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July 26th 1917 - Letter from Mela Brown Constable to her fiancé, Captain Cyril E Sladden

26th July 1917
Correspondence From
Mela Brown Constable, Riverwoods House, Marlow-on-Thames
Correspondence To
Captain Cyril E Sladden, 9th Worcesters, 13th Division, Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force D
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter

Riverwoods House

July 26th 1917

My own dear Cyril

Another letter from you this morning! I can see how disappointed you must have been to receive my wire, although of course in a way you were prepared to hear I could not get a passport. It has all been too disheartening for words but I could do no more than I did. My name is still down on the books for a passport and the India Office will inform me when the regulations are altered and the restrictions removed.

Would you like me to take the opportunity if or when it comes and go to India and wait there on the chance of you obtaining special leave to join me, supposing the regulations are favourable by Dec or January or even later. I don’t suppose you could get even special leave granted earlier than that having just had furlough?

If you should wish this will you write to your bank now or make some arrangement whereby I could quickly obtain the passage money at any time that I might apply for it. I should not be able to wire you name of ship or exact date of sailing. Someone this end would have to wire after I had sailed and then I’d wire you from Bombay.

Until hearing from you I should go to the Taj Mahal Hotel - and you could wire there or to Cox’s. I should also make myself known to the clergy at the Cathedral. It may be possible for me to get an introduction to them.

A friend of ours has been told she will be able to get a passport to Australia in August, so perhaps things are improving. I am quite willing to get to India by hook or by crook provided I can feel free to pay down the necessary £-s-d. That is if you think the war is going on a long time yet, and that you are unlikely to get home for some time.

At present the risk is very great and I doubt if I could possibly reach India at all! At any rate I should be prepared for a good ducking!

I feel so sorry dearest for you all alone on leave. I know how there will be times when life seems very complex and you will want me with you. And it is so hard for you I know to need me so much and to be denied for so long. I can only pray dearest that God will see fit to grant us our heart’s desire someday; and perhaps, if we could only see ahead we may have been saved from a great disaster.

If you once got home you might have been sent to France, as others before you have been, and if I went out I might never reach India. Once more we are called upon to be patient.

It is harder for you than it is for me, in the nature of things, and I wish it need not be so.

I hope you are having an enjoyable holiday in spite of it all. A little more experience of India to relate to your wife when you come home!

It is a good thing I am not “jay” or else what a store of imaginings I might go through, thinking of all the pretty girls you may be meeting! You can give them all my best wishes and tell them I want them to be nice to you so that you may have a jolly time!

Best love from
Your ever devoted

Letter Images
Cyril received the letter on 1st October 1917.
Type of Correspondence
Envelope containing 2 double sheets of notepaper
Location of Document
Imperial War Museum
Record Office Reference