if the end of the war were only a week or so hense [sic] but despite all hoping, each day is so painfully like the previous while the following always proves to be a mere repetition [undecipherable word] [undecipherable word] that any blaze of cheerfulness subsides into smouldering gloom. Secondly I can’t find anywhere to pass the time with my fiddle. I do a little practice each day but not nearly so much as I wish & that in the most unpleasant surroundings. Thirdly the camp is in an unfinished state – no light & other essential conveniences. [one sentence censored]. Until now my life as a POW has been one of activity, but now with opportunities from employment so limited, time hangs heavily on my hands – boredom & depression make their appearance. I have your letters from photos right from the start though & get a great deal of pleasure from them. I’d love to receive some of the more recent snaps that youve been sending. I’m sorry that this is such a gloomy missive – but pehaps [sic] you’ll never get it so no harm will be done. I hope you & Frances flouresh [sic] as ever & grow daily more beautiful (if possible) Fondest love to both - John
[page break]
173 30
[underlined] Kriegsgefangenenpost [/underlined]
[postmark] GEPRUFT 128 [/postmark]
[ink stamp] PASSED P.W.3112 [/ink stamp]
[postmark] GEPRUFT 128 [/postmark]
Empfangsort: BOTTRELL LANE
Kreis: BUCKS
[underlined] Gebuhrenfriel [/underlined] Landesteil (Provinz usw.)
Vor- und Zuname: Sgt JRM VALENTINE
Gefangenennummer: 450
Lager-Bezeichnung: M.-Stammlager [deleted] 357 [/deleted] Luft III
[underlined] Deutschland (Allemagne) [/underlined]



John Ross Mckenzie Valentine, “Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 18, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/19465.

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