Skip to main content

January 14th 1916 - Letter from Arthur Sladden to his sister, Kathleen Sladden

14th January 1916
Correspondence From
Arthur Sladden
Correspondence To
Kathleen Sladden, 12 Charleville Circus, Sydenham, London SE
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter


My dear Kathleen

I suppose by this time you are back at Sydenham again, rather regretfully I expect in some ways. I hope some suitable change of work will soon appear for you. I suppose the war doesn't tend to make headships any easier to get. You must be feeling a bit unsettled especially as Jack’s plans are still I suppose in the air. I'm very glad you were able after all to see a good deal of Mary and Baby. Mary has quite settled down at Badsey I think but in about a month she will feel bound to go to Dowlais. After that no plans are yet definite if as is likely I suppose Hubert is called up, she and Irene will join forces temporarily.

I have hopes of leave some time before the spring, but I must not count on it too much. I'll want it badly by the time it comes. Present surroundings are not very congenial in certain respects, and after about another couple of months of the same daily grind in the path lab I shall hope for some kind of a change. Of course I'm really very well off where I am, especially in winter time.

There's a nice fellow here of the regular RAMC with whom I find plenty in common, otherwise I should find things very boring. TWO who were here when I first came, including the OC, have moved on, to our sorrow.

I am very pleased with the set of photos I had at Xmas, don't you think them very nice. I think Mary’s new way of doing her hair suits her, and the photo of Mother is very good indeed. I think it's probably very good for them at home having Baby there to keep them young. I do look forward so to seeing Mother and Father with their grandchild.

The progress of the Military Bill is intensely interesting and it really seems that all but a negligible fraction of the people are awake to requirements. But politics of the party variety die hard. I suppose there will be a few local strikes and a few riots, I only hope the powers that be will be firm and not waver.

So Mela is giving up nursing for the present. I hope it may be for always, that kind of nursing anyway, for she really is hardly strong enough for it: there are great reforms wanted in the whole scheme of nursing I believe, for one thing it should be possible for a girl to be a good nurse and still to retain and have time for other interests as well - as things are it's very difficult. I think the traditional devotion of Florence Nightingale has something to do with it, it's an unpractical standard to aim at. I expect Mela will miss the regular occupation very much though when once she has had a little rest.

Mary tells me Beryl is leaving the Dysons at Easter and is vague as to plans. Just now should be a favourable opportunity to strike out a new line in women's employment - for one thing there are more openings, and for another the Early and Mid-Victorian horror of girls doing anything must be very much at a discount.

I wonder though what will happen when at last the war is over. That's where statesmanship will be wanted. But I don't think it will be needed this year somehow.

I get news of George at times, he seems cheerful enough and all he needs these days is someone sympathetic to listen to his rhapsodies! I wonder very much if he has broken into verse. Owing to the distance there doesn't seem to be a lot of news of Cyril. I hear he's Brigade Machine Gun Officer now, I should think he'll soon get his captaincy. I suppose leave from that region, at least leave home, is not easy to get.

Did you think Mary was looking well? I think for a few days recently she felt rather "throaty". Badsey is a bit damp for her I expect.

I hope you won't be overcrowded this term, and will see something brighter ahead - are Juliet’s plans taking any shape yet? With love to you and Jack.

Your affectionate brother

PS - This letter is a "bromide". Do you know the expression?

Letter Images
Type of Correspondence
Envelope containing 6 sheets of notepaper
Location of Document
Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service
Record Office Reference