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

30th 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, British Mediterranean Expeditionary Force
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter

Sisters’ Quarters, University House

Edgbaston Park Road, Birmingham


Sept 30th 1915, Midnight


My own dear Cyril


I felt as though I must be dreaming when the post brought me another letter from you tonight! The only drawback to receiving so many is that when there comes a long pause without any I miss them frightfully.


There is another convoy coming in, in the small hours of the morning, but as all my beds are occupied it won’t affect me very much, unless it proves to be a very heavy one and I am called off to help in other wards. No one knows from where it is coming or how many wounded there are, Matron simply had a notification to say to expect a convoy. We seldom get one under 200, and as there are not more than 50 vacant beds, I don’t know how or where they will be housed.


Thank you for your reply to my letter re making plans for the future.


As far as I personally am concerned, so long as I am well I will go on nursing and leave the rest to work out as time goes on. Sometimes I feel as though I cannot go on with it but that is generally when I am not feeling up to the mark. If by any chance I go home for a rest in the New Year, I do not want you to think I am giving up because I am under the impression you are in a position to marry and therefore there is no need for me to work. My real reason will be because I consider health a great essential to our future happiness. I may go home for a couple of months and then take up work again. It all depends on circumstances but I mention this beforehand in order to prepare you for any action on my part. But as far as I can see at present, being in fairly good health, I will stay on here after Dec: and do as I said in my last letter, see if I can sign on for 3 months at a time. Nurses are badly needed and the Staff here is very much reduced and the Nurses are taking on some of the Sister’s duties, so perhaps I ought to put duty before health and go on here to the end of the war. It is difficult to see where one’s duty lies sometimes, for there is a duty I owe to you as well as to my country. If I remain on for a long time it will be necessary for me to rest for a little afterwards. As Nurses get fewer and the convoys heavier so work increases. But it is no good worrying about the future, the present is as much as one can cope with just now.


I am always like this, as you know of old! Do you remember while waiting to take up nursing, how fidgety I used to get, and you used to tell me not to worry but to let things work out slowly. I love getting my plans cut and dried!


It is rather mean of me to bother you about my trumpery little affairs when you have so much else to think about. Tonight I feel as though I could face anything, and another time I simply long to be yours and just because I cannot have you with me, everything else seems uninteresting. But because I “love much” much may be forgiven, eh?


I suppose you haven’t come across Mr Wormald, our hospital Chaplain. He was in Alexandria a short time back. If at any time you should be in Alexandria again you might make enquiries at headquarters for him. He is on the look out for you. He is a man with 2 sides to his character. In the presence of several ladies he appears flippant, but underneath he is a man’s man and is at his best with men.


How did you get on with Mr Mumford? Has he been successful in getting transferred into the Worcesters?


The price of food has gone up considerably. A little while ago we got a bonus on our messing accounts, but that is now a thing of the past – much to our sorrow. I try to save but no sooner do I put money into the PO, than I have to draw it out again for some object, like the few days’ holiday I had to meet Cecil. One cannot save much out of £20 a year! However I don’t get into debt which is better than nothing.


With heaps of love, dear Heart. Keep up your spirits and help give the Turks as hot a time as they are having in Asia Minor.


God bless you, my own.


Ever your devoted



PS [on envelope] – Some London Scottish came in this am. They say Cecil has been wounded. Further details tomorrow.

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