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May 30th 1915 - Letter from Mela Brown Constable to her fiancé, Cyril E Sladden Esq

30th 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

May 30th 1915

My dear Sweetheart

Your letter reached me this morning so the 8 am post on Saturday is the right one.

I had another pc from Hope this morning acknowledging a little muslin bonnet I sent for her baby.  It was simple yet dainty and Hope is so pleased with it that she says Baby shall wear it almost directly.  It was a fair-sized bonnet but Hope says the child is so big that if she just puts a tiny pleat into the back of the bonnet it will fit so that she can have it for her first bonnet.  I am awfully pleased it is going to be useful.

We all went to Church this morning.  Mr Allsebrooke preached on the doctrine of the Holy Trinity – a difficult subject but I could see he was earnest in his desire to help the congregation to understand it as far as it is in human power to grasp such a wonderful mystery.  I learnt something I did not know before.  He said that “incomprehensible” mean “that which cannot be confined to space”.  This meaning applied to God, helps one to grasp a little better His limitless power.  I don’t know whether you ever find yourself meditating about facts or doctrines connected with the Christian religion.  Without making up your mind to do so of set purpose, but noticing how every now and again your thoughts wing back to the same subject.

Just lately, I suppose because of Whitsun, I have been puzzling about the 3rd person of the Trinity.  In fits and starts odd passages have occurred to me such as “(Thou shalt dwell under the shadow of the most High) and (the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee), wherefore that which is to be born shall be called the Son of God”.  Here we have the Two Persons of the Trinity as instrumental in bringing forth the 3rd – namely the Son.  I have often thought the order should be God the Father, the Holy Ghost, and the Son, for although it was not until Whit Sunday that the Holy Ghost took material shape and thus proved its existence to the disciples, it must have been a Spiritual Force before then, or else the words, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee” can have no meaning.  I feel that although our Lord ascended into Heaven, He is present in the world still in the Force that we call the Holy Spirit.  I don’t think of Him as Jesus in our midst only that we cannot see Him, I think the Power in the world today is the Holy Ghost.  What do you think?

After lunch today May, Ethel and I went round to see old Mrs Roberts.  Today is her 80th birthday.  She had had cards from Kath and Betty and we took her some flowers and cake and some home-made butter.  She was in a most entertaining mood and chattered away gaily, amusing us by a very graphic description of a visit to Wales that she once paid.  She had a marvellously nice dress on that she must put by for state occasions – it looked quite grand.

I wonder if you are at Sydenham now – I hear Betty is over there for the weekend, she will be awfully pleased to see you.  (Oh, I am JAY!!!  I don’t think!)

I am going to write to Cecil today and send him Wilfred’s letter.  Still no news of or from George

Yes, it will be a bother having your letters censored.  You won’t be able to write a bit naturally unless you can get quite accustomed to the idea of your letter being read, which will take a bit of doing!

If you are ever taken prisoner and want to let us know your circumstances are not all they should be, just use this sentence, “Uncle Bill is not at all the thing”.  If you are in very bad straits add the words, “Tell them at home, Uncle etc”.  I wonder where you’ll be this time next week?  I hope this time next year we may be together at Badsey spending a happy weekend – all our troubles forgotten – with a happy future spreading itself before our eyes.  It will be all the more precious for all that we’ve gone through.

I’ve got an idea for the colouring and arrangement of our drawing room.  The wallpaper is to be a grey-green, almost grey, pale, the upholstered furniture the same only darker in tone, and to give warmth to the whole scheme, some bright cushions, the right shade of pink perhaps, old rose.  Lampshade the same.  I once saw a drawing room in India something like this, only instead of upholstered furniture, they had cane chairs of various shapes and sizes with cushions.  If it would be any cheaper, I should not mind cane chairs a bit, they last for years and then we could have any kind of a couch we fancy.  This kind of wallpaper would not mark easily.  I don’t dislike distemper myself, anyhow I always prefer a plain paper, no pattern at all.  I daresay by the time we are married I shall have thought out quite a different scheme!

I think the dining room would be nice and cosy with a good deal of red about it, unless we carried out the green idea right through the house, having dark on light according to whether the rooms are dark or light.  I should like our bedroom to be white and if possible I should like a house with a small room which could be used as a dressing room for you.  Clothes etc can be kept so much tidier if we can each have a nook of our own.

Have you heard the rumour that there are supposed to be spies in the Scotch regiments?  That orders have been given that would mean annihilation if carried out.  Ugh, these Germans are beasts.  Hildegarde says that they have forced Russian women to board their fleet ships in the Baltic for the amusement of the soldiers.  Ugh, isn’t it revolting?

I mustn’t scribble any more, dearest, or there’ll be no news left for the next letter!  I was horrified to read that you had had 12 letters from me in 17 days!  You must have been fuddled after spending a night in the trenches when you counted them!

I shall be on the look-out for a letter from you soon after I get to Bournebrooke.  It will feel very strange at first.  I shall take awfully special care of any of the Worcester Regiment who may be patients there!

All my fondest love, dear Heart

From your ever devoted


How is Mr Leake?

May 31st

Have just received my warrant for mobilization and a form entitling me to travel 1st-class free of charge and another for claim for extra expenses such as cabs!  Very swagger!

PS – George writes he is with his regiment and all is well.

Letter Images
Type of Correspondence
Envelope containing 4 sheets of notepaper
Location of Document
Imperial War Museum
Record Office Reference