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April 22nd 1917 - Letter from Arthur Sladden to his father, Julius Sladden

22nd April 1917
Correspondence From
Arthur Sladden
Correspondence To
Julius Sladden, Seward House, Badsey
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter



My dear Father


I have been waiting a good many days expecting to hear from you, and at last after a delay of 10 days your letter of 12th has arrived together with one from May, and extracts from Cyril's letter – which shall be sent on to George shortly. Our mails have been very irregular of late, but ultimately get here so far at any rate. I hope by now you have better weather, and that it is more possible to get on with seeding etc. in the garden. I suppose you'll be putting in a good many potatoes – if I remember rightly you had a good crop last year, so will have some seed available. I expect you'll curtail the rose work to a minimum, there'd be room for small inter-crops between some of the plants.


I have been thinking much of you and all at home in these days from Easter onwards, bringing up so many sad memories of Mother's last days a year ago. I hope that it has been possible for you to feel that in spite of the sorrow these memories are bound to arouse, there is also ever present a sense of happy recollection in the many years of perfect wifely companionship our mother shared with you, and the good she wrought in her family and all who came in touch with her. Perhaps, knowing her gentle and sensitive nature, it is well for her to have escaped the worst of these troubled times – even though she equipped herself so well to meet troubles with patience and resignation. She had, and knew I think, only the prospect of progressing poor health and waning strength had her life been longer extended: however deep our grief at losing her we can all be thankful for her dear good life and her peaceful and beautiful passing a year ago.


I hope the past twelve months with its inevitable solitude for you has been mitigated in part by the unbroken sympathy of her children and yours. I know that all of us have wanted to ease your burden however inadequate our individual efforts.


Mother would have been very happy to see America join with France and England in the task of putting right a stricken world: I think in her young days in Paris she knew and liked many Americans.


Events are moving steadily in the right direction though I think only the extremer optimists are counting on the end coming this year. The longer the war lasts the greater its significance in the world's history appears, and though to us individual units a matter of an extra year or two is terribly important, I suppose that from a wider point of view a few years here or there count for very little so long as we win through and effect a proper and lasting settlement. Undoubtedly the entry of USA will help to render the final settlement as permanent as any human institution can be.


I get good news of Mary and Baby, at present paying a visit to Port Talbot. Hubert was rejected as not fit for service in the East but may get called upon for service in France – if so it is quite likely he'd find the work out here on the whole less strenuous than work at home – it is for most men less steadily persisted. I have had an easier time the last few weeks, having another M.O. to help. I may perhaps exchange to a mobile lab. later on – in many ways it would be advantageous for me I think.


Spring is reluctantly coming on here - and a few warm days would work wonders. Some of us in the Mess have dug up a patch in the orchard for vegetable growing – a bit of digging is a pleasant change when one has time. A lot of spare plots throughout this big camp area have been dug and planted this spring.


I'm glad Ethel has started some VAD work. I see many more will be wanted out here as many new hospitals will be started at once.


Please thank May for her letter. It will have crossed with one from me to her. I hope Bernard will soon be fit again and that we may perchance meet out here – but it is extraordinary how slight are the chances of meeting people one knows.


I hope this may reach you about the 30th, when my thoughts will be especially with you, in sympathy, but in gratitude also for the great benefits of Mother's life and love for all of us.


With very much love to you and all at home.


Your affectionate son


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