My dear Mr Sladden
There was no letter waiting for me from Cyril when I got back – but today two have turned up dated Oct 23rd and November 3rd. In the former he says, “I have just recently been informed of a piece of good news which should be sufficient to keep me delighted with my extraordinary good luck for a long while to come. I don’t know whether they wire home immediate awards given by the C in C out here, or whether they send them only by mail. The despatch awards that are made in London are not wired out here, except for a few of the highest; in fact we are still waiting for the list of the last despatch recently published and dating from last March. In any case though you will have seen my name in the papers some weeks at least before you get this letter. The award is of course for the Baku operations. The mere luck of commanding a battalion in that show, which was never a very alarming one, though it looked at times as if it might become so, hardly seems sufficient by itself to have justified so great a reward. I am inclined to think that a predisposing cause may have influenced G.H.Q. in sanctioning the recommendation: it seems possible that my name may have been brought before them in the lists for the despatch covering April to September which were just in. That period covers the Kirkuk operations, and these were highly successful, and I was running a little show of my own which was rather in the public eye. If this surmise is correct (and it is pure surmise only) it still does not do away with my contention that I have been amazingly lucky, as this other affair – if it did influence the decision in any way – was really a simple enough affair too, very annoying at times and hard work, but never what I call hard fighting.
I know you will be delighted and that is the part of it all I like to think of most. Only you must not draw unwarrantable conclusions that I have done anything wonderful at all to get it, as I have only done the best I could, and happened to light upon conditions where any fairly good work got a lot of notice.”
I know you will be delighted as I am about the above. Cyril does not mention the name of the award but as he says “so great a reward” I should think it would be the D.S.O. Don’t you think so?
I haven’t seen this despatch in the papers, - have you?
My new mufti coat and skirt has come and I am longing to wear it!
Give my love to everyone - and congratulations to Cyril.
Ever your affectionate daughter-in-law to-be-soon – I hope.