Letter to prisoner of war John Valentine from his wife Ursula



Letter to prisoner of war John Valentine from his wife Ursula


Writes from Devon, describes countryside and activities. Mentions celebrating daughter's birthday and lists presents she received. Glad that British MO has found treatment for his nose. Catches up with family news and says she will be glad to get home. Concludes with garden plans and possibility of getting a greenhouse.



Temporal Coverage



Four 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.





Batch 1159
W/O Valentine, P/W 450
Stalag Luft III, Lager A

Little Close,
Devon Road,
Salcombe. Devon.

April 10th 1944
My darling Johnnie,
Here we are in the peace and plenty of Devonshire again. The countryside is looking very lovely now and all the flowers and trees are considerably more forward in their blooming than in Buckinghamshire. There are fields simply carpeted with primroses, and hedgerows blue with violets and now the bluebells are pushing through too & will soon be in full bloom. Yesterday morning, Easter Sunday, Frances and I went for a walk in the woods on the other side of the estuary to pick some primroses for Grannie. Frances was very absorbed in the serious business of trying to pick long stalks & not just break off the flower head, but it was diverted by the sweet picture she made, her golden curls bent down near the pale
[page break]
[margin text] They tell me there’s no more airmail to POW’s, but ordinary mail can scarcely be much slower than airmail news. [/margin text]
[page break]
yellow primroses while the spring sunlight streamed through fresh green leaves to light up her hair. She loves being down here. There is so much to interest her in the garden here. the boats in the estuary, the ferry and the sands. We have celebrated her birthday today instead of tomorrow so that Peter could join in. I did not bring our present down her (I told you in an earlier letter that I have made her a grocer’s shop), & maybe there will be others awaiting her return. Mother gave her a lovely doll, one she brought back from India – it is a little girl with long golden plaits, a blue silk dress & hat and the sweetest little face, cloth not china, but beautifully made. Her name is Molly, and Frances is just thrilled to bits with her. Daddy gave her a savings certificate, Peter gave her “When we were very young”, poems by AA Milne which you gave her for Christmas
[page break]
only that copy was lost along with all our other Xmas presents when the box I send them in by rail was stolen. Barbara gave her two other story books, & also sent a pretty little tartan dress & knickers which some friend of hers up in Hants had passed on for Frances. It fits her perfectly, & will be very useful this summer. So Frances did pretty well and maybe there’s more to come.
I’ve had one pic from you since I’ve been down here, dated 16th Jan. I think I’ve got them all up to that date. I was [underlined] so [/underlined] glad to hear that the British M.O. has found a treatment for your nose which is doing you good, & that you are getting rid of all that horrid mucous. I’ve been awfully worried thinking of all that muck simmering in your head. I do hope we can get it finally dealt with when you come home.
I have had a letter from Ann inviting herself to stay at Felmersham on the 18th. It will be nice to have one of them out to see the house, specially
[page break]
Ann. I wonder how Pat has been managing on her own in the house this week, she is having her mother-in-law to stay with her for the weekend. I am looking forward to getting home again, altho’ I enjoy staying here so much. The house - painting ought to be nearly finished, and I hope the gates will be mended too. I shall be glad to have them done at last. [underlined] how [/underlined] I long to have you home to enjoy it with me & help me to improve it lots of things want doing in the garden. We have a lovely Forsythia in the small shrubbery that stretches from front gate to garage, and a flowering currant, besides the 3 Christmas trees. I want to try to grow bluebells & those little wild cyclamen underneath. There a chance that Mr Horsewell may sell me his greenhouse for £5 if the incoming owner won’t buy it off him. I do hope I get it. It would be a great acquisition.
We have been playing a lot of family contract bridge over Easter. I do enjoy even this mild version & hope we shall be able to play sometimes when you return.
All my love dearest. I shall think of you specially on the April 15th. Yours always, Ursula.



Ursula Valentine, “Letter to prisoner of war John Valentine from his wife Ursula,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed June 14, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/20213.

Item Relations

This item has no relations.