Letter from Ursula Valentine to her husband John Valentine



Letter from Ursula Valentine to her husband John Valentine


Acknowledges dressing down she received in his letter over the letters she sent concerning him not getting commission. Continues with points that make her mad about award commissions and it was not about impressing neighbours or her being the wife of a sergeant. Continues with news of weather and her activities and baby's progress. Mentions billetee and death of Mrs Stenzel's son on Russian front. Hopes he is not posted to Blenheims.



Temporal Coverage

Spatial Coverage



Six page handwritten letter


This content is available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0). It has been published ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre. For more information, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ and https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/legal.





[underlined] No 20 [/underlined]
Thursday 4th September
My dearest Johnnie,
I received your letter 24 of 1.9. This morning in which you administer a well-deserved dressing-down for the fuss I kicked up over the commission business. You apparently didn’t receive the third letter I wrote on the Saturday, & sent with a peace offering of cigarettes, tho’ I hope that at least the cigarettes have arrived in the meantime. However that doesn’t mitigate the crime, and I really do apologise to you very humbly for having added to the general unpleasantness with my own whines. I am feeling extremely chastened – I have been dreading receiving this letter for days now, but as usual your reprimands are justified and, as usual, I love you all the more because of them, strange though it may seem.
[page break]
I’m not going to try to make excuses for myself, because I know you value mental honesty more than most things, and I want above all to try to regain the place in your esteem which I am afraid I must have forfeited. But I would like to mention of or two points, I hope you’ll believe me.
The thing that maddened me most was that so many commissions seemed available, 1 in 3 is a large proportion, & that you who have been among the first flight all along shouldn’t get one merely because of one exam out of the scores you have taken in the RAF seemed so grossly unfair. And it was on [underlined] your [/underlined] account I was mad, not on my own, believe you me, to think that 9 fellows could be rated higher than you.
Secondly the privilege of swanking about a commission to the [underlined] neighbours [/underlined] really doesn’t carry any weight with me, believe it or not. As far as
[page break]
swanking goes the only people I was [underlined] really [/underlined] keen [deleted] to [/deleted] for you to shine before are your own family. The black sheep whitewashed & all the rest. That I really should have enjoyed. Especially if you had got a commission before Leslie. Perhaps I’m catty, but there it is.
You must admit that the suggestion that it is “humiliating” to be the wife of Sergeant Valentine is your own, not mine. Surely you know I am proud of you as a man and a patriot at all times, and doubly proud and [deleted] gr [/deleted] happy to be your wife. Did I suggest the contrary? Nothing was further from my thoughts, & if it could be read into my letter, I ask your forgiveness for the pain it must have given you at the time. But you [underlined] must [/underlined] believe that I never thought such a thing.
[page break]
Johnny there is nothing I long for more than to know that you have taken me back into your heart again, but I don’t want you to say you have forgiven me unless you really have, for I know that I don’t deserve it. But things that affect you do affect me so deeply too, and I was so furious for your sake. After all I don’t have you with me often enough for your uniform to make all that difference!
However enough of all this. I’m sorry & ashamed of myself, and longing to have you here to show you just how much I love you & how proud of you I am. Looking back on the weekend now I can hardly understand myself why I was so cut up.
Today is another real summer day, & I have had Frances out sunbathing with only a nappy on for the first time. I was rather nervous about it, and
[page break]
only left her for about 20 minutes with the sun actually on her body – now she just has on a silk dress & nappy. Her legs are getting quite brown, & she’s looking very fit and contented. I wonder if you’ll notice a great change in her when you come. Of course, I don’t, sometimes she seems ever so large & strong, and at other times when she nestles in my arms she seems tiny & helpless.
Dorothy continues to be a pleasant billettee. I have invited her to stay to tea with us several times but she goes to Hendon Hall which is perhaps the wisest thing in the long run. Last night we played cards & she joined in when she came, & seemed to enjoy it.
[page break]
Mrs Stenzel has no particulars of Otto’s death, only the bare news from America. We don’t even know if it was in Russia but presume so from indications she had had earlier. The other evening I turned out all my old papers for photos of him and found a few to give her. It seems incredible that he should be dead. What a ghastly tragedy that Russian battlefield must be! The Germans seem to be very near Leningrad now tho’ Russians are counter-attacking in the central sector. Irene Galilzenstein's fiance Hans is over there too, she believes.
I do hope you are not posted to Blenheims. They always seem to attack from chimney height! I try not to think about it at all before I must.
Now I must stop & take our daughter to town. How I wish I could speak to you for even 5 minutes and kiss you & hear you say you love me still!
Yours for ever



Ursula Valentine, “Letter from Ursula Valentine to her husband John Valentine,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed June 21, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/19625.

Item Relations

This item has no relations.