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July 30th 1918 - Letter from Mela Brown Constable to her fiancé, Major Cyril E Sladden

30th July 1918
Correspondence From
Mela Brown Constable, QMAAC, Bulford Camp, Salisbury Plain
Correspondence To
Major Cyril E Sladden, 9th Worcesters, 13th Division, Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force D
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter

Bulford Camp
Salisbury Plain


My own dear Cyril

My letters lately have been very scrappy and sometimes I feel you must think me very negligent. I think Army life is just the limit – the way it ties one up in red tape and routine to such an extent that one’s own life seems a thing far apart – and I, personally, find it awfully difficult to write letters. Even if one has some spare time, paper and ink hold few attractions for one. It is not because I love you any the less dear that my letters are scrappy. If I could only see you again I could tell you so much that my letters cannot and do not convey.

I am on my annual leave – the 2nd week due to me. I had a week earlier in the year at Marlow. I am now en route for Marlow – leaving London today.

Mother went on to Marlow yesterday. Bar and I remained behind in order that she should be medically boarded. She has been passed for a Forewoman (NCO) in the WAAC. All Wack officers have to be in the non-commission ranks first of all now – so Bar is going to try and work her way up. She will not be called up until after Sept 1st.

I expect Mother will try and let the house again and then live in rooms. It is not I, who has persuaded Barbara to join up. She has done it off her own bat after getting Mother’s consent.

I am having awfully hard times down in camp. I am weeding out more than a third of the women. Someone has sent some of the lowest types there – a fatal mistake in a place like Bulford. I have had special powers given me in order to enable me to deal with the situation. It is slow work and one naturally meets with a good deal of opposition but just before I came on leave, a swing of the pendulum of public opinion took place and people began to see the necessity for the strong measures I have advocated and taken.

Your people are spending August at Folkestone in Aunt Lottie’s house. They asked me to join them on leave but I don’t feel up to it. I am simply going to laze at Marlow. Another thing is, I don’t think I should like staying at Millfield now that Aunt Lottie is dead. I think they are having a house full too, so I should only have added to an already full house.

Well, my darling, I must away and pack up. I’ll write a long letter from Marlow.

Best of love, man of mine – I hope I shall hear from you soon again.

Ever your devoted

Letter Images
Cyril received the letter on 27th November 1918.
Type of Correspondence
Envelope containing 2 sheets of notepaper
Record Office Reference