Letter to prisoner of war John Valentine from his wife Ursula



Letter to prisoner of war John Valentine from his wife Ursula


Worries that he last parcel to him may have been lost in sunken Red Cross ship and lists contents. Writes of arranging violin strings to be sent and problems with their piano. Writes still no news of house completion and mentions other financial matters. Continues with spending plans and news of friends and family.


IBCC Digital Archive





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Two page handwritten letter




Temporal Coverage


Start of transcription
To Sgt. JRM. Valentine
British Prisoner of War No 450,
Stalag Luft VI, Germany.
[inserted] [underlined] R [/underlined] 7/2/44 [/inserted]
[stamp GEPRUFT 25]
From Mrs JRM. Valentine
Little Close, Devon Rd
Salcombe, Devon.
November 7th 1943
My darling Johnnie,
I saw in the paper this week that a Red Cross transport ship has been lost off Marseilles recently, and I am rather afraid that the last parcel I sent to you may have gone down on it. I can’t bear to think about it! – those two pairs of long stockings that I took so many hours to knit, and about 4 lb of chocolate lovingly saved for you. Still, if you go without a parcel for six months, you’ll know that it wasn’t for lack of dispatching from this end. I do hope you’ll manage to make your soap & toothpaste & shaving stick spin out as long as possible, just in case the parcel really is lost. And let me know as soon as possible what you’d like sent in your January parcel. I have written up to Chappell’s today to get them to send you some more violin strings – how sad to think of you playing on banjo strings! – or aren’t they very different? I’m having trouble with Mr Herne over the piano. He wrote a very offensive letter the other day denying that he had ever promised to pay for the repair & being quite unnecessarily rude. I sent it on to Mr Burgis & I hope he has written him a snorter. Still no sign of the completion of our house purchase, it’s amazing how long the business can take. I suppose it is partly
[page break]
because this is the first time the house has been sold. Mr Horswell built it for himself about 12 years ago & now sells for the first time. I feel this is a point in its favour, it is likely to be well & solidly built, for Mr Horswell is a constructional engineer. I wrote you an airmail letter card last week acknowledging gratefully all the money you have arranged to have sent to me. The £150 is safely banked, £100 I shall use for paying for the house, so that I need only borrow £200 from my people, & the £50 I shall keep by me for necessary capital expenditure (furniture, I mean!). The extra allotment for 24/6 weekly has also come, which enabled me to pay off the remaining £2 for the carpet I’ve bought from Mother. Tomorrow I am going in to Kingsbridge to buy blackout material, which will set me back £2 – 3 as well. I had a letter from Vera Bowack the other day, returning the nappies I lent her for Michael, at least she returned 7 out of 18! It’s a bit thick, isn’t it? Irene’s baby ought to be born by now, but if it is no one has told me & there has been no notice in The Times. Frances is very keen on the idea of having a baby in the family but I’ve told her we must wait & ask you about it. We still go down to the beach most afternoons but it is getting a bit chilly now. the woods are looking marvellous with their gold & brown leaves, dark green fir trees & the sea sparkling blue & green beyond. It certainly is a lovely place for my people to have settled down in. Frances has been writing letters to you & Father Christmas today & sends you a big kiss
All my love darling, Ursula



Ursula Valentine, “Letter to prisoner of war John Valentine from his wife Ursula ,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed May 7, 2021, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/20068.

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