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December 20th 1918 - Letter from Arthur Sladden to his father, Julius Sladden

20th December 1918
Correspondence From
Arthur Sladden
Correspondence To
Julius Sladden, Seward House, Badsey
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter



My dear Father


I hope this may reach you by 25th to convey my love and good wishes for Xmas and New Year. IU can send these with lighter heart and more sincerity than for a long time. This evening I received your letter of Xmas wishes and the book, for both of which many thanks. Now I am nearer the Base, my mails are beginning to arrive with less delay and soon I hope to have made up arrears.


I was glad to have some later news of Cyril, I hope soon he will get his chance of home leave. I suppose the truth is there are none too many white troops out there to fulfil all the newer duties devolving on them. It makes me realise more personally the reality in the common journalistic phrase of the Burden of Empire.


I am beginning to get into touch with various people at home on the subject of work after demobilisation. At present my mind is open, but if a reasonable opening in this special type of work (pathology) arises, I shall take it. I shall not however be willing to do laboratory work for a pittance. I could do better in practical and with a little capital saved in the last 4 years and perhaps what I could arrange to borrow, the purchase of a practice would not be impossible.


It looks as though the Coalition will have about 100 clear majority and quite enough for working purposes. I hope the extremist "Labour" men (MacDonald etc) will have but a poor look-in. Demobilisation is a fearful and wonderful thing. I believe the official scheme - on paper - is remarkably good, but in practice it will be slow in starting, and everyone's will get impatient. Of every batch sent home, 10% are to go on long service grounds only. I hope it makes decisions difficult until the nature of such plans is revealed. When I do come home, I don't want to have to drift about long, I've already spent quite as much time of my married life away from my family as I care to contemplate.


I have no fears as to finding work, whether I can get just what I want, or pay to which I feel myself really entitled, is another matter. Seeing that in the Army with pay and keep we have (all of us, including the “duds”) been receiving a flat rate equivalent to about £550 a year I shall feel aggrieved if my services are not considered worth £600 a year at this stage. I have a feeling that I may get freed from service about the end of February, probably not before unless it were for a special job.


I'm glad to hear you and may hope to go to Porthcawl early in January, a little holiday will do you both good.


I'm sorry that post didn't go to Kathleen. However, it is gratifying that she was so near success and perhaps similar posts may yet present themselves.


I had a letter from George today, was glad to hear Rose was well on the way to recovery. George seems to be marking time and having a good deal of holiday at government expense. Well, he's earned it and more, but I think he'll be glad now to return to civil life.


The way to orthodox London consulting work is less clear. I'm nearly five years older than when the war began, have not obtained the essential MRCP diploma, and like others in the same position, I have as it were, side-slipped from the prospects I had. Another point of difficulty at the moment is the prospect of legislation and developments affecting medical work in many directions; whether beneficial in the professional sense or not they stick to that, for the present tendency seems to be to regard the man who has no freed work to go to as "no bon" and to keep him for his own good in the Army. If that view were to prevail some of us would never get back; it's hard to arrange matters by post at this distance.


I hope you'll all have a nice Xmas together and that we'll all be spared to join together at the old house during 1919 though the best and dearest of all can only be with us in spirit.


I must write other Xmas letters tonight or they will be too late.


With much love to all.

Your affectionate son


Type of Correspondence
Envelope containing 3 double sheets of notepaper
Location of Document
Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service
Record Office Reference