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October 8th 1917 - Letter from Mela Brown Constable to her fiancé, Captain Cyril E Sladden

8th October 1917
Correspondence From
Mela Brown Constable, Command Depot Camp, Sutton Coldfield
Correspondence To
Captain Cyril E Sladden, 9th Worcesters, 13th Division, Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force D
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter

Unit Administrator WAAC
The Command Depôt
Sutton Coldfield

Oct 8th 1917

My own dear Sweetheart

I had been too busy to even read the papers until last evening and then when I read the Birmingham Gazette I was horrified to read that there has been heavy fighting in Mesopotamia. It made me feel quite sick for the moment, for I hadn’t realized that the winter was upon us and that campaigning will begin again. I hope when a letter I wrote about 2 or 3 weeks ago reaches you that you will be well and fit when you get it, or else you will feel it hard luck to have me “jawing” at you, on top of everything else unpleasant that is going on around you. But you know that even though I am horrid sometimes, at the back of it all I still love you very, very much. It is this long separation and long mails which cause these misunderstandings. Oh – if only I could see you for even half an hour. Still I must not dwell on this aspect or else I will get unnerved.

I wonder if this little paragraph will interest you. On Friday and Saturday a medical board was held here to examine women who are willing to enrol in the WAAC. I had held 3 meetings to instruct the women in the rules of the WAAC etc, and to see if I could do anything to rouse a little enthusiasm, having been previously told that very few women would sign on for the duration of the war. Over two-thirds signed on and the Officers of the Depôt are so pleased because naturally it would have disarranged the work of the camp if all the women had gone. Some one, I don’t know who, sent the enclosed account to the papers.

I have not heard from anyone at Badsey for about 3 weeks. I think they are a bit annoyed with me at present. I hope they’ll soon get over it because I have not time to go into long explanations of my actions on every occasion. I don’t know why they are annoyed really, but none of the girls except May have written to me since I left them to take up training and May wrote just once to tell me how Marion was getting on. The last time I heard from your Father was 3 weeks ago quite. I sent him extracts from your last letter too but he has not acknowledged them. Please don’t think I am complaining, dear – I am only just stating facts – things will right themselves in time.

Oct 11th – Mail day has come round with violent speed and no more has been added to this letter.
By Monday I shall be fairly straight – the enrolment of women into our corps being completed and I can start fair and square.

I don’t know how you’d feel if you could see my office invaded by handsome young officers with whom I am bound to have transactions, such as Messing Officers, Quarter-Master, Officer in Charge of Equipment of Hostels, RAMC doctors, The Adjutant etc! The last named is a very dashing pleasant young fellow – little more than a boy – very keen on his job.

The Command Depôt here comprises 3 camps – and Brigadier General Becher is in command. He and his wife are both charming. PMO Colonel Sloan and his wife are also very nice. They run clubs for the women and have asked me to be on the committee. Colonel Sloan was attached to the Scottish Borderers during the Suvla Bay affair and is still a Gallipoli convalescent.

This is a camp for convalescent officers as well as a training camp for fit men. I am very well looked after and am shown every consideration you’ll be glad to hear.

In spite of being so busy, at the back of my mind dear there is always the thought of you and the longing for you – so don’t fear I shall ever forget you. I tell you this because being in a camp I am in constant contact with men who are very nice and kind to me – but it will make no difference Sweetheart to my feelings towards you.

All my love, dear man o’ mine. God bless you and guard you wherever you may be – is the prayer of

Your ever devoted

For the information of the censor or postal authorities “If this letter should go astray please return to the: Unit Administrator, WAAC, Command Depôt, Sutton Coldfield, England.

Letter Images
Cyril received the letter on 30th November 1917.
Type of Correspondence
Envelope containing 3 sheets of notepaper
Record Office Reference