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September 8th 1914 - Letter from Mela Brown Constable to her fiancé, Cyril E Sladden Esq

8th September 1914
Correspondence From
Mela Brown Constable, Seward House, Badsey
Correspondence To
Cyril E Sladden Esq, Officers' Training Camp, Churn, near Didcot, Berkshire
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter

at Seward House

Sept 8th 1914

My darling Cyril

This inveterate scribe is again commencing a letter to you in spite of only having posted a letter to you yesterday.

I am sending you some Foot Powder. It has to be dusted into the socks first thing in the morning and is supposed to prevent the feet getting hot and clammy. It will be a bit of a bother for you to stop to do this in your hurry in the morning but I hope, dear, you will do it. Persevere with it for a week or ten days and if it does not make your feet a little more comfortable I will try and find another remedy. To strengthen our feet in hospital and to get rid of the tired feeling we used to soak our feet in warm water and vinegar, or Condy’s fluid. You can buy the latter in crystals for dissolving. If you like I’ll get you some. I did not do so today because I do not know how possible it may be for you to get warm water – cold water can be used but warm is better. To harden the skin, methylated spirit rubbed in and the feet dusted over with powder.

I don’t want to fuss you by suggesting remedies but I am a firm believer that prevention is better than cure and if you keep your feet in good condition before they have a chance to get bad it may be the means of them never getting bad at all.

Miss Opie called this afternoon. She is such a good-looking girl and very lively. Your Father amused me very much because he was so obviously disappointed at not being in when she called. I expect she is the belle of Evesham. Besides a charming face, she has a strong upright figure and a nice complexion. (I was really rather relieved that you were not home. I’m afraid you’d have said to me “everything is over between us”, so after all your absence has its advantages!)

In some ways I am sorry to have to accept so much kindness from Uncle Ben and Aunt Jessie but I do feel that it will also be the means of helping others – for anyone helping a girl to be a nurse is helping on the good work of the world.

I was very interested, dear, in your account and of your various kinds of work and study. Captain Becke must be most interesting. I should like to be able to attend his lectures.

What is your tent companion’s name? I envy him the little talks with you. Am so glad his companionship is congenial. If you go on Active Service I would like you, dear, to arrange with one of your other officers to write to me for you if you get wounded and you would do the same for them. It is early days to think of these things though but I put down whatever comes into my mind. The Allies position abroad is so much improved that it is beginning to look as though you may not be wanted. I expect that your present training will make you long to put it to the test.

I have seen the names of three men I knew in India amongst the lists of killed. One, a Captain Chetwynde Stapylton was reported dead, but in today’s Times there is a notice to the effect that his relatives have heard that he is alive but a prisoner in Brussels. I often danced with him.

I shall be able soon perhaps to give you a little more definite news about my Birmingham place. Matron of course has to take up my references and I have to send a medical certificate. This latter is supposed to be filled in by a man who has known me all my life but as I know no doctor to whom this would apply, I might as well go to Dr Leslie as anyone else – that is if he will fill it in - in spite of knowing nothing at all about me!

Your Father has just said he will stand as one of my references. He says he’ll give me an awful character! (I did think of giving you as a reference but I spared you as it might have proved a painful task!)

Well dearie – I want to read some nursing so will stop. Goodnight – Beloved. I wish I could be with you now – held close to your heart. Your own little - - - - - -

I have caught the habit of “blanks” from the [?] !

Sept 9th

Dr Leslie passed me this morning so that is all right. He was interested to hear of your movements. Jack has sent me your suitcase in answer to a pc from me. Have you got the key, dear? If so will you let me have it as soon as you can.

Your Father and some friends have organized a recruiting meeting to be held at Littleton, Bretforton and Badsey, tonight. Your Father is to take the chair here, Mr Oldfield at Littleton, and Mrs Johns at Bretforton. Mr James Ashwin has broken his wrist – the right hand. Isn’t it bad luck? He did it while doing something to his motor.

On Monday I played some singles with Muriel and beat her and afterwards Mr Collins took us for a drive in his car.

Ethel, Bet and I are going over for some tennis after tea today.

Goodbye for the present dear – I am looking out eagerly for more news of you. God bless you my own dear one.

Ever your devoted

Postcard from Arthur this morning saying he is well – letter following as soon as possible.

Am going to the dentist tomorrow to have those teeth stopped. Be careful of yourself for a day or two when you have been inoculated.

Letter Images
Type of Correspondence
Envelope containing 2 sheets of notepaper
Location of Document
Imperial War Museum
Record Office Reference