Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula



Letter from John Valentine to his wife Ursula


Number 181-37. Writes that he has increased his pay allotment to her and mentions other financial matters. Lists request for items of clothing and other items which he would like her to send. Asks he to ask friends to send him tobacco, books and music. Notes Red Cross has cut down on soap and tobacco in parcels. Notes address for parcels is Stalag 357. Looks like a bleak Christmas with no showers or coal.



Temporal Coverage



Two page handwritten letter


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Start of transcription
17th Dec 1944
[underlined] Stalag 357 [/underlined]
My Beloved Ursula: In case my last letter is delayed or lost I shall repeat that I have increased my pay allotment to you to the maximum consistent with my new rank & ordered all accumulated cash at 31/3/44 (the latest date allowed) to be sent to you. This of course won’t affect Touches dole to you. I have also asked for a copy of my pay account for some years to be sent to you “for income tax purposes”. Just hold on to it when you get it. The rest of this letter will be purely selfish requests & I hope you will excuse them & fulfil all those you can. Firstly clothing: I have one of each necessary garment & a share of each. These won’t last for ever so will you please send two each of Pants, Vests, Pyjamas, Towels, Shirts, several tins of boot polish (Black & Brown) Several blocks of toothpaste (most important for I have always been consistently short of this) tooth brushes, Razor Blades & pairs of socks. I managed to get an extra blanket but would like a pair of stout indoor slippers – made of leather for its almost as wet underfoot in our barracks as outside. One short sleeved pullover & one long sleeved & highnecked - Several bars of soap. Secondly Tobacco: I am very very [sic] short of this – would you send me a fair quantity & ask all my friends to do likewise to enable me to build up another stock against emergencies. I would like plenty of Cigs & any of the following brands of tobacco. Players Navy Cut (not mixture); “No Name,” “Three Nuns” “St Bruno.” Golden Bar is not what it was but any of the above brands would be gladly accepted. Thirdly Books: Until it is warm enough to fiddle regularly, I am doing a lot of Dutch & would like a good Dutch English Dictionary, some Dutch literature & a test book on Commercial Dutch. Lastly Music: A book of Scale & Arpeggio exercises. Red X food is still difficult to get – supplies most irregular but for 3 weeks now we have had half a parcel each week. None now in stock. The Red X has considerably cut down the soap & tobacco content of each parcel & as we only get 1/2 a parcel & that not regularly we are very short of these commodities. Please note the address of this camp. Use it for every parcel & pass it on to everyone likely to send tobacco or cigs. Don’t embellish it. Conditions here don’t improve & we look like having a bleak Xmas. Haven’t had a shower for a month now – no coal sent yet. However I usually cheer myself up by thinking of you & F waiting for me. My fondest love to you both
[page break]
181 37
[underlined] Kriegsgefangenenpost [/underlined]
Kreis: BUCKS
Vor- und Zuname: Sgt JRM VALENTINE
Gefangenennummer: 450
Lager Bexeichnung: M.-Stammlager 357
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/19515.

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