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December 6th 1914 - Letter from Mela Brown Constable to her fiancé, Cyril E Sladden Esq

6th 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

6th December 1914

My own dear Funny Old Thing

Your dear long letter came like a refreshing breeze after a week of very hard work and has had the effect of making me very happy. Some days when work is very hard and there are many bad cases, life seems difficult to understand and one wonders what is the meaning of it all. One realises that one is a unit in the vast scheme of existence, and then the thought comes that one has a soul and that God understands each individual soul although it goes up to make the big soul of the world. I often ponder why you and I should have been chosen to be man and wife in the future and why it should mean so much to both of us. Why should one have this feeling of incompleteness? And my mind rambles on and I get no nearer the solution than when I started. I am feeling peaceful this evening because I have actually been able to play the piano for half an hour. It has been moved into the library, and here was only one nurse in there, a very nice Irish girl, MacWhirter by name - while playing I dreamed of you and the many happy hours we've spent together and I longed for you to come and kneel beside me as you often used to do and put your arms round me. Although temporarily deprived of the reality, it is a great thing to have memories, isn't it?

Matron is away for the weekend but when she comes back I am thinking of asking her if I may have leave either at Xmas or the new `year. She is almost sure to say the latter. It would be quite jolly if `i could get home for my birthday in the evening and we could see the New Year in together, a New `year which may hold glorious possibilities in store for us, who knows? I shall explain to her how difficult is is for you to get leave. I hate asking for favours but under the circumstances I think it could hardly be called a favour. I know that the Sisters here are satisfied with my work and the Staff Nurses' complaint is that I work too hard and consequently the other nurses in the ward do not do their share of work! So I don't think Matron will say I do not deserve to have my request granted! Personally I do not think I work too had, only I seem able to get through more than some of the others in less time - it's is simply a matter of concentration and method.

I had a postcard from Mother today saying that she had a delightfully long letter from Cecil who is still well and unhurt, only very, very tired - she is going to send it me to read.

It is very sweet of you to want to give me such a nice present for Xmas and I shall appreciate it very much and whenever I look at it, which will be often, it will remind me of you - not that I need to be reminded!

The most important part about it must be that it should have a minute hand, for taking pulses - it will also be very useful for calling me in the mornings, I cannot rely on my old one a bit, I think it has come to the end of its tether. Don't hurry about getting it as I can borrow for the time being. I am going to church tomorrow night and am getting up to the 6 o'clock celebration. I shall pray for you my dearest Boy and I know you too will be praying for me. Wherever we are we know that in the is service we are saying the same words and praying the same things, that God will bless us and bring us together soon again but not before we have perfectly fulfilled the work He has given us to do. In Chapel this morning we had the hymn:

"Renew our will from day to day
Blend it with thine and take away
All that now makes it hard to say
Thy Will be done."

It made me think how difficult is is sometimes today, "Thy Will be done."

I am most awfully excited about your photos. I shall hardly sleep for longing for the morning post! You were a dear funny Old Thing to remember to have it taken and I should just love to give you a thousand kisses for it - but I think even you would get tired if I gave you so many!

I must close to catch the 9 pm post. God bless, Dear Heart. I was so glad to hear details of your visit to Sydenham. All my love.

Ever your own

PS - I got into mufti tonight before writing - I fell more like the Mela you know, out of uniform and consequently write a better letter.

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