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October 29th 1918 - Letter from Mela Brown Constable to her fiancé, Major Cyril E Sladden

29th October 1918
Correspondence From
Mela Brown Constable, Checkendon Court, Reading
Correspondence To
Major Cyril E Sladden, 9th Worcesters, Dunsterforce (readdressed to Badsey)
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter

Checkendon Court

Oct 29th 1918

My own dear Cyril

I am staying at a Convalescent Home for women war workers. I was getting very run down in camp and the Controller at the Command took the law into her own hands and sent me here for 2 or 3 weeks. No one at Badsey or even Mother knows I am here. Dr Soltan wanted me to have a complete rest and as I do not want to be fussed I shall not let anyone know I am here. Although the address is Reading, we are 8 miles from that town. This is a most beautiful country house, the property of Frederick Scott Oliver, the author. It had been left just as he and his wife lived in it. The gardens are perfect – most quaintly designed – with walks between yew hedges and so on.

I was rather bad the first few days I was here and had to have someone to travel with me. I was running a temperature and pulse for no apparent cause. I was beginning to think I had strained my heart but it seems all right again now.

I only feel desperately tired. Mrs Bryant, my Deputy, developed pleurisy after I left and is I believe being sent here in a couple of days. She had this wretched influenza, of which there is an epidemic all over England. I was lucky not to get it, for being so run down I should have taken it badly. People die of it in numbers, whole families some times. I think it must be a German germ which has been set loose in England.

I am getting most anxious to know what happened to all of you Dunsterforce people. The papers do not enlighten us. General Marshall’s forces have reached Aleppo – which is a wonderful triumph. Did you ever meet a Captain Woodhouse – 4th Dorsets out your way? His step-sister is staying here. She is in the Women’s Royal Naval Service. I am the first Wack to stay here. The patients are principally WRNS and VADS.

I had a letter from you last week dated Aug 1st in which you speak of our marriage and what I am to do should you get leave. I’ll be there waiting on the London Platform for you and I shall love going on to your house first for a couple of days. Yes, the wedding shall be as quiet as possible and then we will hie away on our honeymoon and won’t we just be happy – specially happy – to make up for all these years. I should like to go to Wales – or else Devonshire. I must think out a programme and tell you about it.

Lots of love, dear Man of Mine. God bless you. I am getting strong again and will look after myself, remembering always that you will want to come and find me well.

Ever your devoted

Letter Images
Cyril did not receive the letter until his return to England in 1919.
Type of Correspondence
Envelope containing 1 sheet of notepaper plus 2 picture postcards (Checkendon Court and a church)
Location of Document
Imperial War Museum
Record Office Reference