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October 13th 1915 - Letter from Mela Brown Constable to her fiancé, Lieutenant Cyril E Sladden

13th 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

1.20am Oct 12th - 13th 1915

Sister's Quarters, University House
Edgbaston Pk Rd

My own dear Cyril.

There has been a lull as regards convoys coming in during the night. One came in the day before yesterday in the afternoon but it is several days now since we had one in during the night. I expect we shall soon begin to have them again, as the casualty lists are very long.

I enclose you two letters to read. The one from Mrs Japp will interest you most. I send you the other because I like you to know as much about my friends as it is possible to do without actually meeting them.

Mrs Japp's letter is pathetic but very plucky – not a murmur that her lot is hard or anything of a similar nature. You remember the time to which she refers where Neville could never do anything right in her or his father's eyes. I am so glad that was all altered before he went to the Front. In my opinion they were more to blame than he, they did not trouble to understand him, & always expected him to act like an old man instead of as a young man.

Well – he died splendidly, beloved by his men and brother officers – another hero who put duty first. Poor Madeleine. I feel most sorry for her. She always believed in him & she must feel so lonely now.

Elsie Herapath's husband had a narrow escape from being buried alive. I hope he will not be sent abroad again – from the account she gives of his experience I shouldn't think his nerve would be good enough. Fancy Lionel being a Major! He had not long been a full lieutenant when I first knew him. You see what an old lady I am! When they first married, she had £100 a year of her own, but not for long as she lost her money somehow or other. However they've contrived to live as well as they have I cannot imagine. I know they never get into debt & yet they always make a good show. Lionel has a very high opinion of Elsie's ability as a manager. He says he found a lieutenant's pay went further after he was married than it did before. I'm awfully sorry I did not know they were at Droitwich a short time back. We could so easily have met.

Ethel is not coming over to see me this week after all. As I told you in a back letter, she was to go on to Worcester from here to meet Mary & Baby. Well – Mary is arriving at Worcester too early for Ethel to come over here first. However she hopes to look me up soon. I should love to see them all when the baby arrives at Seward House! They'll all want to hold it at once! Or else they'll think it too precious to touch & will gaze in awe & wonder!

I expect Mary is glad to have Dorothy to look after – the time passes quicker for her. The news continues to be good from the Western Front. Just occasionally we hear of little “set backs” but on the whole, as far as one can judge, the Allies are still advancing. We have not had much news from the Dardanelles lately. What do you think of the situation out there?

Au Revoir, dear love. Am I not spoiling you with letters? You need spoiling these days or else you can trust this hard hearted creature not to write oftener than once a month!!

I hope I shall soon get news from you again – I should think you must have left Alexandria as no more letters have turned up from there.

With all my love and a kiss.

Ever your devoted

I saw the death of a sort of cousin of ours, killed in action in France: Capt Patrick Lethbridge KOSBs.

Letter Images
Type of Correspondence
Envelope containing 3 sheets of notepaper
Location of Document
Imperial War Museum
Record Office Reference