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May 9th 1917 - Letter from Mela Brown Constable to her fiancé, Major Cyril E Sladden

9th May 1917
Correspondence From
Mela Brown Constable, Kent House, Oxton, Birkenhead, Cheshire
Correspondence To
Major Cyril E Sladden, 9th Worcesters, 13th Division, Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force D
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter

at Kent House, Oxton, Cheshire

May 9th 1917

My own dear Cyril

I feel I must make time to write you a second letter this mail as today is your birthday.

You are beginning to reach quite a respectable age! Yet even so, you’ve no business to be a major at your time of life – people will be so sorry for me when they hear of my marriage to a hoary old major!

Your last letter of the 20th March showed you were very glad to have a rest in Bagdad for a bit. I’m glad my very unworthy parcel met with your evidently sincere approbation! I hope the little red devil mascot was effectual in keeping away all bad luck. They say set a thief to catch a thief, so I suppose if one sets a little red devil to catch all the other little devils, the result is good, and good luck reigns supreme!

The pair of socks I am knitting you now promises to be more attractive as well as more comfortable than the badly turned out pair I sent in your birthday parcel. These are nice soft wool, a mixture in colour, and I’ve also found out a better way of finishing off the toes. I will send them off next mail and put in a pair or so of boot laces as well.

I did so long to give you a loving birthday greeting this morning. If the war is over, this time next year, I’ll be the first person to wish you many happy returns of the day – for I shall get the first chance.

You are the most fortunate man in the rapid way your wounds heal – but all the same, slightly as you were wounded, nevertheless that must have been a nasty ten minutes when the bullet was being extracted.

My work at the Liverpool Victoria Settlement this week has been quite interesting, and I had not been there a couple of hours when I was called upon to act in my capacity as a nurse. A woman had an epileptic fit and the Secretary ran for me and even called me Nurse in order to calm the other women who were waiting with this woman until they could be seen! A good part of that day was taken up looking after her and getting her into a fit condition to go home, and there seeing her home etc.

The rest of the time up to date I’ve been district visiting and learning how to do card indexing and to fill in case sheets with lectures in the evenings up to 8 pm.

Tomorrow I am going to Hans Renold’s factory in Manchester for 2 days instruction in practical welfare work. This is rather unexpected as I did not think I should be put on to factory work so early.

Mother is now staying in cottage rooms at Marlow, near the boys’ school. She is meeting friends who knew us years ago. Barbara is with her, the idea of work in London was abandoned on account of her health, she has taken to fainting and feeling out of sorts generally. I think this war comes very hard on the young girls like her, so much sorrow when their lives ought to be all sunshine. Maud is just the same – the war simply drives her frantic sometimes.

You nice old thing to buy some Persian rugs. I am dying to see them - and it sounds so jolly when one can write of things which we shall share in our little house. The vision of our home is continually before me and inspires me to go on striving, to have patience, to fit myself in every way to be a wife, and to be all that a wife should be to her husband. Sometimes I feel I shall fall far short of all I desire to be, but you’ll help me, dear man of mine, and I trust I shall be able to help you too.

God bless you – dear Heart – you must be thinking much of your dear gentle hearted Mother today, this your birthday.

All my love and a great big birthday kiss

Your ever devoted Mela

Letter Images
Cyril received the letter on 11th July 1917.
Type of Correspondence
Envelope containing 2 sheets of notepaper
Location of Document
Imperial War Museum
Record Office Reference