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October 12th 1914 - Letter from Mela Brown Constable to her fiancé, Cyril E Sladden Esq

12th October 1914
Correspondence From
Mela Brown Constable, Seward House, Badsey
Correspondence To
Cyril E Sladden Esq, The Officers' Mess, 9th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment, Bhurtpore Barracks, Tidworth, near Andover
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter

at Seward House

Oct 12th 1914

My darling Boo

I feel I must write to you tonight just to let you know how glad I am to be home again - much as I love Mrs Ashwin - being over there is not the same as being here. It is much homier to be back in my own room again amongst my own things, and amongst those who know and love you. Mrs Ashwin is much more feeble than she was and requires reading to a good bit and as she is deaf one’s voice feels it rather until one becomes accustomed to it, and also in talking one has to speak very distinctly and slowly. I enjoyed being with her very much but I could not feel quite at home like I do here. It was almost impossible to write you a nice letter over there as my mind was all on the alert in case the old lady wanted me for anything. I stayed until just after Muriel got back. She was full of excitement and news.

Her brother was offered a commission in the New Army but was told he would have to remain in England for training other men, so he preferred to enlist and is now at Bulford Camp in the New Zealand Contingent. Bulford is not far from Tidworth and Miss H. says she hopes you two may continue to meet. On Saturday Kath and Jack dined with Muriel and her brother and went to the theatre after and on Sunday the two latter’s had tea and supper with them at Sydenham. Muriel spoke as though they had all enjoyed themselves very much. She was pickpocketed in the Strand Palace Hotel of £6, under her very nose. She reported it to the Manager and the police were informed and she interviewed a detective but there seems very little hope of tracing the thief – who was a woman. This incident does not seem to have damped her ardour in the least!

Muriel went about to all kinds of places with her brother and she met all sorts and conditions of men, amongst them some 2nd. Batt. London Scottish. She does love a uniform! “Oh Mela, there was one perfectly sweet boy – made me feel I wished I was ten years younger – but they are all darlings – aren’t they?!” I murmured something which I hoped corresponded to her enthusiasm – but when one is engaged it is rather a disadvantage as one hardly likes to go into raptures in such a wholesale fashion!

I heard from Cecil this afternoon – he wrote the card 4 days ago so it has not been long coming. He is well and they have got blankets now. The socks I sent reached him safely. He can give little news as he says “Everything must be as secret as the grave.”

I expect to hear from you tomorrow and I am simply longing to do so. This is just a little extra note which is really extravagant of me to send but if you like hearing from me as much as I love hearing from you, you won’t object very strongly to getting it!

Ethel and I did a little visiting this evening in connection with the Red X sewing. We called at Mrs Hartwell’s. She bursts with pride of her sons – one in the Army and one in the Navy. The latter is now a Petty Officer and he will receive 50/- a week pension when he retires. Fred Hartwell is very happy and she thinks he will never want to come out of the Army. We also visited the Sparrows. Old Sparrow has twice been to Antwerp in his ‘valeting’ days – he is quite a typical character of a gentleman’s servant.

Well – Goodnight – dearest. Best love – write during the week if you can and don’t forget.

Your ever loving Mela

PS - Our motor ride was delightful. Mr Collins was quite chatty for a wonder.

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