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November 7th 1918 - Letter from Mela Brown Constable to her fiancé, Major Cyril E Sladden

7th November 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

at Checkendon Court Convalescent Home
Near Reading

Nov 7th 1918

My own dear Cyril

This mail brought me a letter from you dated August 14th written when you were en route for Baku. I wonder if you were at Teheran. You see I am still at Checkendon Court.

I am very much better and want to get back to work but am advised not to go back until the 18th. When I first came here I ran a temperature and the doctor came but did not say what was the matter with me. I put it down to the journey, which had been a silly, tiresome, draughty one, but I have lately discovered that I had slight pleurisy! No one was more astonished to hear this than I was!

After I left Bulford, Mrs Bryant, my Deputy was stricken down with pleurisy and pneumonia and removed to a Nursing Home. She was sent on here a few days ago and is now making rapid progress towards recovery.

Influenza is raging everywhere – the Camps are in quarantine and all leave has been stopped.
I heard from your Father yesterday, who says that the news is so good that he is seriously thinking of getting out his best clothes to air for our wedding!

May had had influenza but was up and had been out, and almost well again. Badsey has suffered badly from this flu epidemic – there having been seven deaths amongst them – old Mr Hands, Mrs Harry Hall and Mrs Percy Hall. You’ll see many changes dearest when you get back amongst the villagers.

George is expecting substitution leave to England for six months and is at this moment at the base awaiting orders. He has had a touch of influenza. I wonder if Rosie and he will be married before us after all!

An envoy from Germany has been sent to Marshal Foch relating to an armistice. I wonder what will come of this! The German people do not like the idea of raids on Berlin, which is now only 80 minutes by air.
The country all round here is very beautiful in its autumn dress. I have never seen so many beech trees and beech hedges, which remain a golden brown long after the other leaves have fallen.

I think I told you that this is F S Oliver, the author’s house. I now hear that he is in partnership with Debenham of Debenham & Freebody’s - and that is where his money comes from. There is a Mrs Caines staying here, Director of Personnel, WRNS whose husband was at Cambridge with Mr Oliver. Dame Catherine Furze, who used to control the VAD organization, now controls the WRNS and is known as the Director. She holds the rank of a Rear Admiral.

Do you know, dear, the roses are still out. I have a lovely bowl by my side as I write.

I have been thinking over where we shall go for our honeymoon. If you get home during the winter or early spring, the Isle of Wight would be a warm, sunny spot to go to. Mrs Bryant knows of a comfortable Hotel there. She says the climate there in winter is warm compared to most places, and the scenery is enchanting.
Dolly wrote a long letter to your Father recently telling of a visit they had had from Captain Holmden and his bride. He told Dolly you had grown quite stout. Don’t get too stout, darling, not more than comfortable! You were big enough in length before you went away, I shall feel so small if you get any wider and too fat!!
I think I am just about the same in build as when you saw me last – my hair is a bit darker brown.

The thought that you may soon be home now is a happy one but I do not dwell on it too much. I am like the nation at present, who is taking our Victories at the front with a calm exterior, but a nice happy feeling is inside.

All my love as ever and God bless you, pride of my life.

Ever your devoted

Letter Images
Cyril did not receive the letter until 7th June 1919 on his return to England.
Type of Correspondence
Envelope containing 2 sheets of notepaper
Record Office Reference