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April 22nd 1918 - Letter from Arthur Sladden to his father, Julius Sladden

22nd 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 hear from you a day or two ago. I hope by now you have warmer days and are able to enjoy them better. We have all been excessively busy this month and are likely to be, for it seems quite certain that there will be continuous offensive until at last the Germans themselves are aghast at their losses resulting only in gain of territory. I think the second big battle and subsequent events fully justify our confidence than our power will not be destroyed. The question now is where the next big blow will strike. It can hardly be heavier or more sustained than previous ones for there is a physical limit to the massing of men on a front, and unless they could mass simultaneously in the air it could hardly be possible to strike more heavily than is done at present.


A week ago our little unit moved again, not perforce butt for convenience. We are now living in a Canadian CS and doing a lot of work with them. It's a well-run place and well-housed in an attractive district so we are lucky. At the moment I am getting a lot of clinical work and feel a real doctor again instead of a laboratory worker. I find it all comes back quickly enough, though I've done no ward work for nearly 3 years.


I had a detailed account of Aunt Lottie's will from Jack, and was very pleased to hear of her residual legacy to you. I hope it will help to make things easier if you wish to retire from business. I see that additional taxation on the brewery interest is foreshadowed. I imagine that the best elements in the trade will accept it as fair and even overdue.


The new call-up is owing to be a stern test of the country's resolve. The spirit with which the act was met in Parliament and in the country was very gratifying. I wish one could say the same of Ireland. However, if the Government stand absolutely firm and resolved I think there'll be far less trouble than some people suppose. But it's going to show up a big section of the nationalists in their true colours as separatists.


When I was at the last place I met a Miss Rees, a nursing sister who was a New Zealander, a cousin of Aunt George. She was very interested to meet a Sladden as she knew the Petone family very well. She bears quite a strong resemblance to Aunt George.


You will probably have heard that Mary has been able to arrange for moving all right and I hope in three weeks' time she'll be comfortably settled in the house. Baby is to make a fairly long stay at Dowlais over the move, while Mary during the interim is being entertained by the Kerridges who live near Porthcawl. She and Mrs Kerridge are very friendly and see a lot of each other.


I suppose a certain number of Badsey men will be affected by the extended age limit, but perhaps as an agricultural district it will be less drawn on than some.


I hope you've had further news from George since the 1st. I think he may have been with the Fifth Army, but am not sure.


How very long ago April 15th of four years back seems to me. I doubt if that day could have passed so happily if we had all had power to see the future. In spite of the present stress, I personally feel more real confidence in the future of our land and of the world now than was the case a year or two back; for at last I think it can be said that we are making the only adequate effort, our greatest, and relying more on our own strength than on help from other countries. We are certainly pushing for help from America, but for later on, and unless affairs are very badly handled, this war should for practical purposes undo the bad work of 1756 and onwards.


It is interesting to live and work with Canadians and Americans and to realise that for practical purposes Canada is just as independent as USA. In fact we always speak of the Canadians, and they of the "Imperials", and with mutual respect. From the standpoint of the world's peace after this war, Canada will have to occupy a place as a nation in league with the rest of the British Empire on the one hand, and with USA and France on the other. The world's peace will have to be guaranteed either by the Anglo-Saxon policeman or the German soldier - and if the latter succeeded in controlling the Old World, I think the British tradition would still be kept alive in the New.


I hope the recent posts we've had here have spared you, for a good fruit season will be very useful, though you can hardly expect a repetition of 1917 crop.


Did the recent Zepp raid come anywhere near your district. One gets rather vague accounts of these things. Presumably they find it only worthwhile to attack undefeated areas now.


I haven't seen Harold Allsebrook again as we have moved from that village, and I think perhaps he has too. I so very seldom meet Worcestershire men out here.


I expect that Tuesday week you and the girls will be keeping at home the anniversary of Mother's peaceful death and I hope that with the passing of time you'll be able to feel such happiness in all the memories of her as to lighten very much your burden of loss. I shall be thinking of your and her on the 30th.


With love to all.

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