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April 3rd 1918 - Letter from Arthur Sladden to his father, Julius Sladden

3rd April 1918
Correspondence From
Arthur Sladden
Correspondence To
Julius Sladden, Seward House, Badsey
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter



My dear Father


I was glad to have your letter yesterday, the mails come in pretty well here though sometimes we get gaps of several days with few letters. Since you wrote, the situation has apparently crystallised a bit and the chances of a break through to Amiens or Paris get daily less. The Germans, in spite of their huge losses however, must still have considerable superiority in numbers and it is expected that they will dash their heads against the wall yet again, but where they will select the point to hit isn't general knowledge if it is known at all. I have been trying to ding out where George's division was fighting, for it is certain they must have been, or be in this battle. You'll send me a line, won't you, if you get any word of him.


I believe the battle on the Scape has been about the most profitable action for us in the whole affair so far. In much of the fighting the losses on both sides must have been very heavy but I believe up there our losses relatively were small. The home organisations will have to work hard to make up for lost material, but we can afford that loss better than the loss of men, and judging by the German official figures our losses in prisoners have kept at a level which is remarkably low for such a large battle of movement.


Here, we are at present just away from the edge of the battle, and at the moment are correspondingly quiet. Our previous township was heavily shelled a few days after we left, whether for bluff or as a preparatory measure isn't yet disclosed. Anyway, we were well out of it.


Mary has secured a little house at Porthcawl and I hope will be able to get the move satisfactorily done in the first week of May. I shall be very glad to think she is among her own household gods again, and if we have miscalculated in supposing the war will last over into next year I think we can afford to grin and bear it! I don't think that this battle, decisive in one sense, will be a final one. The Germans will view the great gain of territory and big capture of men and material as a triumph and be heartened accordingly. We must take the longer view of the matter, as we have had to do most of the war.


I am very sorry about Baby's eyes, however I hope the error in refraction will now be checked and any other trouble cured. Mary says that she evidently feels rather important in spectacles! They were spending Easter with Hubert and Rene. Later this month I think Baby will go to Dowlais till the move is over.


I wonder if Cyril is now on the Euphrates. If the Germans get an obvious defeat in the West, the victories against Turkey may bear fruit, otherwise their ultimate value will be less easy to assess. I suppose it hold up Turkish troops which otherwise might be used in Europe.


All our plans for a well-found hut for the laboratory are now hung up and we are living in a borrowed hut which we may have to leave at any time.


I expect agricultural things are going ahead fast with this warm weather. I suppose very corner of the garden will be "doing its bit" if you can get the work done.


With love to all.

Your affectionate son



PS - Please thank May for her letter.

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