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May 10th 1915 - Letter from Mela Brown Constable to her fiancé, Cyril E Sladden Esq

10th May 1915
Correspondence From
Mela Brown Constable, Beverly, Frant Road, Tunbridge Wells
Correspondence To
Cyril E Sladden Esq, 9th Worcesters, Officers' Mess, Blackdown Camp, near Farnborough
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter

Beverly, Frant Road

Tunbridge Wells

May 10th 1915

My dear Sweetheart

Dora met me at the station in her Red X clothes; she takes fortnights alternately to cook for one of the Red X hospitals here.  She must be quite good at it as she was trained in domestic economy before.

There is quite a lot of news to tell you already, but the piece I am going to tell you now you must not repeat to a soul because Uncle does not wish any but very immediate relations to know, only those in the house know at present.  Uncle had been feeling very run down and no amount of tonics or anything else would set him up, then one day he coughed up a little blood, and this was tested by a specialist in London who discovered it contained a few tuberculus bacilli.  It has been taken in twice and the doctor thinks Uncle will be quite well again in a few months, as he has only contracted it within the last few months.  He has been examined 4 times since he came home for various things like insurances, and was certified absolutely sound.  There is no consumption in the family, he has simply contracted it from getting very run down in a climate which is a great contrast to India.

Isn’t it sad for him?  He is not allowed to leave the garden except for meals and an outside shelter is being built for him in the garden – it makes my heart ache for him, he finds it so dull.  However he is an awfully good patient and carries out the doctor’s orders explicitly.  He has to have every kind of nourishing food and not have any worry – simply vegetate.

I am very glad to be here as he is alone except for Dora (this is the last day of her fortnight so I shall have her company after today), Aunt Clemmie having gone up to town to be with Hope who is in a nursing home for officers’ wives, and is expecting a child on the 13th of this month.  Until the other day she has been going about with her husband who has been sent all over the place, every few weeks.  He is not going out to the front again until July.  It gave me quite a shock when Dora gave me this news about Hope as I knew nothing of it.

Uncle heard from Wilfred this week.  His fiancée is now actually at the front in German SW Africa and two days after she arrived at the town where she was billeted, Wilfred’s regiment unexpectedly marched into that very town!  So they met – mustn’t they have been delighted?  Evidently it will not be impossible for us to do the same!

I had a chat with old Nurse after dinner – she is beginning to break up and is very feeble.  She was very interested hearing all about you.  Her opinions on the war are worth hearing.  She doesn’t consider we’re half sharp enough, and says she believes the Germans never go to bed, and so catch us napping!

I must run away and unpack now, darling.  We (Dora and I) are going to Mayfield to see Aunt Mamie tomorrow, Geraldine’s mother, so perhaps I shall not find time to write again until Wednesday.

All my heart’s love, dear.

From your devoted


PS – The reason Uncle does not wish people to know he is ill is because he hates getting pitying letters but I don’t think he’ll mind me telling you as long as it goes no further.

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