Skip to main content

January 12th 1919 - Letter from Mela Brown Constable to her fiancé, Major Cyril E Sladden

12th January 1919
Correspondence From
Mela Brown Constable, QMAAC, Bulford Camp, Salisbury Plain
Correspondence To
Major Cyril E Sladden, 9th Worcesters, Norperforce (readdressed to Badsey)
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter

QMAAC Quarters
Bulford Camp
Salisbury Plain


My dear own Cyril

I got back last Thursday from leave, and before I left May had had a letter from you dated as late as Dec 15th. I hoped that there might have been one to greet me at Bulford but, no such luck.

However today two letters turned up, dated Oct 23rd and Nov 3rd. In your first one you mention that your name has been sent forward for mention. I think your Father said the other day that the Mesopotamian despatch re that affair had not yet been published. I am simply delighted and send loving congratulations. Oh, dear, how spoilt you’ll be when you come home. A kiss for each chevron, a kiss for each wound stripe, a kiss for the Military Cross and a kiss for mentions in despatches – will you survive all this?!!

We have had papers to fill in relating to demobilization. We were to put our names under priority, deferred, or ordinary. If priority we were to state reasons. I put mine under priority, giving you as the reason! Besides you, your home folk urged me to get my discharge – they consider that I am in need of a rest before getting married – the war has left its mark and they are eager for me to throw off the effects a bit before you come home. I am of the same opinion as far as needing a rest goes. Some days I feel a perfect rag. One comes up against a good deal that is sordid in this kind of existence, which is bound to leave its mark. In some ways it strengthens one’s character dealing with hard facts, but in other ways it saddens one’s outlook on life. Yesterday I had a letter asking me if I would go abroad, to an enemy country, and asking me to reply by wire. I replied in the negative. In many ways I’d have loved the experience but do not think you would have been best pleased, had you come home and found me out of England. France wouldn’t be far, but this other country would not have been so easy to get away from.

Our life here is the same old routine from day to day making it difficult to write interesting letters. I do hope it won’t be long now before they send you home.

The papers state that the Mesopotamian troops will not be expected to remain abroad for another hot season. If this is a fact, one can reasonably expect you home within the next 6 months. This enforced separation has become more and more trying as time goes on – very wearing.

I have got my mufti coat and skirt – a neat dark electric blue hopsack tailor made. I think you will like it. My next purchase will be a neat little hat and one or two blouses. Having been in uniform of one sort or another through the whole war, I have nothing really wearable and I want to look smart when I come to meet you!

There really is no news to give you, dear. You can read between the lines of this letter how much I am wanting you – the ache and longing which cannot be expressed. God bless you, dear Heart o’ mine, and may He soon grant us our heart’s desire.

All my love as ever.

From your devoted

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