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May 15th 1917 - Letter from Mela Brown Constable to her fiancé, Major Cyril E Sladden

15th 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 15th 1917

My dear Cyril

I am scribbling this in a tea room, the only spare time I have this week to catch the mail which leaves tomorrow.

This week my whole day is being spent learning the ropes at Jacob’s Biscuit Factory, Aintree. The Welfare Department is supposed to be very good there. But as the directors of the firm are very progressive men, I do not consider the Supervisor of Welfare has had many difficulties or much opposition with which to contend.

The kind of factory I am likely to be put into will probably be one where there has never been a Welfare Department so that it will be uphill work. Just for a bit I might go as an Assistant to a Supervisor in a very large factory before being put on my own.

Thursday and Friday of last week saw me in Manchester visiting Hans Renolds, the Cycle Chain Factory which now also makes munitions. All their branches of work are for Government now.

I was absorbed in watching the shell making. They have a wonderful inspection of goods Department. Every part of a fuse and shell is inspected, so that out of 48,000 shells sent out in a given time only 35 were returned as useless.

I could tell you many things about the engineers strikes etc but I had better refrain in case this letter conveyed information to the enemy.

I am going on presently to two lectures. The first on Democracy in Welfare Work by Miss Newcomb, whom I have met. She is the Supervisor at Hans Renolds, and runs on democratic lines.

The second lecture is on Sex and parenthood. One has to attend moral lectures and be taught all about the Royal Commission. It is all very enlightening and educating, and a great help in making one grasp social problems and the best way with which to combat them.

I received your pc of March 26th acknowledging mine of Feb 1st and saying you were moving on. I hope dear you were feeling rested after a short spell in Bagdad. You must be heartily sick of the whole life.

Your Father forwarded me a cutting from a Worcester paper. It was a letter from a Private Jennings telling of the entry into Bagdad - and mentioned that he was servant to Major C E Sladden, who had been slightly wounded the day before Bagdad fell! Is he still your servant?

I heard from Wilfred yesterday. His letter was dated May 1st and he was still in hospital. A man, who was training with him at Lichfield, lives at Oxton, Hobbs by name. He often comes in to see us. He dined with us last night. He was rejected for health reasons. Dear old Wilfred was so distressed to have to tell me that my letter to you which he was taking out, went to the bottom. Isn’t he a dear to even feel sorry – as though I expected him to save that if nothing else. I thought you might be in hospital in India, and he was taking a note to give you when he saw you.

Must stop now, dear Heart. God bless you. All my love.

From your ever devoted

Letter Images
Cyril received the letter on 11th July 1917.
Type of Correspondence
Envelope containing 3 sheets of notepaper
Location of Document
Imperial War Museum
Record Office Reference