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February 4th 1915 - Letter from Mela Brown Constable to her fiancé, Cyril E Sladden Esq

4th February 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


Feb 4th 1915


My dear Sweetheart


I was very glad to hear from you this morning and pleased that you “groused” to me in your letter as you are carrying out what I asked you to do in my letter, namely, to tell me everything. I absolutely understand what you feel when your C.O.s have to find something to pick holes in, when there is really nothing wrong at all. We get such a lot of it here. The busier we are the fewer faults are found, and, as you say, it will be like that with you on foreign service. We had twelve big operations today and everything went very well. Yesterday we only had seven and “nothing” was right!


Isn’t my writing awful tonight. It is because my arm is stiff from having so much washing and scrubbing to do today. We were operating up to the time the night nurses came on so all the washing of bowls except those in use, for the night nurses continued our last case and had another big one to follow, and mackintoshes and sponges etc to wash, had to be put aside until 4.30. I managed to get off at 5.30 by a miracle and came and laid down for half an hour after tea and am now scribbling you a few lines before turning out for a walk. Am coming in to practise bandaging before supper as it is lecture night tomorrow and we have to make a ‘T’ bandage and take it with us and also be able to bandage heel, elbow, arm, leg and finger in the approved fashion.


Scarlet fever has broken out amongst the nurses – so if by chance you do not hear from me for several days it will be because I’ve taken it. I am the least likely to take it as my off duty time is different to that of other nurses and I see very little of them!


Isn’t Aunt Jessie tiresome? Here is the 4th of February and she has not sent me my allowance. I can hang on for a bit but it is so awkward never knowing when it is coming, and when she said she would remit on the 1st of every month.


Barbara was very pleased to have your photo and thinks a moustache suits you. She also liked the one of me in uniform. She has become friendly with some French people who live in a chateau at Colembert, which possesses 365 windows. I think of it lit up, as a mark for the Germans!


I am going to the dentist as soon as my allowance comes. We cannot get a dentist in the hospital but I believe we can get terms reduced by outside dentists.


Am sending you the London Scottish Magazine again - it is interesting reading. Uncle H sent me a pc saying Cecil was gazetted “to be second Lieutenant”. Please forward the paper to Mother when you’ve finished with it.


I must stop now, darling, or else I shall get no fresh air.


With heaps of love and a great big kiss. I can’t spare more than one tonight – you had so many on Saturday and Sunday last that my stock is running low!


God bless you, dear Heart.


Ever your own


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