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May 1st 1916 - Letter from Arthur Sladden to his father, Julius Sladden

1st May 1916
Correspondence From
Arthur Sladden
Correspondence To
Julius Sladden, Seward House, Badsey
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter


My dear bereaved Father

Your sad news reached me this evening late, and while realizing dear Mother’s serious illness, I was not expecting so sudden an end. It is a heavy blow for us all and none the less because we could see its advent approaching. I rang up the staff office this evening to ask for leave to get home for the funeral, but am, I’m very sorry to say, unable to get leave. The officer I rang up is a friend of mine and explained that firstly the authorities are unable to allow the death of a relative as a reason for special leave, and secondly that in the time available the necessary sanctions could not get through. I feared it would be so. I’m sure the war and the strain involved has reacted badly on Mother’s health and I fear it will prevent three out of her four sons from showing the love and honour that they all bore to her, by presence at her burial.

Dear Father, I wish I could be with you and the dear girls to see Mother’s face once more before she is buried, and to mourn with you all the great loss we are suffering. My thoughts will be with you during these sad days, and I think it will be some comfort to you to know without any doubts that all your eight children know full well how blessed you were in your wife and we in our Mother.

It is perhaps happy for her that there was no long period of complete invalid condition. If she had been of weak moral fibre she would have become an invalid many years back, but Mother was a great example of goodness and strength of character to all around her, and her influence will live on.

I have asked Mary to represent me at the funeral, probably she will have made arrangements to be present before my telegrams arrive. I am glad indeed that Mother saw her little grandchild in the last months of her life. It will be just four weeks on Wednesday next since I said goodbye to her in the dining room. I think perhaps she felt it might be the last goodbye.

I hope this will reach you on Thursday. My telegram will go in the morning (Tuesday).

By about Thursday I may get letters and hear how the end came. It is dreadful to be so near and yet unable to come over.

God help you to bear your great loss, we can surely think of her as having lived a life good and useful far beyond the common measure.

With very much love.

From your son

Letter Images
Type of Correspondence
Envelope containing 2 sheets of notepaper
Location of Document
Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service
Record Office Reference