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Mela at Sutton Coldfield

Mela Brown Constable in Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps uniform, possibly taken in November 1917 when based at Sutton Coldfield.  Mela joined the WAACs in September 1917 and was appointed a Unit Administrator.

On 21st November, Mela wrote to her fiancée, Cyril Sladden, enclosing the photo:  “How do you like this snap of me?  It was taken the day Maud came to see me.  A man was going round the camp taking snaps and asked us if he might snap us.  I am sorry I’ve got my Burberry on because you cannot see all my decorations!  On each shoulder strap of my tunic coat I have 3 metal roses and the WAAC badge on the lapels of the coat – and the Royal standard buttons in bronze.

  • 1 rose    = Subaltern Company
  • 2 roses = OC Company – also adjutant
  • 3 roses  = Commanding Officer of an Unit

By the way the other lady in the snapshot is Mrs Collard – with whom I am dining tomorrow night.”

[Someone at some stage cut the photo so that only Mela can be seen.]

We are grateful to Rosemary Richards (granddaughter of Mela) for providing us with a copy of this photo.