Letter from Ursula Valentine to her husband John Valentine



Letter from Ursula Valentine to her husband John Valentine


Writes she is sad he has left but looking forward to his next leave. Mentions gardeners and other activities as well as catching up with news and gossip. Writes of Ba's prospective Woman's Auxiliary Air Force photographers job and other family news. Mentions and woman who is interned. In addendum thanks him for letter and mentions air raid warning, gun fire and protective measures taken.



Temporal Coverage

Spatial Coverage



Two page typewritten letter with handwritten addendum


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Lido, Sunday July 27th
Darling Johnnie, I suppose it is only two days since you left, but it seems simply ages. How I do miss your smile, your kisses, your strong arms, your jokes, your presence & everything about you! I am already looking forward to your next leave, which I know is very bad policy because it makes the intervening time seem interminable and the leave itself ever shorter than it is. However there will soon be letters from you, & that will be lovely.
I seem to have been very busy today. The gardeners did turn up today, tho' I was half afraid they wouldn't, particularly as it was raining early this morning. Messrs Lilly, father & son are decent fellows I should think – it was probably the son you spoke to, & the father is going to continue to come to me at intervals. They brought their scythe this morning, & disposed of the hayfield satisfactorily. They cut the edges & tidied up a bit, & were here altogether about 2 ½ hours. I thought they were coming back in the afternoon but apparently that was all they intended to do, & they rushed me 15/-, which I considered a bit steep. I gave them a £1, as no one had any change, & the old father is coming back tomorrow or Wednesday to put in another half day for the other 5/-. It certainly has made a tremendous difference to the garden but there is still masses to be done. I'm not going on paying the old man at the rate of 5/- an hour. However, I sold your bicycle. Lilly junior asked me if I had any sentimental attachment to it because if not he would like it, because he needed a new back wheel on his old frame, so, as you had never been very keen about it, I told him he could have it for 2/6 which was cheap to him but clear profit to us, & wholly justified in my view considering the price he had charged for his services. I shall put the 2/6 into the P.O.
This afternoon I put in a spot of work on my own account in the front garden, & cleared up the long bed by the lawn & hoed it. It looks much tidier now. While I was doing it, Mrs Hazard turned up with the cherries, & inspected Frances who had just woken up, & chatted for a while. This evening I made jam with the cherries, it turned out quite well, though it boiled down rather a lot. Mrs Hazard hasn't been able to do anything more about a maid yet, but will keep on trying. Bridget is coming in on Tuesday & Thursday this week but can't come regularly unfortunately. The rush of applications from the advertisement continues unabated, as it did when you were here. However, if I can get a char one or two days a week it won't be too bad. I have started on the job of turning out the cupboards, & when once that is done I shall be able to cope with the rest, thought it will be rather a grind.
Barbara had a cable from my people today, saying they hoped she would take the WAAF photographic job, & also saying that Daddy's appointment has been extended to 1943, so Frances will be quite a grown-up young lady before Mother sees her. Barbara is rather pleased in one way, because it increases her chance of going
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out to India when the war is over, that is, supposing it finishes this winter (snorts of derision from John!) You will be glad to hear that I have been drinking oodles of milk, either cold or in cocoa etc. It was quite chilly yesterday & this morning, while it rained incessantly, but this afternoon turned out blazing hot again. It ought to make things grow, if anything will. I had a letter yesterday from a woman who was interned with Mrs Stenzel & wanted to tell me about her. So I rang her up, & she reported that Mrs Stenzel is well & working hard to her various self-imposed tasks, but she considers that Mrs S. may crack up if kept there for another winter. She hasn't yet heard the result of her tribunal, but if it is unsuccessful this Mrs Hazard suggested that perhaps I might write to the Home Secretary on Mrs Stenzel's behalf. Do ask her if she gets enough to eat & whether there is anything I could send her in that line. Now I must trot off to bed, I get pretty weary these days by 9.30 but still it is a healthy life, I suppose. Only I do so wish you were still here, my darling. I will leave this open just in case there should be a letter from you tomorrow morning, though I don't really suppose it is possible to get one yet.
Monday morning 7.45 am
Bless you darling, your letter from Fleetwood has just arrived. I'm sorry you had such a hot & restless journey – I wonder if you met Bob Stewart after all. We had an air-raid warning last night, much to our disgust. At first I thought I wouldn't bother about it, but then we heard gun-fire, so I took Frances downstairs & put her in the corner of the drawing room with the desk stool over her to protect her a bit & I slept on the divan. Barbara didn't come down as she hasn't had a good night's sleep for some days & was determined to get one last night. There was a little local gun-fire, but I didn't hear any bombs, nor the all-clear. Frances wasn't at all put out, & I took her upstairs at 6 am for her feed as usual. She is still being as good as gold. I do hope you will be successful in your efforts to overcome your “besetting sin” I wish I could help you, but you know that I am at any rate keenly interested in your success & I really will try to help you when we are together again. I'm afraid its largely my fault then. With all my love, Ursula & a seraphic smile from Frances



Ursula Valentine, “Letter from Ursula Valentine to her husband John Valentine,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed December 9, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/19580.

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