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April 1st 1919 - Letter from Mela Brown Constable to her fiancé, Major Cyril E Sladden

1st April 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


My own dear Cyril

I was very glad to hear from you. It seemed an age until this morning’s post – although I knew it was not possible to hear before. Letters are not very satisfying though, after one has seen the real person so recently. They seem very matter of fact – whereas one spoken word even, can convey so much.

I expect you saw the paragraph in “Times” about Honorary rank for retired Volunteer Officers. Does this apply to Kitchener’s Army? I enclose cutting in case you missed seeing it.

Mother is much better. I was not very well this morning having been (stupidly!) startled by a terrific rat-tat from the postman at 6.30 am which awoke me from sleep. It had the same effect on me as a bomb and completely un-nerved me! Mother sent for Dr Downs, who came this afternoon and carefully examined me. He says I am in splendid physical condition, heart and lungs absolutely sound, but that my nerves affect my heart. Practically the same diagnosis as Arthur’s. Dr Downs says I am in the same state as an airman who is “played out” after too much flying. He thinks that with treatment I shall be quite well in a couple of weeks’ time. When he heard I was going to be married he said, “It will be the finest tonic in the world for you – the sooner the better.” So you see, dear – you are indirectly the cause of any indisposition I have! Don’t feel you ought to come and see me very soon again if the doctor thinks you are such a good tonic! He is a very nice man – young and clever, married about 2 years – has been in France. They lost their only child at birth – I think you would find him quite interesting as a friend should we take this house for the summer.

I am to have Sanatogen at eleven every morning and Ovaltine going to bed. I am on no account to get up for breakfast and I have to lie down after lunch in the afternoon. Not to worry and enjoy life as much as I can. The latter part I am carrying out almost immediately by going up to Town tomorrow to do some shopping. Enid Wilde (whose house I pointed out to you, when I heard the news that I had been “mentioned”) is coming up with me and we are going to do a theatre, possibly Chu Chin Chow. She is going to ring up about seats tonight.

This afternoon two boy friends called after seeing the announcement of our wedding in the Times – aged 16 and 13 yrs. They only got home from school today so were very prompt. I think your DSO, MC awed and attracted them and they offered to take you a long walk, if you’d let them, next time you are here! The eldest is at Marlborough and the younger at Clifton College. If you do let them show you the country one morning for a couple of hours they will simply swell with pride. Their names are Robin and Alastair Hamilton and they live in the first house up the drive. Their father has been nearly all over the world except in Asia. He wants to meet you too to have a chat. He is rather like Uncle Harry in character – slow and deliberate in speech – a Scotchman.

I wonder if I shall hear from you again in the morning. I do hope so. Everyone thinks we are very wonderful to be happy and miles apart! To tell you the truth I begrudge every minute you are away. There now that’s the truth – but you needn’t tell anyone else!

When I read in your letter this morning that you were not leaving Badsey until next week I felt almost angry. Wasn’t it horrid of me? Still, there you are, candid confession is good for the soul – but I do want you so much, just ache for you. I don’t think you want me nearly as much. We are made differently.

Yes – I went to Church and heard our banns published. It was a queer sensation but I did not feel very nervous.

Please thank May for her message about the room being ready for me. I’d just love to come but cannot get away.

I have written to Barbara to try and get leave pending discharge but don’t suppose she’ll be able to get it.
Give my love to all the girls. I expect they are just delighted to have you home again.

My wedding dress and veil and going away dress arrived today. Thrills! As well as frills!

Mother was wondering if you could order us some potatoes and vegetables (greens) in the village, spending about one pound if necessary, which I would enclose only that I need ready cash to go to Town tomorrow, but will send it later. We cannot get decent potatoes here.

There’ll not be much time in the morning to add anything to this letter – so I’ll answer your letter when I get back from Town if I hear from you.

Mother sends love to you all.

With my fondest love to you dear Man o’mine. God bless you.

Ever your devoted

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Envelope containing 3 sheets of notepaper
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