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February 18th 1916 - Letter from Mela Brown Constable to her fiancé, Lieutenant Cyril E Sladden

18th 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 18th 1916

My own dear Sweetheart

I must try and remember to write smaller than I am in the habit of doing for notepaper is going up in price and I believe it will keep on going up, as the manufacturers cannot obtain the pulp.

Are you able to buy all you want in Port Said or can I send you anything out that will be likely to reach you before your regiment is sent anywhere else?

I am so glad your parcels are reaching you by degrees; I think the contents have kept wonderfully well considering the length of time they have been on the way!

Ethel had a letter from George Evans today acknowledging a Xmas pudding which reached him before he left Suvla. It was served up hot in the trenches and all who partook of it enjoyed it immensely. Evans said they did not have any for the Turks!

He seems to have had rather a bad time with dysentery, and also he has had to have all his teeth out. He writes from a convalescent camp in Malta. Fred Hartwell is in Hospital at Northfield suffering from frostbitten feet and fly-bitten (poison) legs. His Mother told me the other day that he told her that “Mr Cyril is right-down clever as an officer”! She seemed to think that this was the highest praise, having a great opinion of her son’s capabilities as a soldier. She would consider it higher praise than being mentioned in despatches!

Mary has gone up to Evesham this morning so I am in charge of Baby, who is at present sleeping in her pram close by. Presently we shall go out but I must first of all take up some lunch to your Mother, who also has to be looked after as she does not get up until the evening and Ethel is so busy with other things. Mrs Sladden came down to tea last evening for the first time, and Dr Leslie turned up about 5.30. He says she may walk about her room or the dining room and just up and downstairs as the exercise is good for her but still is not to go out until he has seen her again.


At this point, Mrs Ashwin’s companion, Miss Allan, came in to know if she could accompany Baby and me for our usual morning constitutions. So we started forth together but our walk was of very short duration as we were caught in a drenching shower of rain. It simply pelted. So here I am back again and able to go on with my letter.

I am going to wash my hair this afternoon – an awful bother but it must be done!

We were all very pleased to read in The Times of the fall of Erzerum yesterday. The account said that this would help to prevent the Turks making another attack on Suez. So I wondered if this would make leave more possible for the troops situated near there!

I mustn’t get on to the subject of leave again, in case my imagination runs away with me!

It has been a hard lesson for both of us this set-back of all our hopes, but if we have faith perhaps God will think fit to answer our prayer. All I want is to have you with me, mine, these days, and I must try to curb my impatience and remember that we are only units in the great game of life at this time of national crisis and that I must be prepared to sacrifice my all if occasion arises. But it is hard – nevertheless.

Goodbye for the present, dear Love, I’ll write again tomorrow. God bless you and grant us our heart’s desire in His own good time. All my love.

Your ever devoted

PS - I heard from Mother this afternoon. If we are going to be married, she favours a London wedding but would like to hear from your people as to their views, when things are more settled.

Letter Images
Cyril received the letter on 7th April 1916 at Felahick.
Type of Correspondence
Envelope containing 2 sheets of notepaper
Location of Document
Imperial War Museum
Record Office Reference