Letter to prisoner of war John Valentine from his wife Ursula



Letter to prisoner of war John Valentine from his wife Ursula


Starts with financial matters but that there is no sign of a house yet despite much searching. Describes life and activities and suggests he address letters to her parents in Devon, Concludes with stating she will have no hesitation in buying a house if it fits their minimum specification.



Temporal Coverage



Two page handwritten letter


IBCC Digital Archive


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Start of transcription
To Sgt. JRM Valentine
British P/W No 450
Stalag Luft III (VI)
[stamp GEPRUFT 74]
From Mrs Valentine
Gable End, Prior Marston
near Rugby
Sunday August 22nd
[inserted] 4/10 A 5/10 [/inserted]
My darling Johnnie,
First of all to the business side. I have at long last had a reply from the RAF War Casualties Accts Dept on the subject of your income tax. They “regret that they are unable to advise” me & suggest that I write somewhere else to find out whether or not income tax is being deducted from your RAF pay! So I have written. But by the same post I had a letter from Touche’s saying that they had received a letter from Inspector of Taxes who had been notified by the Claims Branch that tax deducted by the Air Ministry from your pay for 1942/43 has now been refunded. I expect it makes sense to [underlined] you [/underlined]! Anyway I asked Touche’s to give me the exact figures & tell me what it was all about & arrange that in future tax was not deducted from your RAF pay, so they have the matter in hand but apparently don’t expect any reply for ages. Not that it matters [underlined] very [/underlined] much, it seems to me, I expect we shall get it all back in the end. The RAF also notified me that your rate of pay per day is 13/6, & that the balance standing to your credit at 31.7.43. was £127.8.4. This seems a nice little nest egg to fall back on. I don’t know whether that is with or without the tax refund. According to my mental calculations while taking Frances for a walk, I get about half of your pay in my allowance. You really are a very generous husband, my darling. If & when I get a house for us I’m certainly going to need it, but hope to be able to make out alright with the allowance I have. I have now withdrawn the wages earned at the factory, amounting to just over £40, from Savings Certs & put them into my bank account so that I have some ready money to pay moving expenses with. There is absolutely
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no sign of a house yet. Last Friday I went into Leamington by bus & toured the local estate agents. They were all [underlined] too [/underlined] local, but one lent me the Times & I answered a couple of ads in that & also wrote to four more agents from the Housefinder in the areas we want. Not that I expect any results from this prodigal waste of stamps & stationery, but I feel I must do what I can. We have now arranged that I leave here, with Small, on Sept 3rd & go down to stay with my parents for a week or two, just to see their new home & give Frances a taste of the sea. Peter & [indecipherable name] are going at the same time which will make travelling easier for me. We are going to spend the night at the Hillmans & not attempt the journey in one day. After that, I don’t yet know what will happen. Somethings bound to turn up!
We have been having a very pleasant time here. We’ve had two evenings of bridge – Bunty plays quite a good game of contact now, she has been playing regularly through the winter. One afternoon we went out to tea in the village, another day to the McKeans at Stirch, the farmer friends of your people, the son, James, is reported to be Ann’s boyfriend, I don’t know how seriously. Anyway they are good Scots folk from Mull, & Ann & her school friend who is staying here go over every afternoon to help with the harvest. The children get on pretty well together. Frances calls Muriel Mimi and Robert Rubber, much to that young man’s annoyance. I must say she has got considerably more spunk than he, I often wish she were as docile!
I think it would be best if you addressed your letters to me c/o Mother, Little Close, Devon Road, Salcombe, Devon, rather than here, to save any numerical comparisons. Let’s hope we may soon have an address of our own. I shan’t have much hesitation in buying anything that fits the minimum specification, ideal house or not, so that we shall have something for you to start off from, for we shall be able to sell it easily enough again when we find something we like better. We can’t go on trailing round like this in other people’s house, it is so unsettling for Frances. All my love dearest. Yours always Ursula



Ursula Valentine, “Letter to prisoner of war John Valentine from his wife Ursula,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed May 25, 2022, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/20055.

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