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February 21st 1916 - Letter from Mela Brown Constable to her fiancé, Lieutenant Cyril E Sladden

21st 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 21st 1916

My own dear Cyril

Baby Dorothy and her Mother have gone and we already miss the little one about the house. May and I have just returned from meeting Ethel on the return journey from Worcester. She travelled as far as that with Mary and Dorothy. William was meeting her at Hereford. They must be at Dowlais by now.

Baby is big enough now to notice everything – Ethel said she was intensely interested in all she saw and fought with all her might against Sandyman; but he got the upper hand of her and before they reached Worcester she was sound asleep! They even changed train without waking her up.We were glad to see Mary looking better than she has bee lately. About a fortnight ago she looked very seedy and had horrid ulcers in her mouth and gums. Dr Leslie gave her a tonic and she has been much better since taking it. He said she had not had enough fresh air. But you know we could not persuade her to go out – but often days past and she never stirred out. I used to take Baby out in the mornings and Eva Stanford came as nurse every afternoon and took her out. She says she cannot bear going out but since she took Dr Leslie’s advice she has looked so much better.

By the way, has anybody told you the romance attached to Eva Stanford? At the beginning of the war she “walked out” with one of the Wilkins twins, but when he would not enlist she threw him over!

George Crisp came home and we never guessed anything until Mary encountered Eva and Baby with a military escort on several occasions! The hero got bolder as time went on and used to wait for Eva and Baby just outside when he knew they would be going out! Baby may have been the attraction, but if you saw Eva’s lovely Worcester badge brooch you’d be inclined to think otherwise! The brooch appeared the day after George Crisp returned to his depot. He also escorted her to the Russia “Day” Concert, with her mother, so he is a very correct young man! Mr Mustoe has taken a great interest in the romance, and has come across them, the soldier wheeling the pram with the happy Eva by his side!

The Wilkins twins are very wrolte (?) and have been most insulting to Mrs Crisp and said they did not consider George had done much for his country except go to hospital. Aren’t they brutes? Sometimes they stand outside and watch me go up the road and snigger and make remarks - they don’t upset my equilibrium at all, so they’re rather sold!

If they don’t enlist now they’ll be fetched and if they are not fetched then I think their house will be raided, the feeling in the village is very hot against them.

There were letters from Kath and from Betty this afternoon. The former had had a letter from you and the latter said she went to see Lily Messenger (née Wood) on Sunday, and that Mr Messenger escorted her back across Hampstead Heath. She seems very taken with him – he is 6 feet 3 inches and looks even more if anywhere near his wife – who is rather short!

We are awfully pleased at the news of the progress of the Russians in Armenia – we will follow the history of the war, ”further east of you towards my birth”, with breathless interest now.

If you get too short leave to come home you might ride over to the land of my birth for a spell! In my last letter you will have read of a Major Sarson and what good use he made of some leave he had!

I hope my recent letters have not worried you very much. Having become master or mistress of myself once more, I look back and realise how strangely they must read to anyone who has had time to get over a disappointment and who is feeling pretty happy in spite of his wish not having come true. But you will understand, darling, that it was only my love for you which prompted me to write as I did, I was feeling mad to have you home and I lost control of myself temporarily. Forgive me.

You say in your letter that someday you and I will go over to my home together and efface the recollection of the last occasion. I shall be very glad if we can do this. Meantime I should be very pleased if you would write Mother a few lines just to let her know you are getting on, a nice, chatty letter – mention how sorry you are I could not manage to get a “pass” to get over to see them, and any other news you can think of. If you haven’t much time for letter writing I will do without one in order that you can send a few lines to Mother. Cecil told her that there was a prospect of us marrying if you had got your leave, so you might refer to it if you liked, just to let her know it is likely to come off in the very near future, when you do get some leave.

I am rather tired tonight so I’ll stop now – all my best love, dear one, God bless you – I long for even just one kiss.

Ever your devoted

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