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October 8th 1915 - Letter from Mela Brown Constable to her fiancé, Lieutenant Cyril E Sladden

8th 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

Edgbaston Park Road, Birmingham


Oct 7th-8th 1915, Midnight


My own dear Cyril


It is awfully cold tonight. I am sitting in a jersey and overcoat wrapped round with a blanket and yet I cannot get warm. Birmingham is awfully cold in the winter and the hospital is in a very exposed position.


I heard from Ethel today suggesting she should come and see me next week.


Her idea is to take a very early morning train, spend an hour or two with me when I come off duty and then she will go to Worcester to meet Mary and little Dorothy, who will be on their way to Badsey. I hope I shall be able to see them some time soon but I do not get a night off this month because I had long leave last month in order to see Cecil.


You will be very sorry to hear that Neville Japp has been killed in action. I have been trying to compose a letter to Mrs Japp in my mind all the evening but find it very difficult to express what I feel. It is terrible for them to lose their only son – and then poor Madeline how heartbroken she must be.


I want to write to her too, yet hardly know what to say.


I expect you remember how very loyal and patriotic the Japps are. So I know they will be proud of Neville but oh, how hard it is for them.


This hospital teams with romances. One of the Charge Sisters has lately become engaged to one of her patients, an Australian with pots of money. He is 22 and she must be over 30! Then last night a very pretty nursing sister got very scared while on night duty.


She was confronted with an Australian who seemed very agitated. She discovered he was not feeling ill only could not rest as he had something on his mind. When he told her what it was she snubbed the poor fellow to such an extent that I’m afraid he did not sleep any better after unburdening his mind.


He was not in her ward but had seen her going to and fro.


She said she was so taken aback that she could only take refuge in snubs – although she feels now it was rather unkind.


The Night Superintendent will be round presently so I won’t scribble much more tonight.


I saw Sammie today. They were very busy at the General as they were expecting a convoy. The civil hospitals are taking numbers of wounded.


I wonder if you are back on the Peninsula yet. I frequently see casualties amongst the men of the 9th Worcesters but have not seen the names of any officers lately.


One of the Crisp boys is ill in Alexandria or Malta with dysentery. He is to be sent home as soon as he is well enough to travel.


My darling boy, you’ve had enough of being inoculated I should think. I used to think that if we ever came to blows I should resort to a hairpin but alas – my only weapon of war is now useless. You would not feel it after all the needle pricks you have endured!


Best love, Sweetheart. God bless you and have you in His Keeping. I wish you could come and sit with me while I get through these hours of night duty.


Ever your devoted


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