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July 30th 1918 - Letter from Arthur Sladden to his sister, Ethel Sladden

30th July 1918
Correspondence From
Arthur Sladden, France
Correspondence To
Ethel Sladden, 17 Millfield, Folkestone
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter



My dear Ethel


I wonder if I owe you a letter. Anyway you shall have any benefit of the doubt. We are at the moment having a quiet sort of time, but I should never be surprised if I got orders one morning to move elsewhere, especially as I have got everything pretty straight now. The army generally waits till the finishing touches have been put on, then starts you off again. However if there should come orders indicating eastwards I could bear it!


If I judged everything by The Daily Mail I should have expected to hear of you standing in a queue at Victoria for five hours trying to get a ticket for Folkestone, but I hope in fact you had a reasonable journey and that you'll all be able to enjoy your stay at Folkestone. No doubt you'll visit a good many old favourite places. I spent six hours in Folkestone about a year ago. It was very thinly populated then.


Boulogne is almost exactly a half-way house just now but I don't suppose there are cheap trips in this year of grace. I am very ready for my next journey across but it will probably not be until you have all left Folkestone: you would probably find it rather amusing to watch the scramble for the London train after the leave boat arrives - but I think the station is closed to the public. I'm rather comfortably fixed just now, having partitioned off part of one of my huts as a bedroom 7' x 9'. The men working the cars attached to the unit have put in a lot of good work in shelf-making, painting and odd jobs and we begin to feel quite civilised.


How was Badsey when you left? I suppose there's plenty of land work and pretty good crops. The farmers round here are slowly getting their corn cut but there hasn't been enough settled weather yet for rapid work.


I had to lecture again this morning at the 1st Army School, which is held near here. They have a few days' course every fortnight.


Mary had her mother staying for a couple of days last week. Mrs Williams tells me the house looks very nice - it is hardly large enough for the furniture but that has been fitted in quite well. At present, Mary has her friend, Sybil Kerridge and the little girl staying there and it's possible they will join forces for the duration. Little Sybil is a year older than Baby and they get along very well I believe.


The duration just now looks as though it may be a bit shorter than one expected earlier in the year, but I am not banking on a satisfactory finish before late 1919 or early 1920. The real vital point is Russia and if that problem can be solved our outlook should soon become greatly improved.


With love to you all

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