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June 12th 1917 - Letter from Mela Brown Constable to her fiancé, Acting Major Cyril E Sladden

12th June 1917
Correspondence From
Mela Brown Constable, Kent House, Oxton, Birkenhead, Cheshire
Correspondence To
Acting Major Cyril E Sladden, 9th Worcesters, 13th Division, Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force D
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter

at Kent House, Oxton, Cheshire

June 12th 1917

My own dear Cyril

I ought to be on the high seas now if only I could get a passport – but I’ve not yet received a reply from the Foreign Office. I don’t think I shall be granted one but I shall not wire until I get a definite and final refusal. It is awfully tantalizing for us both – to think that in less than 3 weeks you may be going on furlough and yet we do not know what our plans will be – I daren’t dwell on the hope that in a few more weeks we may be together because I know there is so very little prospect of my obtaining a passport. I cannot even write you interesting or chatty letters because it is all so aggravating of the wretched Huns to spoil our lives for us, and my brain cannot rise above it.

I am going to Marlow to stay with Mother, at the end of this week. That factory I told you about has had the right to manufacture TNT taken away from it since I last wrote. This means the other parts of the factory pass under another Section of the Welfare Department, different to the Department who were thinking of putting me in so matters have become complicated and it may be some little time before they straighten out – so I’ve just to wait events and in the meantime am going to Marlow and then perhaps to Badsey for the plum-picking.

I cannot help feeling a bit fed-up with life at times but I don’t think I give way to it for I do realize how thankful I should be that you have been spared to me - and that you are not on the Western Front. Big things continue to take place there, slowly but surely, but, although the papers say our casualties are light in proportion, yet the chances are small that a man will come through unscathed.

The boat on which Miss Lloyd George’s fiancé, Captain Evans RAMC, was coming home on, has been torpedoed. Captain Evans is safe but cannot say when he will reach England. I wonder if Lieutenants Inwood and Holmden were on the same boat. When did they sail? Don’t forget to enquire at Cox’s for Wilfred’s address - and look him up if you are on furlough.

I am looking forward to seeing Marlow again. It is the scene of many of our childhood’s happiest days. Mother has met the Orchards, who live there now. As you know, both my brothers went to school there.

I simply seem unable to write this mail – so please forgive this short scrappy letter. It is so mean of me not to write a better one but I simply cannot. You seem such miles and miles and miles away.

All my love.
From your ever devoted

Letter Images
"Please forward if on furlough" written on envelope. Cyril received the letter on 2nd August 1917.
Type of Correspondence
Envelope containing 2 double sheets of notepaper
Location of Document
Imperial War Museum
Record Office Reference