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March 26th 1917 - Letter from Bernard Sladden to his uncle, Julius Sladden

26th March 1917
Correspondence From
Bernard Sladden, SBL, France
Correspondence To
Julius Sladden, Seward House, Badsey
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter






Dear Uncle Julius


We have been in our new quarters just over a week now. I sent you a note just before we embarked. We had a quick run across that evening but there was some delay in getting off the ship and it was just about 10 pm before we reached our quarters for the night a few miles away from the town. We remained there till the following afternoon and then left by train for this place not many miles distant, reaching camp at about 10 pm again. This is an infantry depot of some extent, all being quartered in tents. I was glad to meet all the old acquaintances of the 19th Reinforcements who came here before my own draft. It is quite possible that we shall all go up to the lines together. There are also some of my friends here who left NZ by earlier drafts than the 19ths.


March 28th - This is a very patchy kind of letter. First my fountain pen went dry and then "lights out" sounded and it had to be laid aside for the time being. Since then I have been having a rather uncomfortable time of it with ear trouble. I hung it out till this morning and then sought the doctor and soon got relief. The trouble is not likely to occur again. Your letter was waiting for me when I came in tonight. I must send my proper address for the envelope was stamped "Please inform sender of proper address".


What very bad news that Cyril should have received another wound on the day before the goal he has been working so hard for, had been reached. Congratulation on his promotion and let us hope that the latest wound will be not very serious, and will result in his being sent home for a good rest. I hope you will soon have a message from him.


I have had a long letter from Arthur and one from each of the girls since I came here. They had plenty of news to tell and all good news. We have had similar weather here to what you describe, but I really believe that we are on the verge of spring now. I noticed some trees this morning, some kind of poplar I think with quite large leaf buds, and outside one of the officer's mess-rooms I saw a double daisy, certainly rather forlorn-looking but still it was a blossom.


The news of the German retirement has been very heartening. It shows that things have been none too warm for them in that quarter and we are hoping that we may get some open fighting later on. The more we learn of German methods the more should we realise the necessity of settling with Fritz in such a way that he will never cause trouble again.


Please thank Ethel for sending my telegram home. I shall write should there be anything I would like done for me and it is very good of you all to interest yourselves to that extent. One has to be in the position that some in here to realise what it means to be able to have little matters of that sort attended to by just writing to say what is required. I have not been drafted into the unit, I shall be in at the front but the following will be my address till I send you another:


No 32088 Private B Sladden

2nd Auckland Company, 1st Brigade

New Zealand IBD

BEF France


I have a letter to write to Aunt Lottie and one for Compton so I must get to work on them. When writing to Jack and Kathleen please given them my greetings. I had a card from Jack which I will reply to shortly.


Best wishes to yourself and the cousins.



Your affectionate nephew

Bernard Sladden

Letter Images
Type of Correspondence
Envelope containing 6 sheets of notepaper
Location of Document
Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service
Record Office Reference