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May 26th 1915 - Letter from Mela Brown Constable to her fiancé, Cyril E Sladden Esq

26th May 1915
Correspondence From
Mela Brown Constable, The Summer House, Seward House, Badsey
Correspondence To
Cyril E Sladden Esq, 9th Worcesters, Officers' Mess, Blackdown Camp, near Farnborough
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter

The Summer House

Seward House, Badsey

May 26th 1915

My dear Sweetheart

May and I are sitting in the summer house this afternoon writing letters – it is too windy to sit out on the lawn, one’s notepaper would be blown to Jericho.  Do you remember sitting in here with me the last afternoon of your last visit home?  When you come back from the front you must come and repeat that afternoon only missing out the goodbye afterwards.  You were awfully quiet while we were sitting in here – I did not know what to say to take away that curious look in your eyes.  You kept looking me up and down and through and through but saying nothing and I felt as though I wanted to say something to comfort you.  Were you feeling sad, dear Heart?  You looked so strangely quiet that I could not make out what was troubling you.  You looked as though something other than the fact that we were going to part was troubling you.  When we did speak it was about some trifling matter.  I think it is often the way that when our hearts are fullest that we cannot express what we are feeling.

I have been sorting, dating and tying up your letters, those written since July last.  There are about 109 including postcards!  I have put my books and extra photos, not yours, in one of the drawers in your bedroom and had a good clear-out of rubbish.

I had a long letter from Sammy today.  She has been congratulated by Dr Stacey Wilson on the recovery of her patient of cerebro-spinal-meningitis, and has been given a similar case, a child of ten, but she does not think this one will pull through.  It is seldom in hospital that a doctor will openly credit a nurse with pulling a patient through, they so often take all the credit to themselves and I think a very great deal depends on the nursing in the majority of illnesses.

A boy cousin of Sammy’s who went out to the front has been very badly disabled.  A bullet passed through his nose and passed up to the brain and came out at the top of his hat.  The result of this has been that his brain has become affected causing almost total paralysis – isn’t it dreadful?  He is only 21.

I think your Father must have told you the news Arthur’s letter contained about coming across Bert Idiens who has been wounded in the forearm by shrapnel.

Crisp heard from his son, George, yesterday, saying that he was quite well in himself but was going to have his left forefinger, or rather what remains of it, amputated.  He writes very cheerily.  He was in the firing line 3 days when suddenly, as he expressed it himself, his finger stopped a bullet.

Ethel had an amusingly expressed letter from a Badsey man at the front this morning.  He commented on the death of William Marshall, ending up with, “I trust he has gone to the right place.”

I bicycled in to see Kath off from Evesham yesterday.  She looked all the better for her holiday.

Miss Holmes came home to Mrs Ashwin’s for the night, last night.  She has gone to Bournemouth today to stay with her sister.  She wants to discuss with her what to tell their Mother about their brother.  They did not tell her he was fighting in the Dardanelles, they were afraid she would worry.  Don’t you think it was a great mistake, as the news will now come as a great shock?

Bye-bye for the present, dear, I must go and practice soon or else I shall have the little Mother after me with a broomstick!

With my very best love and a kiss.

From your ever devoted


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