Letter from Ursula Valentine to her husband John Valentine



Letter from Ursula Valentine to her husband John Valentine


Wishes him a happy new year and relates a dream she had about the future. Writes of the difficulties of finding a maternity home and other possible plans of moving closer to him if he passes his course and can find out where he will be posted when he finishes. Continues with challenges of giving birth in wartime and relates some advice she has been given. Concludes with comment on music she has heard and of family news.



Temporal Coverage



Four page handwritten letter


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(Parcel of washing sent off this morning) Lido Wed January 1st
My darling Johnnie, A happy new Year to you, & may you soon come back to me victorious. I had a lovely sort of dream this morning in which I saw a charming house on a hillside in the country & I was there with a little boy about 5 years old with dark brown curly hair & a smaller girl of about 3, I couldn't see her face but she had on a little dress which I had obviously smocked for her, & you were just getting into our car to drive off to the station to fetch somebody who was coming to visit us. It [underlined] was [/underlined] such a lovely vision!
I heard from the Luton Maternity Hospital today to the effect that they can't take me unless I go & stay with someone in the county of Beds. & get taken into their Emergency Unit as an evacuee mother. The Matron suggested I might write to the Luton & Dunstable
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Hospital which has private wards but thought they might be a bit expensive. However, there is no harm in enquiring. I went up to see Dr Bethune this morning & told him I had changed my plans. He couldn't suggest anywhere in the country but said he thought I might very likely be able to find something near you even if I did leave it until the end of February to make the arrangements. I explained how matters stood with regard to your course, & he strongly advised your going to see your Adjutant who he says is generally an older man & often a father himself, explain how it is & ask if he could possibly give you an idea of where you are likely to be sent after Aber. I know of course that it depends on whether you get through the exams & all that, & tho' he
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may have no idea of your chances, [underlined] we [/underlined] know you'll get thro' as easy as anything. If he [underlined] could [/underlined] tell you where you are likely to be in April, then we could consider whether it's a suitable place for me, & start booking accommodation at once. It would be nice to have it settled if possible, but if not I don't mind leaving it to chance. I'm bound to be able to get in somewhere, even if it has to be a local hospital here after all. Bethune was insistent that I should be fussy about the doctor. He says many of them are so callous, & whereas they could make the whole business so much easier with judicious administration of sedative & anaesthetics they are so often too lazy or callous – because it means a lot of extra work for the doctor to help the mother
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as she can be helped. He says often in hospitals they are very inclined to leave you to your own devices & not give any assistance. In that case he says I should make a fuss & demand anaesthetics & whatnot, & if I make enough fuss they will probably look after me! Not very cheerful in fact. He also suggested I should write to Fulmer Chase (where June went for her baby) & say you will have a commission soon & wouldn't they take me on the strength of your being LAC. I'll try this, but am not very hopeful, tho' it would be a lovely place to go to if I couldn't be near you. I haven't had a reply from the Nurse there yet, but will let you know when I get one.
The Nat. Gallery concert today was simply wonderful, a Beethoven sonata played by Myra Hess, & then the Archduke Trio, also Beethoven. I did enjoy it so. Mother has written to say she wants to give us the pram if no one else offers – they're not likely to. Must I refuse this too? I [underlined] do [/underlined] hope you kept the lucky 3d out of the pudding. Sorry about your tooth & cold. Thanks for letter enclosed in Ba's. All my love darling – write again soon - Ursula



Ursula Valentine, “Letter from Ursula Valentine to her husband John Valentine,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed October 2, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/19529.

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