Letter to prisoner of war John Valentine from his wife Ursula



Letter to prisoner of war John Valentine from his wife Ursula


Writes she is sorry that number of letters he can receive a month has been reduced to four and that she has tracked source of other correspondence. Mentions that she has got a job to help war effort and that her sister and neighbours would help to look after their daughter. Writes of progress with prisoner of war raffle and news of her activities and domestic matters. Concludes by hoping that some parcels she sent will arrive by Christmas and illustrates page with various coloured drawings and Christmas greetings from sister in law Barbara.



Temporal Coverage



Two page typewritten letter with added illustrations and handwritten notes


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Start of transcription
To Sergeant John R.M. Valentine,
British Prisoner of War No. 435,
Stalag Luft III, Germany
[inserted] 35 [/inserted]
From Mrs. J.R.M. Valentine
Lido, Tenterden Grove,
Hendon, London, N.W.4.
Tuesday November 10th 1942.
[stamp GEPRUFT 32]
[inserted] R & A 1/2/43 [/inserted]
My darling Johnnie,
After I had finished writing my last letter to you, yours of 30.9.42 arrived, much to my joy, because it had been an awfully long time since the last. Naturally I was very sorry to hear about the cut in mail, particularly that you are only allowed to receive four monthly. I wonder if you are allowed to say which letter you would like to have. As luck would have it, I had just been suggesting to one or two people that they might write to you for Christmas, so that will make matters worse! Let’s hope it will not be for long. As regards the mail from M. Clark, of Lisbon, I have traced this to an associate of Grandpa, so apparently it is better for me not to write too. So glad to hear you are pegging away with your fiddle, it is bound to seem slow progress sometimes, but believe me, it will be worth it afterwards. I don’t seem to have been too bright with the selection of books I have sent you – I will take your advice in future, send only things you ask for and put the change by for our home.
You will be amused to hear that I have got a job! I have been looking about for one vaguely for ages, because I am so anxious to do something directly to help the war, but with Frances and Barbara to fit in it wasn’t too easy. However the right thing has come along at last [censored words] really useful work, where I can do [censored words]. It is doubtless dull work in itself still it will be great to feel I am really in the war effort at last. I am starting tomorrow night, so I shall be able to tell you how I like it next time. Of course I shall go on the nights when Barbara is off duty, which means that she will be stuck in the house. However she generally does go to bed early, and if she specially wants to go out both Mrs. Greenish and Mrs. Lloyd, not to mention Mrs. Hazard, have said they would come and sit in the house to mind Frances. It seems a good arrangement to me, I hope it works out alright. I shall get 1/4 1/2 an hour – do you suppose I shall have to pay income tax on that?
The takings from my raffle for Prisoners of War week now stand at over £5, and I am hoping to rake in a bit more yet. People are awfully decent about it.
Yesterday I went to the pictures – for the last time for some time to come I expect – and saw “the Great Mr. Handel”, a very charming film in Technicolour with plenty of Handel’s music in it. The technique of these colour films improves every time they make one, they are really beautiful to look at now.
On Saturday I bought Frances a new pair of shoes, real winter ones this time, brown lace-ups with rubber soles. She finds them fascinating and clumps round in them as thought [sic] they were climbing boots! On Sunday, a beautiful sunny day, we went out for a walk with Clare and her baby Nicolette and to tea with them afterwards, and then Mrs. Hazard came to spend the night with me. I have just discovered one useful tip – I can bake potatoes in their skins in the ash-pan under the Cozystove, in a couple of hours! There is fuel economy, if you like. It will save me lots of bother and gas.
I do so hope that one or other of the parcels that I have sent off from time to time during the last six months will chance to arrive at Christmas time, and that this letter will get there then too. It brings you all my love and longing, my dearest. Pity I can’t get you home as easily this year as I did last! Yours always
[page break]
[various Christmas drawings]
Our love and thoughts and best wishes will be with you on Christmas Day and every day till we are all united again. Go [missing words]
Ursula and Frances
(Sorry about the reindeer – they have obviously run amok.)
[stamp GEPRUFT 32]
A Happy Christmas, John dear



Ursula Valentine, “Letter to prisoner of war John Valentine from his wife Ursula,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed May 23, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/19989.

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