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January 26th 1915 - Letter from Mela Brown Constable to her fiancé, Cyril E Sladden Esq

26th January 1915
Correspondence From
Mela Brown Constable, The Nurses' Home, The General Hospital, Birmingham
Correspondence To
Cyril E Sladden Esq, 9th Worcesters, billeted at Briardene, Cliddesden Road, Basingstoke
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter

The Nurses’ Home, The General  Hospital, Birmingham

Jan 26th/15

My dear Sweetheart

If you need a reward for writing such a nice long letter, you should have been here when I received it and read it!  I was so pleased to have it and I’ve skipped along round the theatres ever since, everything came easily!

I don’t for a moment doubt that your love for me is as deep as mine for you, only that it expresses itself differently, which is much nicer really than if we both felt the same, it is much less dull to be different.  The fact that you say you feel more when you are with me than when you are away, bears out my remarks in my last letter that men are more material than women.

When I am in a naughty frame of mind I sometimes wonder if you would want me more (when you are away) if you were not so sure of me?  I think most men when they are engaged are quite happy in thinking that now they have won the girl’s heart that she is quite certain to remain constant – and in the majority of cases their idea on this subject is correct.  Very few women think like this.  It is not that we do not trust the man we love – it is that we put such little faith in ourselves, in our capacity of being all that he expects, and we see so many women, lovely and accomplished, and it puzzles us that any man should have chosen us before one of these.  So that when the man we love is away from us, we long to have him back, just to make sure as it were that he is still ours, to hear once more that he cares for us.  It is just feminine weakness but we are all the same – with perhaps a few expectations.  It is so different for a man.  In spite of all our fears we acknowledge to each other, we women, that men of the best type, are more constant than women.

I’m afraid my girl friends would give me an awful lecture for giving them away like this to you!

Darling, I am most awfully sorry to have annoyed you so often by appearing to ignore your advice when it coincides with my own wishes.  Honestly, it has been quite unintentional on my part, and I cannot remember having done so. Nevertheless, Sweetheart, however unintentional it has been, I am awfully sorry to have annoyed you and I will be on the look-out in future to prevent anything of the kind happening again!  This is the nice part of your having told me, being able to put it right, for if you had not mentioned it I should have gone along blissfully unconscious that you were hurt.

(Please, I’m sorry I was naughty!)

It was delightful meeting Maud yesterday.  She sent her love to you and was very interested in all your news.  She was looking quite pretty and was beautifully dressed, I couldn’t help envying her, she looked so easy going, we nurses always look in a hurry.  Although I envied her I would not change places with her, because then I shouldn’t have you!

If you go to Aldershot, you might possibly see Hope Ferguson.

I am sending you Bar’s letter from Cecil and would be glad if you would send it on to her, also the one from Wilfred to Mother.  My letter from Cecil is dated the 19th when he has more definite news about his commission.  You will read in Bar’s letter that Wilfred has been made a Lance Corporal.  It is odd that we three all got promotion about the same time.  I got it here in my humble sphere.  Now George is a Lance Corporal too, isn’t he?  So he and Wilfred must have a race.

I wonder if Kath would go and see Mary Campbell’s sister who lives at Earls Court in Warwick Road, 59.  Shall I ask her?

Isn’t it wretched? I broke a tooth the other day.  I’m so annoyed as I hate dentist’s bills.  My teeth always go cranky in hospital. They started at Bournemouth.

My cough refuses to go – which also annoys me very much.

If the girl is nice, I rather hope that Mr Marshall will propose!  It would make you greater friends than ever.  A fellow feeling makes one wondrous kind.

May sent me some “tuck” yesterday – I must send her a line now to acknowledge it.

I am very glad you are coming to know Captain Barker more intimately.  From your first description of him I felt he was a man who needed knowing.

Well, goodnight, dear love, I do want you with me very much – it is spoiling you to tell you this though when you are rude enough to tell me you only want me when I am there and not when I am away!

M O N S T E R.

As a matter of fact I don’t believe you.  You’re a - - - - fibber.  I’m perfectly certain you want me just as much as I want you (perhaps more!) only you are so busy so don’t notice it.  If I really believed you I should want to break off our engagement.

Best love, dear Heart.  From your somewhat tired


PS – Did you send the London Scottish Magazine to Mother?

Letter Images
Type of Correspondence
Envelope containing 3 sheets of notepaper
Location of Document
Imperial War Museum
Record Office Reference