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September 21st 1914 - Letter from Mela Brown Constable to her fiancé, Cyril E Sladden Esq

21st 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

Seward House

Sept 21st 1914

My darling Boy

If this letter is not very lucid you must put it down to the stiff brandy and soda I had for dinner! I did not come down until lunch time and then felt very squeamy. At the present moment I am sitting in the garden in the middle of the lawn in the sun, with two coats on and a rug trying to prevent my head going round and round while I write to you. I’ve got or rather had a nasty chill and so don’t feel particularly cheerful.

It was so good to have you here again and I am happier in mind for having seen you looking so well and jolly. I hope the exercise and open air life will set you up even after you leave the Service; it will also harden you to the German cold if you have to go abroad towards the end of the winter.

After I got back last evening I went on to church, getting there just after the second lesson had been read. Mr Allsebrooke preached a very good sermon. He drew a parallel between the Lessons we’ve been having lately and the present war, and also showed how the Psalms have applied to it; he was really quite interesting.

There is little news to give you, dear, as you were here so lately but I am waiting just the same so as not to break the order in which you get your letters during the week.

Words are inadequate to express the joy of our hour together on Saturday night. It is good for me to part with you like this for it helps me to realize how very remiss I have been sometimes in giving way to those moods which you find so hard to understand. (Your Father came out here at this point to see how I am getting on.)

You give me more credit than I deserve in thinking I let you go cheerfully. The night before you went away and two nights after I spent wrestling with myself and gave way entirely. I was so thankful you saw no traces of it the next day, the day you went. I don’t think anyone here has a suspicion of this but I cannot bear you to think more highly of me than I deserve. I’ve been more sensible this time and had a fairly good night. As long as you keep well and are happy I am reconciled to your going now for this in the end will draw us closer together. I am learning my lessons from it and doubtless you are doing the same. To a certain extent one loses one’s individuality and becomes part of a whole, the whole being the nation to which one is proud to belong.

I hope you will get an insight into Army life while you are at Tidworth. I mean, get to know some officers in the Regular Army. You’ll find many of them thoroughly nice and the minority stupid at everything but their own line of work. The majority suffer for the shortcomings of the minority. I think perhaps if you get a little knowledge of military men outside their work as well as in it, it may help you to realize a part of my life which has up to now almost been a sealed book to you. I always felt my talking to you about my Indian life was so uninteresting for you, as naturally, you were not in sympathy with the kind of life. I don’t expect you will be exactly in sympathy with it even when you’ve served your term of Service, but at least you will understand it better. I, too, am glad now to know exactly the conditions under which you live, it is not all double dutch to me.

I must write to Mother this afternoon too, to acknowledge her letter.

Forgive me this very dull letter, dear, but you know what it is if one feels out of sorts, one’s thoughts seem blurred and indistinct.

Miss Holmes is very J E A L O U S of me because I have a soldier lover! Tr?s amusant. See what a uniform will do in so short a time!

Your sisters and Mother and Father are very proud of you (of course I’m not, you know that without being told; I expect!)

I’ll end now, darling. I miss you very, very much, but it is good to have you to miss. God bless you, best beloved, and bring you back to me soon. When the war is over I shall not be able to realize that we can once more take up our old lives again.

With much fond love, my dearest, write me a little note if you can spare the time.

Ever your own little

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