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October 5th 1916 - Letter from Mela Brown Constable to her fiancé, Captain Cyril E Sladden

5th October 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

Oct 5th 1916

My dearest Cyril

I got your letter tonight just after I had posted mine to you. I am so very glad to have the little enclosures. I think it was most skilfully done up considering the circumstances and the cotton with which it is tied enhances its value and is more romantic than even a piece of blue ribbon! I sincerely hope the censor enjoyed reading your letters! As a matter of fact the enclosure did not look as if it had been touched! Thank you so much, darling, for granting my request even at inconvenience to yourself and risk of the amusement (possibly) of the censor.

I am still ‘’specialling’’ the pneumonia patient I mentioned at the end of my last letter, with the admission of two others.

They have all three kindly fallen into a sleep (of sorts) and I am taking the opportunity of scribbling a few lines to you.

You tell me to keep up my spirits and not to get war-worn in case you turn up unexpectedly. I think you’ll find me pretty cheery considering most things.

Perhaps my letters from Badsey have led you to expect to find me otherwise, but I’m really quite cheery on the whole. Of course, as you know, Badsey does not suit me. I always am inclined to get depressed there. The relaxing air takes away all my energy.

I am glad you like the photo of me in the snapshot of Ethel, me and Wipers. The girls did not think it a good one of me but I thought it passable myself. I think the reason Ethel looks so thin and worn in the photo is because at that time she was dressing her hair in a style which did not become her and made her look thin. Of course we all of us lost weight and colour this year. The stress of losing your mother made a deep impression on all of us and if I felt it so deeply, how much more deeply you and your sisters and brothers must have felt it.

You ask me what I mean when I say Mr Neame is too good-looking. Men make a great mistake if they imagine women admire good looks in a man without anything else.

There is nothing about Mr Neame’s face to distinguish him from any other good-looking man. A plainer face generally is relieved by one or two very good features which lend great expression to the rest of the face. Personally I admire, and I think most women do, an unusual face more than a good-looking face.

I think Mr Neame has a charming face but I could not mention any particular feature or impression which marks him different to the rest of the world!

Now you, you funny old thing, have a long nose which would distinguish at once!!! I would say one nice thing, at least there is a pair of them, but I’m not going to flatter you, although you fish for it in your letter!!!

It would not be like me to flatter you would it? I am leaving all this sort of thing until after we are married and then I’ll tell you all sorts of nice things when we are alone! This sounds suspiciously like a bribe, doesn’t it!!!

We had some men in from Mesopotamia the other day but I’ve not come across any of these yet.

You are constantly in my thoughts during my night watches and it is a comfort for me to know that you are comparatively safe and I hope asleep in your little wooden hut.

I wonder if it will be a case of ‘’I wouldn’t leave my little wooden hut for you-oo‘’! when the time comes!

Bar saw Cecil on a cinematographic film the other day in Paris, leading his regiment. We heard he led the Battalion into action. He looked so jolly and was smoking and had what is called the BC twinkle in his eye. She said she felt as though she was really seeing him, it was so realistic. Some of the nurses here told me that the London Scottish had been filmed going into action on July 1st, in the pictures of the Battle of the Somme – but I wouldn’t go in case I did see Cecil. I felt I couldn’t bear it.

Goodnight, dear old boy – God bless you and bring you safely home. All the love in my heart.

Your devoted

Letter Images
Cyril received the letter on 7th November 1916.
Type of Correspondence
Envelope containing 3 sheets of notepaper
Location of Document
Imperial War Museum
Record Office Reference