Letter to John Valentine from his mother in law



Letter to John Valentine from his mother in law


Written from India. Mentions it is her wedding anniversary and hope John and her daughter will have similar length happy marriage. Catches up with family news and asks after his current and future in flying. Writes of their future plans and staying in India, Provide views on war progress. Mentions that Ursula had sent photographs of their daughter Frances and comments on Griffin family being ginger.




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Spatial Coverage



Four page handwritten letter


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July 28th
Cecil Hotel
My Dear John
Tomorrow is our wedding anniversary and we shall have been married 31years. You & Ursula have started the right way & the best I can wish you is that you may live to spend 31 years as happy as ours has been, and as delightful & satisfactory a family as we have to show for our life together.
It was delightful to get your letter yesterday, it was written from Monkton saying thanks for your birthday parcel. I have forgotten what was in it, except the hankies. Was it a navy blue pullover? I am sorry it was too late for your birthday I posted it on Feb 5th so it should have been.
It was lovely for you and Ursula to have that delightful time together at Monkton & quite apart from the happiness of being with you the fresh air by the sea, the absence of raids, the good food etc. must have done her & Frances a lot of good.
I am very anxious to know where you are now & what you are doing. You speak of flying. I am glad you are not air sick. It is one thing to sail smoothly along as I did coming to India but quite another to twist & turn about, diving & so on. It must be rather exiting. Tell me exactly what you do when you write again, have you actually piloted a plane alone or is it your job releasing the bombs? You see I am utterly ignorant about it all. I can only say that I am burstingly proud to have a son in law in the R.A.F.. & may God bless you and keep you safe.
Isn’t it wonderful considering the distance & uncertainty involved of posts? I have had a wire today with “many happy” wishes from you all, an airmail post card from Ba & a book called “Green Glory” from Barbara all arriving on the 28th. Our mail does not get in till afternoons it was much nicer that they arrived today.
You will have heard from Ursula that we are to stay here till Feb 1943 instead of next Feb. I am rather undecided what I feel about the new arrangements. I long to get back to my family and new Granddaughter I long to see dear old London again, but the complement of keeping my husband 4 years after his age limit is reached is not to be overlooked. Also he is so happy working in his present job, & is in no hurry to sit down as a worn out old man. We are very happy in Delhi & we have such a lovely bungalow & garden, can run a car, & generally enjoy life, so I am pulled both ways. The one consolation is that by law no man may work in Delhi (in Government service) after the age of 60, unless a special bye-law is passed & as A.C.G. will be 60 in Feb 1943 they are not likely to pass a bye-law for him!
By that time war will be over without a doubt & we can then come & help re-build our shattered homeland. Germany is crumbling at the centre. Japan has made a mistake & looks like having to tighten her belt. Russian soldiers and equipment are holding on for the present & helping to delay the Germans in their plans against England. The mills of God are grinding slowly but they grind exceedingly small, & I believe the whole Nazi crowd is going into the mincer. I’d like to turn the handle!
Ursula sent me the snaps of Frances & although my husband laughs at me, I still say that Frances is like Ursula at that ager except for her ginger hair. Ursula’s was black. The Griffins are a ginger headed crowd so that explains Frances!
It is awfully hard to be so faraway from her especially as she is our first Grandchild. I thought I should feel ancient when I was a grandmother but I think I feel even younger than when I left home on that cold foggy snowy night 18 months ago. Wasn’t it a scream at Victoria & wasn’t the Drambuie nice? I’ve a bottle in No 5 Tughlak Rd ready for Christmas. We have that house for the remainder of our stay in India now. Good luck Johnnie dear & may you soon be back for good with your wife & daughter with the war over!
Much love Gertrude Griffin



G Griffin, “Letter to John Valentine from his mother in law,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed December 3, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/22277.

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