Skip to main content

December 13th 1917 - Letter from Mela Brown Constable to her fiancé, Captain Cyril E Sladden

13th December 1917
Correspondence From
Mela Brown Constable, attached Command Depot, 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
Attached Command Depôt
Sutton Coldfield

Dec 13th 1917

My own dear Sweetheart

The latest dated letter I have received from you is Oct 22nd when you mention you’ve heard I have joined the WAAC. You also enclose 16 little snapshots which are very interesting, the latest one showing troops marching to Baghdad.

I am so glad you like the idea of me in the WAAC. But you dislike to picture me in khaki. As a matter of fact it is a particularly nice shade of khaki approaching a pale nut brown and people tell me it matches my eyes and certain shades in my hair. The “nut brown maid” eh, what?!

My coat and skirt is most beautifully tailored at the beautiful price of 9½ guineas – and the riding breeches which are worn underneath are a work of art as regards cut – although of course no one can see the cut of them as we wear skirts, not like the girls on the land who dress like men.

I had a nice message from our Chief Controller today, our Commander in Chief, through our Area Controller who controls the Southern Command, that she cannot spare me to go abroad just yet, as she has no one good enough to replace me. So that is a little reward for my efforts, isn’t it.

Supposing I do go abroad, and you get orders to come home you must wire to me as soon as ever you can and I will get permission to return to England in time to meet you in London if possible. I cannot say meet the boat as you will not be able to let me know time of arrival of same.

I very much appreciate, darling, your effort to overcome your feelings regarding my having signed for the duration of the war. It is more than the majority of men would have consented to, without at least a mention in their letters that I did not even say “by your leave” but simply did it. I trusted you to trust me to act as it appeared to me to be right, and you haven’t failed me.

I wish I could reward you in the way that lovers do – I do in imagination. I am very rushed dearest so forgive a scrawl this week.

All my hearts love as ever.

Your ever devoted

Letter Images
Cyril received the letter on 16th February 1918.
Type of Correspondence
Envelope containing 1 double sheet of notepaper
Record Office Reference