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May 1st 1915 - Letter from Mela Brown Constable to her fiancé, Cyril E Sladden Esq

1st May 1915
Correspondence From
Mela Brown Constable, Seward House, Badsey
Correspondence To
Cyril E Sladden Esq, 9th Worcesters, Officers' Mess, Blackdown Camp, near Farnborough
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter

Seward House, Badsey

May 1st 1915

My own dear Love

I was delighted to get another letter from you this morning, you were a dear old thing to answer my letter so soon.

I have not spoken to anyone but Kath about our possible place for the 9th and we are not going to say anything about it until nearer the time in case it doesn’t come off.  Kath suggests that I should travel up on the Saturday and spend Saturday and Sunday night at Sydenham, then I could meet you wherever you suggest on Sunday, and return with you to Sydenham.  Shall I arrange to spend this time at Sydenham in any case and then you come if you can, it will be better than chopping and changing?  Directly I hear what you think about this I will write to Uncle Harry and tell him to expect me on the 10th.

I expect this will reach you on Monday, a day of happy memories, and I think it is not unfitting to wish you many happier returns of the day than this anniversary of this year.  What a matter of fact couple we were that day!  I don’t think we should be nearly so much so if we had it all over again only feeling as we do now!  I think we were only matter of fact outwardly; Kath told me the other day that she had never understood what was meant in books about a person’s eyes looking like stars until that evening when we came back from the theatre, and the expression came into her mind when she saw the look on your face, your eyes shone like stars.  So I expect you were feeling all sorts of things which could not be expressed in words.  As far as I was concerned, it was all so new and strange that I could hardly realize it but time has proved that it was the biggest event of my life.

In reference to your remarks at the beginning of your letter about being unable to forgive me for something I had not done.  To me it is almost if not quite as bad to think wrong things as to do them.  One’s actions are the outcome of one’s thoughts son one needs to keep one’s thought and imagination strictly within bounds lest one should some day be found unwatchful and put one’s thoughts into actions or into words.  Sometimes, if I were not very careful, my tongue might prove a very unruly member.  You see, I think and feel very strongly about anyone I love, and you in particular, so naturally I do not wish to offend even in thought.  I don’t think I could even by hypocritical with you, an instance being my desire not to write sweet things when all the time I was thinking differently.  Just at this period of my life my greatest temptation is to listen to this form of evil that Satan puts before me, I mean that he insinuates that after all you don’t care for me enough to write when I am ill, and all that sort of nonsense.

Now that I am beginning to realize that all these thoughts, trifling as they may appear to you, are the inventions of the devil, the sooner I shall conquer them, and telling you of them is a kind of check and also a kind of punishment.  I suppose this is why I found Confession a help, it is the sins of the mind that one confesses just as much as the active sins, and it makes one realize that once control one’s mind and the rest comes easy.  I don’t think you will find it difficult to follow me in this, although I’ve not expressed myself very well.  Anyhow you can see that it is not a “charming habit” of mine, as that I do it quite consciously with a motive, namely that I feel I wrong you just as much by thinking unjust things as by saying them, and wish to make amends by telling you I am sorry.

This is not a very grand day for your inspection by the GCC, but has this one advantage that the rain has laid the dust.

I shall feel rich if I hear from you again tomorrow:  Friday, a parcel and letter; Saturday, a very nice letter with the promise that if it is possible Sunday will also bring me a few lines – nice, very nice!

Goodbye for the present, old fellow.  I hope if there should be a naval engagement which you say rumour suggests, that we shall give the Germans something to think about.

By the way, dear, your Father is very worried about this new taxation – more worried than he cares to show.  He takes trouble awfully pluckily but I’m afraid if this new taxation comes into force as in suggested form, that he will be pretty hard hit.

God bless you, dear Heart.

All my love from

Your ever devoted


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