Skip to main content

December 5th 1914 - Letter from Mela Brown Constable to her fiancé, Cyril E Sladden Esq

5th December 1914
Correspondence From
Mela Brown Constable, The Nurses' Home, The General Hospital, Birmingham
Correspondence To
Cyril E Sladden Esq, The Officers' Mess, Bhurtpore Barracks, Tidworth, near Andover
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter

The Nurses’ Home
The General Hospital

5th December 1914

My darling Cyril

I am commencing a letter tonight having retired early at 7 pm when I came off duty, and have just finished a letter to Mother for her birthday on the 7th. I wrote to your Mother for the 3rd so have been getting a fair amount of correspondence done.

I had a letter card from Wilfred this morning and enclose it for you to read. I am going to write to him and to Mary Campbell tomorrow for Xmas. You and he ought to have a fellow feeling as you are marrying girls in the same profession and who are older than you. Let me have the card back when next you write.

It is my "half day" off duty tomorrow. I am going to spend it first by taking a blow in the fresh air, and then returning to write letters and mending. I think my "day off" will be on Saturday week, the 14th. I shall spend art of the day in bed and am hoping to go and see Mrs Jarvis in the afternoon.

I have got myself a cloth for my little table and a "set" of doyleys etc for my dressing table. We are expected to provide these ourselves - these are really a present from you as otherwise I could not have invested in them, in spite of the fact that they are supposed to be compulsory.

Nurse Saunders and I are still friendly but it is mostly on her side. You said in one of your letters I was sympathetic - but at the same time it takes me a long time to really care for anyone sufficiently to call them friends.

Of course, with me, I have you and so I do not feel the same necessity to have a friend, although of course I am not so silly as to imagine that just because I am engaged I am debarred from other friendships. (By the way, one of the student dressers is rather keen on me - quite at a distance so don't get alarmed! He is rather a nice little man and good to the patients - he looks so important and serious when he is doing a dressing! It is a pity he should waste his time thinking about me for it is so unnecessary - there are heaps of other girls and nurses much prettier and more fascinating than I am!)

Friday night
Nurse Saunders is sitting on the end of my bed playing her auto-harp, which is a beauty - she had it given her by another nurse at the Eye Hospital where she was before she came here.

This evening I wandered off to Moseley Road to St Alban's Church, thinking there was a service at 6.30 but there was not, to my great disappointment, however Sister is giving me a "long Sunday" this coming week, the rules being changed and "extras" are are to have these now, so Nurse Saunders and I are going to church together.

What are you wanting for Xmas? Would you like a leather case for carrying notes and postal orders as they are so much in use just now, or would you like a leather letter case for carrying any odd letters in your pocket. I saw some very nice ones in the shops Windows this evening. My little surprise that I mentioned in my letter last time will be a little delayed but you'll have it in a few days anyhow.

I am looking out anxiously for your next letter telling me details of your visit to Sydenham, and as each post time comes round my heart beats a little quicker in the hopes that there will be a budget from you. I have also been hoping that Kath would write and tell me how you were looking etc but no news has come from anyone this week.

It is now ten minutes past ten and Nurse Saunders has departed, somewhat to my relief as I could not write very well with her in the room. I told her fairly straight that she had better run off as I had letters to write but without effect! She absolutely haunts me - I cannot understand it for I am really not a bit nice to her, in fact I am always telling her home truths!

The Sister of the ward I am working in is now going to the front next week. She is awfully excited about going and is busy about putting her kit together – the Government allow £25 towards it. I wonder what our new Sister will be like.

I did not see the announcement of Colonel Chester Master's death. I expect Dick Chester Masters now lives at Knole Park, Knole; he was Mrs Sturge-Jones' eldest and favourite brother.

Have you heard anything of Mr Eddershaw or your other friend lately?

The papers seem to contain very little real news but from what I can fathom Germany seems to be using up her resources very quickly and I should not be surprised if Easter does not find us somewhere near a peace settlement. What do you think?

I shall probably get up for the 6 o'clock celebration on Sunday and will of course be thinking and praying for you and my two brothers very specially.

God bless you dear love - you are always in my thoughts.

All my love from
Your devoted

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