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February 13th 1916 - Letter from Mela Brown Constable to her fiancé, Lieutenant Cyril E Sladden

13th February 1916
Correspondence From
Mela Brown Constable, Seward House, Badsey
Correspondence To
Lieutenant Cyril E Sladden, 9th Worcesters, British Mediterranean Expeditionary Force
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter

Seward House

Feb 13th 1916

My own dear Cyril

I received two more letters from you today forwarded from Birmingham. The happy one written that day you wired me and the one written after Captain Dixon took command over C Company, and so requiring your temporary rank of Captain. It must be a bitter disappointment to you. I am very sorry for your sake, but the more I think it over the more convinced I am that it would be a pity to postpone our marriage on that account.

If you come home in a few weeks and we still decide to remain unmarried, it means you’ll go away again and perhaps after a month or two are gazetted as Captain. Wouldn’t you rather be dissatisfied that we did not take the opportunity when it arose and became man and wife for we can never tell how long it may be before you get leave again.

I have talked this side of the question over with Mary and May and they both think it would be very dull and silly of us not to get married when we have the chance.

You need not worry about the £ s d side of the question. I will look after myself just the same as if I were unmarried and have your income free. I do honestly think that this will be the best plan and the happiest for both of us. None of your people will be a bit surprised, and none will be surprised if we do anything else. This war has taught people in England many things and one of these is that young people can manage on small incomes as yours if not better than their grandparents. To your cautious mind it seems risky, but believe me that will be the happiest thing for us to be able to be together and then when you do get leave again and you can come straight to me.

If the voyage home is to be at your expense it seems a lot to spend unless we get married at the end of it, although, of course it will be worth it to see you again, dear Love, even if we cannot be more to each other.

Think it over and see if you cannot see my point of view. It is very bold of me to write in this strain but I feel so much is at stake that it is better to be quite frank. We must be more trustful and not so calculating. If we wait until there are no risks to be taken we shall wait all our lives!

I am going to work quietly at my trousseau while I am having a rest so that if you come home soon or at a later period I shall be nearly ready when a wire comes, and will buy things like dresses and hats at the last moment, because they would get old fashioned if I bought them now and then you did not get leave.

Try, dear old Man to make up your mind to be really happy when you come home and bother worrying about anything. I’ll see that we do not get into debt and we’ll be able to put by for a rainy day too. In a week or two I shall tell Dr Leslie I am free to take cases for him so as to begin to work up a connection before you come home.

If you take too gloomy a view of our prospects I shall feel you haven’t much confidence in my ability to manage!

God bless you, Darling, don’t worry, but be happy in the thought that you are coming home to your wife, whose only wish is that we may be united.

Fondest love, Sweetheart.

Your ever devoted

Letter Images
Cyril received the letter on 31st March 1916 at Sheikh Saad.
Type of Correspondence
Envelope containing 2 sheets of notepaper
Location of Document
Imperial War Museum
Record Office Reference