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October 7th 1915 - Letter from Mela Brown Constable to her fiancé, Lieutenant Cyril E Sladden

7th October 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, 1st Southern General Hospital

Edgbaston, Birmingham


Oct 6th-7th/15, Midnight


My own dear Cyril


Another letter from you tonight. We have both been energetic correspondents lately.


I’m afraid (to quote your Mother) “we’ve got it badly!”


It is always a relief to me to see the postmark still Alexandria, though I should not like you to stay there for ever! Yes – I wish I had been sent to Alexandria just while you were there. Perhaps if you had suggested that sending for me would be the best tonic you could have, you might have persuaded the authorities to send for me! Oh - but I forgot you are in Kitchener’s Army – No – the less said about me the better!


How did you like Capt Lintott on renewing your acquaintance with him? It will be something to tell George – he’ll be pleased you met him, I expect.


I hope you got some letters from us written after you cabled address c/o Cox & Co before you left for the Peninsula. The letters I wrote in London when with Cecil will await you when you join your regiment. I nearly lost my heart to Cecil’s brother officer who came to see us and took us to tea at the Criterion – but when I looked round for that organ it was already missing. Someone murmured having seen it somewhere between Malta and Lemnos but there was not time to get it returned so that was the end of the romance!


Have you ever experienced that odd sensation where you find you’ve mislaid your heart?!


I daresay in Alexandria you saw some pretty girls who just faintly stirred you but when you roused yourself to further thought you looked about and found that the one thing necessary to lay at their feet had been left at the Base in England! Very annoying for you! Especially as I hear that it is in hospital, and the worst of it is it is a big clearing hospital, so don’t be surprised if it and its nurse get moved elsewhere. I got the nurse to promise to go with it, knowing how anxious you’d be! (Oh-be quiet-and don’t be so silly!)


I had a letter from Muriel today in answer to my congratulatory one. She is radiantly happy and says “life looks altogether different”.


Mrs Rudge lent them her river week-end cottage at Stratford, where they spent an ideal honeymoon which was all too brief, just ten days.


Mr Thelwall has returned to camp at Bexhill and as soon as Mrs Ashwin can find another companion Muriel is going to Folkestone to live with her cousin, Mrs Church, and her husband will join her for weekends as often as he can.


I am so glad she is married. It seemed pathetic to think of her spending her life alone. She was not cut out for single blessedness.


The news from the Western Front continues to be good but things are naturally not moving as quickly as they did in the first week of the advance. Our successes have been very cheering and although the numbers of wounded who pour in every day is a sad sight, yet they help to cheer us because they themselves are full of high hopes and so cheery.


Did you manage to see Mr de Blaby? You could sympathize with him having had jaundice yourself. I’m very glad he is being sent home.


There really is no news to give you having written so often lately.


It was very thoughtful of you to vary the stamps on your letters. It helped to remind me that I had a collection and to spur me to fresh efforts to keep on collecting. One gets awfully slack at that sort of thing when nursing. There is no need to really.


God bless you, dearest. It is dear of you to write so often. I don’t think letter writing is the irksome task to you that it used to be. To whose credit do we put that? Yours or mine? Both.


With all my love, dear Heart, you are very near to me in the silence of the night, while my patients are sleeping. The refrain of “Echo” often runs through my mind “Come to me in the silence of the night”, but it would not do for me to fall asleep and dream as the writer of the song intends – but still I dream of you with my eyes open.


Ever your devoted


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