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May 17th 1917 - Letter from Bernard Sladden to his uncle, Julius Sladden

17th May 1917
Correspondence From
Bernard Sladden, New Zealand Expeditionary Force, Presbyterian Church of New Zealand, BEF, France
Correspondence To
Julius Sladden, Seward House, Badsey
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter



Thursday 17th May 1917


Dear Uncle Julius


Your letter written on 11th May and enclosing one from Mother reached me on Tuesday morning. No letters have reached this camp from New Zealand leaving so late a date as Mother's letter to me, viz 26th March. One letter from Maisie written on 4th March only came this week, so it is evidently a distinct advantage to have them sent to England first and then readdressed as you are doing and I must thank you for sending on the first letter to come in this way. You would be glad to have letters from Cyril, particularly to hear that he had recovered so quickly from his wound. It is to be hoped that the ground work of General Maude and his men in Mesopotamia will not be interfered with by the amount of certainty on the part of the Russians in their field of operations against the Turks. It almost looks as if Russia can no longer be looked to do her share in carrying on the war.


I can imagine what a sight the orchard and garden must be just now with warm weather such as we have been getting. Things cannot help growing and although the season is so late the present favourable conditions will go a long way toward helping backward growth to make up for lost time. Growth in the crops here is astonishing.


I am glad to hear that some of the photos I took in England are successful. My thanks are to Juliet for attending to them.


You enquire how my ears have been lately and I am glad to be able to say that they are very much better, so much so that I have been able to go ahead with my training again. I had been back to work again only a few days when I was placed "hors de combat" again through getting a blow on the back of the hand with a pick-axe. This kept me from handling a rifle for couple of weeks but it also has recovered now.


There are rumours that some of us may be moving up to the lines very shortly and we are all agreed that it is about time we had a chance to put into practice something of what we have learned during the last 10 months.


Mother writes very cheerfully in her letter. She had been laid up with a chill for several weeks but was so much better at the time of writing that she had been able to go out for a motor drive, and this is quite an event for Mother.


Work in the camp goes on as usual and the daily routine of the training camp does not provide much material for letter writing. We have seen a couple of hostile aeroplanes, both of which were heavily fired on by anti-aircraft guns but appeared to get away unscathed. I was glad to see by the paper that another Zepp had been destroyed by the naval forces. We are wondering whether the changes in the control of the Admiralty will lead to any fresh developments in the work of the Navy.


Thanking you for your letter and best wishes to you all.


I remain

Your affectionate nephew

Bernard Sladden

Letter Images
Type of Correspondence
Envelope containing 2 sheets of notepaper
Location of Document
Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service
Record Office Reference