Letter from Ursula Valentine to her husband John Valentine



Letter from Ursula Valentine to her husband John Valentine


Writes catching up with news of friends, baby, gardening savings group and war news. Commiserates over his poor accommodation and is sending cigarettes to help. Concludes with family gossip.



Temporal Coverage

Spatial Coverage



Four page handwritten letter


IBCC Digital Archive


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Start of transcription
[underlined] No 11. [/underlined]
[inserted] [underlined] P.S. [/underlined] I’ve sent off a parcel with pyjamas pants etc. today, Tuesday [/inserted]
Monday 24th/8
My dearest,
Roy Freeman rung up this evening for a chat and reported on the comings & goings of your former fellow slaves. I won’t repeat it all as he said he was going to write to you. Suffice it to say that [indecipherable name] Hooper is now qualified (Sergeant) & has gone on operational training.
Frances has been behaving like a real little angel today, she is so sweet., I had her weighed, and she has put on her usual 6 oz, making her now 16.7.
Mrs Hazard popped in this afternoon to see Frances and told me that Olivia is now at home with her. Her husband (Doug was it?) has been sent to the Middle East & she is feeling very glum, poor girl. He is just about to leave or has just gone.
I have bought a copy of “thin Blue Line” for Mothers Christmas present (5/-) and
[page break]
am going to read it first. Do you remember Vera Bowack was reading it when we went to their digs. It is the story of some pilots, their training & all the rest, & of course the beginning runs parallel to the stuff you’ve been doing & so will interest Mother particularly.
Mrs Stenzel & I have been gardening again – it makes such a difference to have someone else interested. There’s an endless amount of weeding to be done, no sooner has one got round than the first part needs weeding again.
Some of the members of my Savings Group have now contributed 15/- & I have been studying the question of issuing certificates. It involves the filling up of a selection of forms, but I think I’ve got it straight now.
Mrs Neal pressed me to pick the roses in her garden while she is away on holiday, so I wasted no time in collecting a bunch today
[page break]
and we have a lovely bowlful, dark red, yellow, pale pink and white, on the dining table.
What did you think of the news of our marching into Iran with the Russians? Best thing I’ve heard for a long time. I’ve been pining for them to pinch it before the Germans have it entirely under their thumb. When I mentioned it to Roy he rather took the wind out of my sails by saying he’d been tipped off about it a month ago & had only been hoping they’d do it soon enough. Well, let’s hope it isn’t as hard and costly as the Syrian Campaign. Perhaps that was why they sent Wavell out to India, knowing that that is going to be of primary importance now that he has cleaned up the near East, for the time being at least. It makes me feel much more cheerful. If only the campaign may come to a swift & successful conclusion.
I’m so upset to think of you in such wretched quarters again
[page break]
for a whole month too, its most depressing. I don’t know that I can do anything to help you except send a steady supply of cigarettes! I hope to post off another parcel soon, when I’ve darned your pants. Mrs Stenzel did all the ironing for me this morning, which was a great help. Did I tell you that Auntie Con has invited herself here on Wednesday? She is staying with friends at Reading & so is taking the chance of seeing Frances while she is comparatively near. You may remember her at the wedding, a queer old stick with white hair & vague flowing clothes. She is the red-headed member of our family, with her twin brother Uncle Tom, of South Africa, & as such should take a special interest in our infant prodigy.
I suppose there’ll be no [deleted] I [/deleted] letter to look forward to, tomorrow being Tuesday. How I wish I could have you here for even a little while, to rest your head on your “favourite pillow” instead of the floor of the gymnasium! So glad you enjoyed “Snowhorn”, perhaps we could read it together again sometime, it is fruitful of discussion, & my memory of it is fading. I am looking forward to reading the agriculture book when it arrives
All my love to you darling one, keep cheerful in spite of your trials! Ursula.



Ursula Valentine, “Letter from Ursula Valentine to her husband John Valentine,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed March 22, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/19614.

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