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May 2nd 1915 - Letter from Mela Brown Constable to her fiancé, Cyril E Sladden Esq

2nd 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 2nd 1915

My own dear Cyril

I have just finished a long letter to Cecil and am now commencing a budget to you.

I went to the eleven o’clock service and on the way met Harold Allsebrook, who was looking rather seedy, and on enquiry found he has leave until Wednesday after having been inoculated for the second time and not feeling well after it.

This afternoon we spent sitting out in the garden reading.  I must confess I spent intervals in snoozing and day-dreaming.  What about or about whom?  Oh, nobody you know – just a tall, lanky youth, with dark blue eyes which have more than once looked into min and which have a bait of haunting me, especially if sitting in the garden, or standing near the drawing room mantelpiece.  I’ll introduce you to the owner of them some day …..

After tea Kath and I went to see old Mrs Roberts and took her some flowers, eggs and bacon.  She did not dissolve into tears until we were coming away which was quite good for her!  We came back in time to “keep house” while the others went to church.  I spent my time in tearing up and sorting old letters, not yours.  Supper was quite an interesting meal, although I did not take much part in the discussion I liked listening to the different points of view.  Evidently something in the sermon must have brought up the subject of Confession and other matters generally practiced by “advanced” church people.  I think your Father is not nearly so much against the use of Confession as he used to be, for he said he thought it was “all right” for those who felt it did them good.  To my surprise, May stuck up for it to a great extent although she did not actually advocate a general use of it.  My share only came in as “speaking from the point of view held by the High Church party” and I carefully kept to the argument in the abstract.  Not that I am ashamed of having gone to Confession, myself, but the dinner table is hardly a fitting place to announce that fact.  I don’t suppose I shall go again for I know it would mean a certain amount of misunderstanding between us, also I don’t feel the “need” for it as I used to do.  I can see your point of view better.  You said once that there were things you felt could not be confessed to anyone but God.  I, too, realize that now, and unless one is going to confess everything it is no use practicing the use of Confession as one is not supposed to hold anything back.  I used to confess everything, but I’m sorry to say that I could not do so now to a Priest – some things one cannot find words to express them, things that are not wrong in themselves and yet you wish they would not enter your thoughts.  Some day we must talk this over again so that I can try and explain what I mean.

I must go to bed now, so will continue this tomorrow.

May 3rd

I had quite a big post this morning – a letter from you, one from Mother and one from Sammy.  Your letter took as long to get here as Mother’s.  She wrote on May 1st and so did you, only you missed the 2 o’clock post.  I don’t think Mother posted very early on Saturday, there is no date stamped on the letter, but she wrote from the hospital immediately after seeing George – and I don’t suppose she would have gone to see him so very early in the morning.

Mother also wrote to your Mother telling her all about George, whom she managed to see for quarter of an hour, although it was against regulations!  She knew the way to the Garage so just walked in and, after being there quarter of an hour, a doctor came in and told her she had no business to be there as the patients are not allowed visitors!  However, Mother having accomplished what she wanted to do, said she was very sorry and came away!  She is hoping to see George again when he is sent to the Convalescent Camp at Boulogne.  I hope he will be allowed out, it would be so jolly if he could go to see our little cottage, it is just the sort of funny little original sort of a place he would love.  Mother took him some oranges, and found out that he is not in need of anything but very annoyed at his enforced inactivity.  He seems to long to get back to the scene of action.  She had heard from Cecil, who has not been under fire lately but was expecting to be called up any hour.  Mother had noticed that Dr Baker was investigating these poisonous gases and was beginning to comment on the subject but broke off saying if she said too much the Censor would not pass her letter.

Nurse Sampson is so pleased because the patient she is nursing is getting better, which is rather rare with such a bad case of cerebro-spinal-meningitis.  The husband was allowed leave home from the trenches to see his wife but as she is getting better he returned to the front yesterday.  He told Sammy that the prevailing opinion among the men abroad is that the war will not last longer than August.  Wouldn’t it be joyous if it were to turn out a fact?

Your night operations end in a much nicer way than mine used to.  We never had a cold collation of such sumptuous splendour as the feast you describe.  How I shall cater for you after we are married I don’t know!  I can see myself going about hatless in order to meet the requirements of your hunger, and shall bless your Mess Sergeant for catering in such a manner as to encourage what he must know is a weakness of his sex, and therefore to be discouraged, especially at the unheard of hour of 1 am!

Kath goes back today.  May and I are going up with her in the fly and are going to walk back.  We have “one or two little things” we want to do in Evesham.

Did I tell you I had to get another medical certificate to comply with the request from the War Office for one of recent date?  Dr Leslie sent me it yesterday.  It is worded to the effect that Miss B C is in sound health, and fitted to take up the duties of a hospital nurse.  So there is no need to worry about me, as usual I come up smiling!

I’ve just discovered that I’ve missed covering the second side of one sheet of notepaper.  I did not mean to “do you, allowing you to imagine I have written you a longer letter than I really have!

Au revoir, dear old Boy, it will be very nice if we do meet again.  God bless you, Sweetheart.  All my love is yours.

Ever your devoted


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