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September 19th 1915 - Letter from Mela Brown Constable to her fiancé, Lieutenant Cyril E Sladden

19th September 1915
Correspondence From
Mela Brown Constable, Sisters' Quarters, University House, Edgbaston Park Road, Birmingham
Correspondence To
Lieutenant Cyril E Sladden, 9th Worcesters, 39th Brigade, 13th Division, c/o Cox & Co Agents, British Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Alexandria
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter

Sisters’ Quarters, University House

Edgbaston Park Road, Birmingham


Sept 19th, 4.45 pm


My own dear Cyril


You’ll wonder what on earth I am doing to be writing to you at this hour of the night. The fact of the matter is I am on night duty. I was on day duty until 4.30 pm when news came that a convoy of 300 was coming in and so I was given orders to retire to bed and be on duty again at 7.30! Well the convoy came in at 9.15. and there is now a lull in my work having my 20 patients safely tucked away in bed, baths finished, dressings done etc. You will notice in the picture of the big hall ward which I sent out to you that time is a big stage at the end of it – on this stage are 20 beds and this is my little ward – we are very snug up here and I appreciate having a little work on my own to do.


I felt rotten saying goodbye to Cecil last night. He is such a dear good-hearted fellow, and I hate to think of him returning to the fray. Especially as he says he does not expect to be able to come through this coming battle without a scratch.


Mother and I kept off dangerous topics most of the time though I felt sometimes that I was floating on the thin edge of the ice. I am glad my visit passed off successfully.


What amused me rather was their surprise at the fact that you are good to me. “He must be awfully fond of you to give you such a number of presents”, and other remarks to the same effect! I should have thought the fact of our 2½ years engagement was a pretty sure sign whether you were fond of me or not! Lots of people remark to me that we are very devoted to each other which seems to me to be so pointless – evidently all engaged couples do not care for each other!


My patients have come from the Dardanelles – none from your division – worse luck.


I think in my last letter written from London I got as far as mentioning that we were meeting Hope for lunch and a matinée. The only piece we could get seats for was “The Angel of the House”, quite amusing in parts. H B Irving and Lady Tree took the leading parts. The latter is very ugly.


We wanted to see “The Man who stayed at Home” but could not get seats.


I wonder what you are doing tonight. I expect if you are thinking of me you imagine I am in bed and asleep!


Oh, dear, it will be heavenly when this horrid war is over. These men who came in tonight do not speak as though forcing the Dardanelles is in sight yet. In the ward next to this there are a number of Warwickshire Yeomanry nearly all gentlemen.


It is rather uncanny on night duty now that all lights are to be out on account of Zeppelins – we each have one small lamp to carry round, like Florence Nightingale!


From the accounts that privates of your regiment have written to Evesham friends who have published their letters, you and they seem to have had some hairbreadth escapes. I can hardly bear to read of it all.


I must close now, darling. I shall be very glad when you can come back to me.


God bless you, dear Heart.



Your ever devoted


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