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October 10th 1918 - Letter from Mela Brown Constable to her fiancé, Major Cyril E Sladden

10th October 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 (readdressed to Badsey)
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter

QMAAC Quarters
Bulford Camp
Salisbury Plain


My own dear Cyril

Your letter to hand dated July 21st 1918 written just before you expected to leave on the Baku expedition. Since the account appeared in the papers relating to the withdrawal from Baku, I have been hoping that you have been sent to meet the Palestine forces. I know how thrilled you will be if you get to Palestine and what a lot of lovely things you will have to tell me about when you come home.

The news is grand from all fronts and we are beginning to see a turning in the long lane of war. As far as “interesting-ness” goes I think you are luckier in your part of the world, and also I am sure the “horrors” have not been quite so appalling as on the Western Front.

Sweetheart, I am simply delighted with the account, you quote, about how you won the Military Cross. I have not told any of your people, because you expressly wish that I should not do so – but really darling I don’t see why they should not know!

The next thing you discuss is your financial position in relation to your will. I absolutely agree with you in thinking that your sisters have a claim on you. Indeed I think that part of the capital should go to Betty, at any rate, at my request. Even if it were only a part, dear – I think as she is next you in age it would be a loving way of showing her that we had not forgotten that she was your sister-chum before you ever met me.
You mention the possibility of my marrying someone else, in the event of anything happening to you. If I ever did, dear, it would be because the country needs as many people as possible to marry, and the man would be told that he must take me knowing that my affection for him could never be the love I bear for you. But at the bottom of my heart, I know it is almost certain that I shall not marry anyone else.
You go on to speak of leave, as if there is a faint chance that you will get some. I simply daren’t think about it – so I don’t dwell on the possibility.

You have heard that I am leaving Handsworth you say in your letter, and am going to Bulford. Well, although Bulford is considered the last place on earth, I have grown to like it. And the surrounding country I simply love – the stretches of plain and the woods appeal to me.

Our quarters are greatly improved and I think we shall manage to survive the winter. The girls get a splendid time – going to and giving dances, concerts, whist-drives and so on.

Brigadier-General Stewart commanding the New Zealand Brigade called to see me the day before yesterday. He is very keen that I should allow his officers to know my officials. He says he is at his wits end to know how to provide any social life for them at Sling Camp. His visit was followed by an invitation to tea at one of the NZ Officers’ Messes this afternoon. I sent three junior officials along – I thought I’d “wait and see” before going myself! Aren’t I cautious!!!

The Brigadier-General has asked my deputy and me to dine with him shortly at his house at Amesbury. He is an old man and has 5 children at home in N Zealand and says he is awfully lonely away from his wife and bairns. Can’t you ask me to dine with you ‘cos you’re so lonely without me!!

Our “Office” is very excited because we have managed to get a typewriter and a duplicator out of the Command.

I have only been on light duty for about a week now. On the Army diet sheet we are provided once or twice a week with sausage meat! This sausage meat is a big Query ??? and last week it was more than specially queer-y! and laid me low. Henceforth it never graces the table in our mess even if we had to get into debt to buy something else.

With all my heart’s love, man of mine. God bless you – may we soon meet again.

Ever your devoted

Letter Images
Cyril did not receive the letter until his return to England in 1919.
Type of Correspondence
Envelope containing 3 sheets of notepaper
Record Office Reference