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May 14th 1915 - Letter from Mela Brown Constable to her fiancé, Cyril E Sladden Esq

14th 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 14th 1915

My own dear Cyril

I was very glad to get your letter this morning and to hear how you are getting on and what an awful night you had for being in the trenches and it is very cold here today.  I went to the cinematograph and we saw scenes in connection with the sinking of the Lusitania – it was very sad to see the pictures of the survivors in hospital.  I saw among the list of saved that Mrs Warren Pearl and child had been released.  Ethel and your Mother will be very pleased.

I suppose I must have been mistaken about the dates of letters while I was ill, the mistake may have arisen by my calculating at one time that you wrote last on the Monday or something like that.  Anyhow the interval seemed very long to me – but you can if you are clever turn the incident into a happy one by the reflection that evidently your letters mean a lot to me and therefore it is (at least I imagine so!) worthwhile writing them.  I am sure you would rather I agitated for more letters than that I should not mind if you only wrote once or twice a year!  Ahem!

Pause of half an hour while Dora holds forth on dress and pretty pretties!

On Wednesday evening Dora and I went for a walk across the moorland on Broadwater Down.  Someone had been digging trenches, they were not very deep so it may have been the Women’s Volunteer Corps.  This is a Corps just like a men’s volunteer corps and they do exactly the same things.  The privates are working girls and the officers are ladies.  I believe they are very good shots.

One good thing amongst others results from the time given to this training, the girls do not hang about and run after the soldiers.  They look very smart and workmanlike in their khaki kit and cowboy hats.  The idea is to train them for self-defence principally and home defence.

I was interrupted by the lunch going sounding and wonder how I am going to get on now as Dora, glad to have someone young to talk to, breaks in with “something to say” every few minutes.

No definite news has come from Hope yet.  D and I anxiously look out for a telegram.

Uncle Harry is in one of his “laying down the law” moods, especially with Dora, and he nearly wears us out with his arguments, but we have to keep very even-tempered and lie low as far as possible or else his temperature will go up.  He seems a little better – you’d hardly believe it but since his illness he reads novels, ordinary everyday novels and likes them!

I am staying on here until Wednesday, but in my heart of hearts will be glad to be back with your people.  It is a very real case with me that your people are as my people and I long to have their dear ways with me again.  Everyone here is so undemonstrative, I feel rather like old Mrs Quinney and feel that stick and stones are more to them than people!  Of course, dear, everyone is nice to meet but I miss the real homey love of your people.

Before Major Ferguson was transferred to the 23rd division, he was in the 9th.  Hope is thankful he was transferred or else he might have had to go out now.  I think the 9th have gone really as Kenneth, who is supposed to know definitely, told her they went on Sunday last.  What division does your regiment belong to?  Kenneth is no longer RGA but is now RFA – at Aldershot?  Do you know any of the 23rd division?  Colonel Manley, RFA 23rd Division, is a cousin by marriage, his wife is our cousin, she was a Miss Knollys.  If you run across them you can introduce yourself.  I’ve never met them but they know of me, just as I know of them.  Dora loves them both and says they’re ever so jolly.  Don’t forget to tell me the number of your division.

After tea, Dora and I are going to walk to Frant, she says the village is very pretty.  I wish you were here, darling – I do want you so badly.  Never mind, I must cheer up – news from the front is good, the Germans seem to be getting it hot on all sides, so perhaps it will not be very, very long before we can always be together.

All my love, Sweetheart.

From your ever devoted


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