Seward House, Badsey
My darling Boo
I was very pleased to get a letter from you this morning, I noticed the date you wrote it was the 21st, and the time of posting it 7 pm 22nd May at Farnborough. I only mention this because you think I will receive the letter on Sunday which looks as though you may have given the letter to someone to post and they forgot to post it until Saturday evening. It arrived at Evesham at 4.30 am 24th May. Having heard on Saturday I was not expecting to hear on Sunday so was not disappointed when no letter came.
I had an awful fit of depression yesterday afternoon and evening. I cannot think why it should have come over me so suddenly. I tried to read a book all the afternoon in the garden, and purposely did not write to you because I knew it was no use writing depressingly and upsetting you as well as myself. I think I should have been all right only that I could see by the manner of the others that they noticed I was depressed and it unnerved me, because as you know by experience, I am best left alone on these occasions. After tea I went to my room and had it out with myself, and after about a couple of hours I came down again, strolled round the garden and recovered my balance. I was not going to tell you this when I started my letter but as usual I can keep nothing from you!
I gave them all a shock this morning by coming down in uniform. Mrs Ashwin wants to see me in my bonnet and cloak, that is why I put it on, because I am going over to see her this morning. Your Father thinks it is a good thing you are not here as I look so severe you’d be frightened of me. Everyone else, however, likes me in it very much and disagrees with your Father’s opinion. It makes me feel like work and I think it is high time I was doing something instead of lazing round wishing for everything under the sun that I cannot have. I will finish this later on, there is no post out today from Badsey after ten, worse luck.
Dearest, excuse pencil in the middle of a letter. I am just finishing this off in my room before supper. It is rather difficult to write in the dining room after supper because of the newspaper being read out. I like hearing the news but it is not conducive to letter writing. You have not said anything about us having a code. If you send me one of the official postcards, I think a good way of conveying information would be to sign your names at different angles. Sign it in full sloping upwards as a good sign and downwards as the reverse. For instance, if the pc says you are wounded, and no other remark is allowed, and if it is only a slight wound, sign you pc thus: Cyril E Sladden. If it is fairly bad, thus: Cyril E Sladden. If very bad: Cyril E Sladden. And if you are too bad to fill in this pc yourself tell someone how you wish them to sign it.
It will be very nice if you are left at the Base at first to bring up reinforcements – but I don’t suppose they’d leave you there for long, probably change about with someone else.
I did not enclose Bar’s letter in my last to you because the others had not finished passing it round. You certainly are getting a very greedy boy for letters – I am glad to see that when you ask for more you write more frequently yourself too! Otherwise I should think you were more than very greedy!
We have had quite a lot of tennis today. It has been ideal weather for the holiday makers.
I had a long letter from Dora yesterday. They had had a wire that Hope had a little daughter born at 11 o’clock am on May 21st. The announcement was in The Times too. I cannot imagine who could have inserted Captain instead of Major Ferguson – he received his majority some time ago. The next announcement to look out for is that of Mrs John Elliott of Blackheath. Fancy Hope’s and Peggie’s children being older than Arthur’s – it seems absurd.
I went over to see Mrs Ashwin this morning in my bonnet and cloak – she liked it very much. Ellen, the quaint little maid here, said I am much better looking in uniform!!!
I feel you very near at times, dear Heart. You’ll hardly credit this and will think I dwell on it too much, but really, when I come up to my room to go to bed, it seems strange that you are not really here. Your presence makes itself felt in spite of you being absent. I absolutely long to have you, yourself, with me, to talk to, to say our prayers side by side, to read our Bibles and finally to go to rest. Oh, darling, I’m sure it isn’t wrong to feel like this. It is only because I love you.
Did you see the piece of poetry in today’s Times, written by a soldier at the front, called “Love and War”? I think he expresses what every true lover must feel. I wonder who he is in real life.
I must close now, Best Beloved. God bless and guard you.
All the love of my heart
From your devoted