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March 6th 1918 - Letter from Mela Brown Constable to her fiancé, Captain Cyril E Sladden

6th March 1918
Correspondence From
Mela Brown Constable, WAAC Depot Hostel, Handsworth College, Birmingham
Correspondence To
Captain Cyril E Sladden, 9th Worcesters, 13th Division, Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force D
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter

UA WAAC, Handsworth College, Birmingham
Depôt Hostel WAAC


My own dear Cyril

This week’s mail has brought me 4 letters from you after about 4 weeks without any. In all of them you are very “fed-up” because you have had no mails yourself for simply ages. Your letters are dated the 10th, 17th, 23rd and 31st December. I do hope dear you got my little Xmas present – a brown leather case for holding treasury notes, made by hand.

I have had a very trying week one way and another – rushing about the country – I have been to Salisbury and back, to Command Headquarters, and to London and back another time. I spent a night at 13 Bath Road and found Jack, Kath and Betty all quite fit. Your Father had spent the night there the night before en route for Folkestone. He had had news that Aunt Lottie was worse and now I’m afraid, dear, there is very little hope of her recovery. It is so sad for your Father to lose the last link between him and his childhood days. You, too, my darling, will be sadly grieved to lose her, and yet one can hardly wish that she may live if her life is going to be a burden to herself. They say she is wonderfully calm, with the faith of a little child and does not murmur. She is very proud of you and will be glad to know her parcel reached you for Xmas. I will send her a line to let her know, tonight.

Kath told me she would write to you and give you news of me. I feel so terribly mean when I get nice long letters from you because I know my letters are so scrappy these days. Kath will probably tell you something of my many difficulties which I have had to overcome since my appointment here. They have been of such a nature that my brain power has been absolutely used up. However I am gradually coming out “on top” so in the end the game will have been worth fighting.

Betty was meeting Rosie in town the morning I left. They were going to do a theatre. They say Rosie is just about the same and does not develop much. I had a few lines the other day from George congratulating me on your Military Cross.

Jack looked rather tired and is looking forward to an Easter holiday. I, too, am hoping to get away at Easter and possibly shall if I can only get a sound second in command. I am without one at present – the last one being the root of much trouble.

I am so thankful, dear Heart, that you keep fit, in spite of all vicissitudes. It is naughty of you to raise my hopes about coming home this year. You don’t know how I long for that time. It will be such a relief after this long drawn out separation to be able to relax and to be natural and happy once more.

I want to write at length tonight, dear Heart, but I am so tired. We are being inspected tomorrow by the Senior Area Controller, Southern Command, tomorrow and so I must not burn the midnight oil, or else I shall not be alert and on the spot tomorrow. I know you will forgive me because at the back of all my selfishness is the thought that I want to keep young for your sake. So I go to bed and try and compose my thoughts in order that I may sleep and awake refreshed and vigorous in the morning. I don’t want to be worn out before you come home. This war is telling on the womanhood of England in more ways than one and I am fighting hard against it wearing me out physically or mentally.

God bless you, my Love, and guard you.

Come home soon.

All my love
From your ever devoted
Mela (Brown Constable)

Letter Images
Cyril received the letter on 15th May 1918.
Type of Correspondence
Envelope containing 2 sheets of notepaper
Record Office Reference