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October 29th 1917 - Letter from Mela Brown Constable to her fiancé, Captain Cyril E Sladden

29th October 1917
Correspondence From
Mela Brown Constable, Residential Hostels, attached Southern 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
Residential Hostels
attached Southern Command Depôt Camp
Sutton Coldfield

Oct 29th 1917

My own dear Cyril

I sent off a wee Xmas present to you last week – a leather case for holding treasury notes.

I wanted to write ever so badly, but chits came pouring in from the Orderly Room and I simply hadn’t a minute. I cannot at present tell you much about my work because until the work of the WAAC is more widely known I may be giving information to the enemy – the attached clip from the Adjutant will give you some idea of my position and work in relation to the Army.

I am enjoying the work immensely and now that I have an Assistant Administrator work is becoming lighter. She acts as my adjutant and messing officer at present, as our strength increases we shall have more administrators.

The women in my unit, present strength 110, work as clerks, storekeepers, bread cutters, bye product women, waitresses, cooks, housemaids, scrubbers etc. You would be surprised at many things in England if you could get a panoramic view of women’s work now compared to what it was 3 years ago.

Mother and Bar have gone over to Boulogne for one or 2 weeks to bring over the remainder of our household treasures.

You mention an officer called Dixon in your last letter. Not many days before receiving your letter I noticed a Worcester Regiment casualty, Dixon. Was it the same?

I know there is fighting of one sort or another going on out your way and I am ever so anxious dear and away at the back of my mind is the fear of bad news daily. The fact that I am doing the work that I am spurs me on to greater endeavours, for it is up to the women of England to help to bring this war to an end – not counting the sacrifice. I realize more than ever the purpose behind our being unable to meet in spite of every effort. Evidently we each have work to do and to accomplish before being granted our heart’s desire.

My assistant, Mrs MacSwinney is the wife of a naval Chaplain. She has not seen him for 2 years. His ship is off the coast of Africa somewhere.

I hope to get to Badsey for next week end but only if “the exigency of the service” permit!

All my heart’s love, dear man of mine – you can think of me indenting for stores, equipment and commanding in the same way as you have done, using the same Army forms etc. Another link in the chain of our lives.

God bless you and bring you back to me in the prayer of
Your ever devoted
Mela Brown Constable

Typed note attached to letter:

To the Officer Commanding WAAC Company
Passed to you for necessary action.

Capt & Adjt, Command Depot
Sutton Coldfield

With Mela’s handwritten comment to Cyril:

To Captain Sladden

Passed to you for your information, edification, surprise, amusement, and I hope satisfaction!!!


Letter Images
Cyril received the letter on 1st January 1918.
Type of Correspondence
Envelope containing 1 sheet of notepaper plus note
Record Office Reference