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December 29th 1914 - Letter from Mela Brown Constable to her fiancé, Cyril E Sladden Esq

29th 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

Dec 29th 1914

My own dear Boy,

I am trying to write you a decently long letter after scrambling into bed as quick as I could but I don’t know if I shall succeed very well as Nurse Saunders is sitting at the end of my bed finishing the remains of a veal and ham pie! She has now got up and has kindly offered to wash up so this rather blots out any inconvenience - - - - - - but oh, sad to relate we suddenly recollect she has a septic finger and therefore we have decided to hide the remains (of the supper not of the finger!) behind the clothes basket until the morning!

What an age your letter took to get here. I began to wonder what on earth had happened to you and whether your battalion had been ordered to the East Coast.

Barbara is very ill with influenza. Mother’s letter was dated the 19th so I expect she is a good deal better now. This illness prevented them coming to England for Xmas.

When you send your photo, send it c/o Aunt Martha as I suggested her opening it before forwarding it to Bar so that she could have an idea what you are like.

I spent Xmas Day in the following manner.

(At this point Nurse Hewitson came in with an illustrated paper to show me what she called a photo of myself. It was really one of the Hon. Monica Grenfell “Society’s latest favourite”!) Il pant que nous ravenous á nos moutons – n’estee pas!

I went to the 6a.m. Celebration which was held in the Chapel and was fairly well attended by the nurses. During the morning we did only very necessary work and I was allowed to attend Chapel at eleven. At this service Matron and the doctors were present, the maids and as many nurses as could be spared. I wondered during the service if you were attending Matins and whether we were repeating the same parts of the service at the same time.

At 6p.m. there was a concert given in No. 2 Ward and most of us went to it taking as many patients down as possible.

On Saturday and Monday the nurses and Residents acted their plays.

The nurses did Cinderella, and acted awfully well. I don’t know the name of the Residents play, but it was a screamingly funny farce.

Mr Bradford was killing as a middle aged dame suffering from nerves. I laughed until the tears rolled down my face.

So we’ve had quite a good time on the whole, but as I told you in my last letter I did not join in the fun got up by the men and Nurses on their own account. One nurse was caught in one of the side wards sitting on the R.S.O.’s knee – both of these people by the way being engaged to other people. This will give you an idea of the kind of thing that was going on.

Well Sweetheart – much as I should like to go on scribbling I must stop because it is time for all lights out. God bless and keep you my own dear Love – write soon again you dear old thing – it is such a joy to get your letters.

All my love and a long, long kiss.

Ever your own

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