Skip to main content

March 29th 1919 - Letter from Mela Brown Constable to her fiancé, Major Cyril E Sladden

29th March 1919
Correspondence From
Mela Brown Constable, Riverwoods House, Marlow-on-Thames
Correspondence To
Major Cyril E Sladden, Seward House, Badsey
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter

Riverwoods House


9 pm Sunday

My own dear Cyril

I am just sending you a short note enclosing the Vicar’s reply to my note about May 3rd. So that settles another point.

I have just put Mother to bed. She appears to have a touch of flu – slight rise of temperature and quick pulse. I shall keep her in bed for a day or two so as not to take any risks.

The visit to the dentist was more successful this time and although four teeth were extracted, Mother says she felt hardly any pain. Of course this may be just the result of taking a chill after the visit to the dentist, and not a touch of the flue.

I went to Church and heard our banns published. About 10 minutes before they were read I felt quite shaky – but when they were read I felt as steady as a rock!

Just every now and again the knowledge that you are really home, comes over me, in waves - and makes me feel the need of you intensely. Don’t be too long before you see me again.

If Mother does not get better I shall wire for Barbara to try and come home, on leave, if she cannot be demobbed. There is so much to be done one way and another that she really is needed at home.

The drive leading to our house is much drier today – one can walk the whole way on the road instead of on the banks.

I expect today has been a strange one for you in some ways and a very happy one for you in others. I have just longed to be with you all – and yet I know it is really best as it is. Your people must be glad to have you by yourself and to feel free to enjoy your company without thinking I shall be wanting you.

But oh, my dear, it is difficult after all these years to let you go out of my sight. It is this separation that has worn out my spirit, not work …..

Just been up to see how Mother is. She seems cooler now. I gave her a good long hot lemon drink which has helped – I think.

I wonder how you have been getting on with your little niece. If she is still there you might tell her Auntie Mela is very jay!

Will you ask Ethel to send me the lace table centre you sent me from Malta (I have the collar and cuffs) etc – spangle wrap, and any other similar thing from the drawer in the spare room.

In this same drawer there are some photographs which belong to you, of your dear Mother’s grave. I would have wished to have handed them to you myself, but as this cannot be, will you ask one of your sisters to give them to you.

I shall be going up to town early in this week to finish off my trousseau shopping. Let me know by wire if you want anything.

If you should be coming here en route for London, perhaps you wouldn’t mind bringing those things of mine along with you, instead of having them posted.

I am longing to hear what everyone thinks of you. Whether they think you’ve changed and so on.
Did Arthur say anything to you about my silly old heart? I would have liked to have been able to see him again.

I can imagine Betty singing to you. She has some very pretty songs. I like “On Bredon Hill”.

I want to say all sorts of nice things and just can’t. After all we know, don’t we, all there is to say – but I am not as spartan as I used to be, as you will find when you’ve been home a bit longer.

I understand and need all that love means and brings, and I understand all that love should give – so much better that I used to do. A month more of separation is about all that I can stand.

Forgive this rather dull letter and read between the lines the love which it is so difficult to express. I just want you with every fibre of my being, dear husband-to-be. I feel so incomplete.

God bless you Love of all the years which have passed. My love to you as ever.

Ever your devoted

PS - Is your Father’s cold better? Please give everyone my love.

Letter Images
Type of Correspondence
Envelope containing 2 sheets of notepaper
Record Office Reference