Skip to main content

February 9th 1919 - Letter from Mela Brown Constable to her fiancé, Major Cyril E Sladden

9th February 1919
Correspondence From
Mela Brown Constable, QMAAC, Bulford Camp, Salisbury Plain
Correspondence To
Major Cyril E Sladden, 9th Worcesters, Britforce, Baku, Caspian Area (readdressed to Badsey)
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter

QMAAC Quarters, Bulford Camp
Salisbury Plain

February 9th 1919

My own dear Cyril

Now that there are two mails a week I feel that any post may bring me a letter from you. It is great too to know that when you do start home it will only be a matter of three weeks or so before I shall see you.

I have applied for my discharge on the grounds that I feel the strain of responsibility telling on me and am in need of a rest. I’ll enclose a copy of my application which may seem an odd one to you, but if you only knew what I have been up against you would understand the meaning of the word “sordid”.

I am told that the Command has forwarded my letter to Headquarters, which is favourable at any rate. It is just as well to begin putting one’s case before them for as you know, it takes ages to get anything done. By applying for my discharge I shall lose my bonus, a matter of £28 or so, but no amount of money will buy health or peace of mind.

Yesterday I went to a dentist in Salisbury and had a back tooth extracted which has been troubling me for weeks, but Mr Shuvelton would not take it out for me. However I could stand it no longer feeling certain it was a septic tooth. It proved to be septic and the nerve exposed so you can guess I was not making a fuss about nothing. I only had a local anaesthetic. The dentist was wonderful – he pulled out the tooth with one long pull and I felt no pain except when he injected the anaesthetic. He was so amused at my obvious gratitude after. I felt like a dumb animal who has been relieved from pain!
The snow is on the ground and it is very frosty. The plain looks pretty but oh – so cold. Luckily we are not being stinted with coal.

The strikes in England of the engineers and others makes one realize that German influence is still rife. Also one realizes that Germany is not demobilizing her army. These things make one think and wonder.

Mother is on her way to Boulogne to finish up her business in connection with her flat out there. She has not received any rent for it for some time and could do nothing from this side of the water. She’ll be away about three weeks or a month.

Your Father writes cheerfully. He had heard from you and that always cheers him up. He loves getting letters so I nearly always write to him instead of to the girls. They understand and get my news from him.

I am reading “The Secret City” by Hugh Walpole. A tale of Russia showing the diversity of opinions – temperaments, politics etc. He is a good writer – don’t you think? It will be nice when one has leisure once more to read and really retain what one reads. Nowadays one reads but one seems unable to concentrate.

Dear man of mine, how we shall appreciate even the simplest pleasure after this terrible time of strain and responsibility. And the great unknown which is before us, will be wonderful, all the more wonderful because of the uncertainty we have experienced that it might never have been. We shall treasure every look and touch, every word and feeling.

All my love as ever. God bless you.

Ever 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