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

13th September 1916
Correspondence From
Mela Brown Constable, Sisters' Quarters, University House, Edgbaston Park Road, Birmingham
Correspondence To
Captain Cyril E Sladden, 9th Worcesters, 13th Division, Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force D
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter

Sisters’ Quarters
University House
Edgbaston Pk Rd

Sept 13th 1916

My own dear Cyril

Your letter written from Karachi before embarking, enclosing photographs, arrived after I had posted my letter and I am just sending you another on the chance of catching the mail.

My dear old thing if you look anything like you do in the snapshot of you and Mrs Stewart and Mr Martin – I really will have to break off our engagement! I couldn’t possibly face the future with such a squat, fat husband! Until you explained in your letter that it was an ‘’absurd ‘’ photo, I had sad qualms as to whether you could possibly have altered so much in 18 months.

I am so glad to have those views of Simla. I am getting quite a collection of various and interesting snapshots of places you’ve been to and of different hospital scenes and people.

I forget whether I mentioned that I intended going to Lichfield on Saturday, if I could get a day off to see the Cadets’ Sports. Today I had a letter from Wilfred saying the camp was isolated on account of measles and no visitors were to be allowed for the sports. So I shall go to Badsey instead in the hopes of seeing Arthur. Next week he is taking Mary away with him for a week. I hope they won’t start over the week-end. I should like to see him – I haven’t seen him since the day we said goodbye to him at the flat. Mr Lowndes seems to have been a brick to you and and his other guests in every way. I wish I were your wife now so that I could write and thank him for all his kindness to you. You will have many happy memories of your visit to Windcliffe. I have felt parched for news of you – so much so that I could not even write you a letter worth having. Now that your letter has come it seems as though something had gone snap and allowed me to feel again. I simply long to have you – even for one brief hour. Just to feel I am all your own – once again. Sometimes one wonders if the whole thing hasn’t been a dream – our engagement, the war and everything else.

The life in a big community like this is so mechanical. We do not seem to even care to get to know each other really well. I suppose in every case, the people we care about are not here, and therefore we do not trouble or care to know one another.

We had an 8th Worcester officer, by name Carter, tonight. Isn’t that the same regiment that Captain Burlingham is in? I must ask him.

Well, goodnight dear Heart, how I long for the days to come when you come back to me. Sometimes when I feel tired and think I’m looking worn and old, I wonder whether you’ll find me changed when you come back and whether you will feel the same towards me. I put the thought away as ungenerous and unworthy of you, because I don’t really think your love could alter for so small a thing. It is Satan tempting me to doubt you – I expect you get similar moments and will understand.

All my love, Best-Beloved – pray for me to have strength to keep up a brave heart.

Ever your devoted

Letter Images
Cyril received the letter on 23rd October 1916 at Amara.
Type of Correspondence
Envelope containing 2 sheets of notepaper
Location of Document
Imperial War Museum
Record Office Reference