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July 19th 1915 - Letter from Mela Brown Constable to her fiancé, Cyril E Sladden Esq (Lieut)

19th July 1915
Correspondence From
Mela Brown Constable, Sisters' Quarters, University House, Edgbaston Park Road, Birmingham
Correspondence To
Cyril E Sladden Esq (Lieut), 9th Worcesters, 39th Brigade, 13th Division, British Mediterranean Expeditionary Force
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter

Sisters’ Quarters


July 19th 1914 [sic – should be 1915]


My own dear Sweetheart


Nine long days have passed with no news from you.


I feel that any post may bring a letter now so I eagerly scan the pigeon holes at post hours, and even out of post hours in case I should have missed one!


We had a convoy of 196 in yesterday so we shall be very busy in the operating theatre for the next week or two. I cannot tell you much about them as I only see them just before they are going under an anaesthetic, but I hear from the others that they all came from France and were nearly all stretcher cases.


The whole hospital has been re-arranged so as to have the Expeditionary Force men together, the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force together, the Overseas men together, Territorials together and so on. I cannot think why it has taken a whole year to think out this plan!


Many of us have remarked how unnerving it must be to the Central Force men to hear the groans and cries of the men who are seriously wounded. It is enough to make the bravest of them shrink from going out.


The Colonials are very glad to be together. They are in B3 and B4.


The floors are named alphabetically A, B, C. A is the lowest, not exactly the basement but the ground floor as one goes up a lot of steps to the entrance hall which is on the B floor, then C is the very top.


The Expeditionary men are all on B floor so that stretcher cases need not be taken up or down stairs.


The Colonials in B3 and B4 are quite near the theatre.


All the orderlies here who belong to Kitchener’s Army go to T _______h, where you were, tomorrow, preparatory to going to the front. Five of our Sisters are going to the Dardanelles this week, making up 100 from Birmingham hospitals. Don’t I just envy them?! Some people have all the luck.


What’s really worrying me is that you should be seeing a part of the world which I have never seen! It is awful to contemplate how you will lord it over me when you come back! Never mind – I’ll find some means of taking you down a peg or two!


I have got a lovely bowl of red roses standing by your photo on the mantelpiece. They represent my love – red roses mean love.


I wonder where you are now. I cannot keep thinking you are somewhere where there is no post office or else I should have heard again.


Kath wrote the other day telling me she had met a London Scottish man and enquired if he knew Cecil. He was surprised to hear C was in his regiment, as he said he knew him as a boy before he went to Africa. I imagine they are in different battalions. Kath said he knew Barbara but not me. I must have been in India.


I shall be very thankful when this war is over. Although I shall be glad and proud to earn to help keep our little home together should necessity arise, there are times when I just long for the peace and quiet of a little house with just you to myself, for a bit - - - -.


I miss being loved and spoilt – ‘cos you know you used to spoil me, just now and again!


I am going to have a short snooze now before going back on duty.


Bye bye for the present. Look after yourself for my sake dear Heart.


God bless and have you in His keeping.


All the love of

Your devoted


Letter Images
This letter took a long time reaching Cyril; it was directed to Mudros, then indicated that he had been wounded, sent to Blue Sisters, Sliema, then "Returned to Active Service".
Type of Correspondence
Envelope containing 2 double sheets of notepaper
Location of Document
Imperial War Museum
Record Office Reference