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June 8th 1918 - Letter from Arthur Sladden to his father, Julius Sladden

8th June 1918
Correspondence From
Arthur Sladden
Correspondence To
Julius Sladden, Seward House, Badsey
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter



My dear Father


I had your letter of 2nd this morning after some while without home news. You will have learned that I've been given command of No 21 Mobile Lab. By a coincidence it is known as the Welsh Lab, having been presented to the Army by the wife of a Cardiff surgeon, Dywn Thomas, in 1915. The late OC was a Welshman, he had to relinquish the job through illness. The motor lab is larger than the standard pattern, fortunately so for, at the moment, I have to work in it as I am away from any buildings or huts. However I have two huts on nail for me now, and if I can get the CCS to lend a carpenter shall soon be able to get into more spacious quarters. If one has six or eight hours of close work it is very tiring to work in a space about the size of ship's cabin.


Mary writes cheerfully, she has had to do any necessary decorations herself, any labour being quite unobtainable. I think now she has pretty well finished and Baby returned there last week.


I hope you found Aunt Fanny well. The countryside will be looking nice, though I suppose you are getting a bit dusty now. Here the main roads are very dusty, there is so much traffic.


News all points to a slackening off of German effort at the moment. I hope before another such dangerous blow can be struck that the Allied Armies will be either stronger to meet it or able to arrest the initiative. One effect of the united command that one can see is the mixing up of troop formations regardless of nationalities. That of itself is an ingenious way of preventing the original Hun objective of dividing French from British. Besides by this time there is a tertium quid, and a tough-looking fellow he is, turning up all over the place.


Two main achievements now are to be attained within the next six months; one, the retention of the spirit of resistance in the French people; and the other, the handling of things in Russia so that German penetration is stopped and Russia asserts her independence and unity again. The first task should be easy unless one is greatly misled. The second is likely to tax the Allied and American Governments pretty severely, for I make no doubt that Germany's final effort will be to consolidate Russia against us all, and until she has definitely failed to do that she will not be beaten.


I wrote to George a few days ago to let him know of my change of unit in case he should happen to pass my way. The air war is getting steadily worse - for both sides doubtless, and it's my belief that in the terrors of air force which will assuredly be developed we shall see, or some will see, the ending of war, or else the ending of civilisation. I doubt if there will be any other alternative.


I expect everyone is wanting rain by now. Crops out here are growing well but latterly look a bit parched. I am working for a fortnight for another lab also, No 2, whose officer is on leave. It will involve a good many journeys probably, but if a little later on I have reason to ask him to do the same kindness, I shan't mind.


I am glad you are finding the hot weather congenial. I certainly enjoy it and feel very well. We are on the top of a hill in rolling country.


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