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August 31st 1916 - Letter from Mela Brown Constable to her fiancé, Captain Cyril E Sladden

31st August 1916
Correspondence From
Mela Brown Constable, Seward House, Badsey
Correspondence To
Captain Cyril E Sladden, 9th Worcesters, 13th Division, Indian Expeditionary Force D (redirected to "Left again for ? 14/8/16")
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter

Seward House

Aug 31st 1916

My own dear Cyril

Elijah sent your letter along tonight. I have not, as you suggest, been tearing my hair because the mail is late, but what is worse I have been tearing Betty’s hair instead! Whenever she is at home the mail comes in late! Last week it did not come in until Saturday, whereas the week before when she was at Weston, the mail came in on Tuesday.

I am posting this from Badsey before I leave for B’ham and will write again from there.

There is nothing particular requiring an immediate answer, in your letter – but I feel I’d like to send you news of the house people up to date, before I leave for so long a time.

Your Father is pretty well. He has been under treatment the last few weeks by Dr Leslie to reduce his blood pressure and is better in consequence. He was getting a bit jumpy and nervy – which was a natural consequence of the great strain he has undergone lately.

He has been very sweet and good to me all the time I have been here, and has been feeding me up with port wine and things ever since he knew I was going back to hospital! I read him a good deal of your letter tonight, it always gives him great pleasure if I do, and I like making him happy if I can.

May comes back from Wrexham tomorrow - from her letters she seems to have enjoyed her holiday immensely and has found the benefit of the rest – she did not have breakfast until 9.15 every day and so on.

Kath is looking very well and has been doing the housekeeping since she came back from Budleigh to give Ethel a rest. She gets through a wonderful amount of other things as well. Tonight she is busy setting a maths paper for Betty!

Ethel enjoyed her rest and change at Weston, but is obviously needing a further change – I think she may be going to stay with Aunt Fanny soon.

Betty looks very well and is well, I think. She is a cheery little soul and everyone is glad to have her at home. She and I play the giddy goat together very often and have huge jokes one way and another.

Mrs Horsman’s views on Jack, expressed in a letter to Kath tonight, are that he seems much better for his holiday but seems a little restless; this she puts down to the fact that he feels a bit lonely. Jack and I get on very well. He is always awfully nice about doing little odd jobs for me, which I appreciate very much.
I’ve just asked Mary if there is any special news about Arthur but she says ‘’no’’ so I’m afraid I cannot tell you much about him – I told you in my last letter about his article in The Lancet.

George’s regiment is moving further up to the scene of action – he hints that they will soon take part in the offensive.

Mary does not always look very well – she is feeling the strain of separation very keenly, and also Baby is quite a handful and does not give Mary very good nights. She had taken to confiding in me lately, which naturally draws us together.

Baby Dorothy is a darling – I’ve told Mary I shall take her to Birmingham with me tomorrow. Baby calls me Lala - she begins to talk quite well. I went in to Evesham this morning and enquired after Flora. Nurse Beagley let me see her for a minute or two and the baby. Flora looks very well and so pretty. The baby girl is a beauty. I saw the father’s photo and the baby is exactly like him. Almost the first thing Flora said was, ‘’Have you had any Indian mail yet this week?’’! A fellow feeling! She has had a wire from her husband saying he is going on well and is in Bombay. He looks very young – I wonder if he is younger than Flora.

Pansy tells me that Flora is not fond of children but would have been happy if it had been a boy. I expect she will like her own children, though.

Pansy came to tea this afternoon. She amused us all very much. She is so inconsequent. We are so sorry for Ada, the maid. She has just heard that her favourite brother has been killed. He was shot through the head. He was in the 2nd Worcesters who have distinguished themselves in defeating the Prussian Guard.

Ada has been very plucky. This is the second brother she has lost in the war.

Lastly I come to myself.

I am rather like you, ‘’I cannot say I am glad to be going back but it is high time I did something or other or I shall get lazy!’’

I shall miss all the things and people here which remind me of you – not that I need reminding! However, I am going back because I know nurses are needed, and this is sufficient reason without any other and one feels it is a good thing to be needed.

God bless you, Sweetheart. I hope you keep well and are not finding the climate too trying – it won’t be very long now before we see each other, for the tide has turned.

All my best love, Sweetheart mine – oh, for just one kiss.

Ever your devoted

Letter Images
Cyril received the letter on 6th November 1916.
Type of Correspondence
Envelope containing 3 sheets of notepaper
Location of Document
Imperial War Museum
Record Office Reference