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

18th 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 18th 1916

My own dear Cyril

Your letter written on Sept 10th after going up river reached me tonight. I am so sorry you are not getting your letters regularly, it must be very miserable to be without so long and under such dull and trying circumstances. I hope, dear, that you will not have many months of it, and yet I don't want you to have to go through France, there is practically no chance of escaping being wounded out there, now.

I have a night off on Friday and am going to Badsey. Your father has asked Mother to stay until Monday so that we can see something of each other. I heard from Mr Sladden today and also from Mother. The latter remarks that she wishes she could have known your mother in her own home. I think, dear, Mother forgets that she had the opportunity of becoming acquainted with your mother. I think our attitude since that Xmas has been a big lesson to her, and your father's kindness now will be a still bigger one. Let us hope that peace may reign in future as regards her views in our engagement. We have shown her that there is a unity stronger even than marriage as understood in the legal sense of the word, I mean a love which is as strong as death.

Last night I came across an officer who is attached to the London Scottish, previously in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. He took over the Bomb School from Cecil. He says it is generally accepted in the regiment that Cecil is a wounded prisoner of war, unless he died of his wounds. He told me that if a man is too badly wounded to be moved as far as the prison camps in Germany, he is to be sent to a hospital in a Belgian town occupied by the enemy, from which no letters are allowed to be sent. He suggests this as an explanation of Cecil's silence. Poor old fellow – how dreadful for him if he is a prisoner under these conditions.

Mother seems happy at Badsey and is enjoying the quiet and rest. It will do her good too, her nerves are very unstrung on account of this worry about Cecil.

We have been sleeping three in a room on night duty; the third nurse has left, and Nurse Barrow and I have been given another room, just our two selves. We are so pleased about it. She is a nice girl, a VAD, her father is in the regular army, she has lived in India too, so we have a good deal in common. It is so nice to share a room with someone of one's own sort – if one is bound to share a room at all. Sometimes I simply long to have a corner of my own where I can sometimes be alone. I cannot even write you a decently interesting letter because of others being present.

I will send you some warm things for Xmas in case you are short of things – such as a muffler, socks etc. Do let me know all you want and I will always send you anything you ask for (within reason of course!!). Goodbye for this week, dear Heart. God bless you and bring you home safe – to me some day.

All my love.
Your ever devoted

Letter Images
Cyril received the letter on 21st November 1916.
Type of Correspondence
Envelope containing 3 sheets of notepaper
Location of Document
Imperial War Museum
Record Office Reference