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May 12th 1916 - Letter from Arthur Sladden to his sister, Kathleen Sladden

12th May 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 knew that a letter from you would soon be coming, and today it came with several others, and I have now a very complete account of Mother’s last days and subsequent events. Dear Mother, one can hardly conceive a more peaceful and beautiful end to her gentle life, no clouded mind or racking pain, and some at least of her dear ones around her to tend and nurse her. You poor girl, what a time of strain and sorrow you must have had, but I know you’ll always be glad that you were able to be there and do so much for her right to the end, especially as you have been at home less than her other daughters of late years.

It has given me very great satisfaction to hear of Mary’s visit for last weekend, her absence before, due to several mishaps distressed me very much, but all is well now, and possibly the visit a few days later was in fact at a time when she could be more helpful. It is nice too to hear of the appreciation of the Vicar’s sympathy.

I had a second letter from Father today, he shows, unwittingly perhaps, how all his world is changed for him from now; I think he ought to get a little change early in the summer if possible, but don’t know if it can be arranged.

I expect Betty found leaving home a sad trial, and yet perhaps it was better she should get back to school soon. I shall write to her in a few days and to Det as well.

When I first got the news it was late in the evening. I came out and walked up and down the orchard in the dark, it was so difficult to realize, and then I knew how much it would be liked if I could be at home for the funeral, so rang up the Staff Major of the Medical HQ about leave, but as I feared, it was quite out of the question. I’m so thankful I saw Mother so lately. Poor old Boo, the news will come as a great shock to him; he’ll be glad to hear that she spoke specially of him that evening.

I suppose normal work is the best thing for one where there are troubles to be borne, but it’s very distasteful. I feel a change of work, or at any rate of scene and companions is desirable. The fact is I was never a fearfully sociable bachelor, and to return to what is practically the life of a hospital resident is about the most cheerless thing I can imagine.

Please thank Jack for his letter, it shall be answered before long. I suppose you will be considering the matter of moving before long, or do you think an appointment will soon come your way?

This has been an unhappy fortnight for me out here, but the letters from home have helped greatly to make me feel in touch with you all.

It is very late, and I have still to write to Mary. With much love.

From your affectionate brother

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