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January 6th 1918 - Letter from Bernard Sladden to his uncle, Julius Sladden

6th January 1918
Correspondence From
Bernard Sladden, Sling Camp, Bulford
Correspondence To
Julius Sladden, Seward House, Badsey
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter

Sling Camp



6th Jan 1918


Dear Uncle Julius


Your postcard telling me that the New Zealand letters had arrived came just after I had posted my letter to you, and now I have yours of 4th Jan and the fine batch of letters accompanying it. As usual reports from home indicate that all are well and busy. Mother has written quite a long letter, written in instalments certainly, but a bright newsy letter. It is very cheering to know that she is so well. The other letters were from various members of the family including the usually cheery screed from Arthur giving details of his work on the ranch.


I am glad that Jack is able to report that Aunt Lottie was apparently looking better and your letter from her written in good spirits is a hopeful sign. As you say, we can only hope that the doctor's diagnosis is wrong.


I am glad you are interested in Gerard's book. I have not read it myself, but have seen it favourably reviewed on more than one occasion.


You are indeed a small party at Badsey now, and the household at Bath Road will be back to normal and settled down to serious work by this time.


Yes, there are a good many little plans that we could carry out if I could get liberty and you were able to spare the time to accompany me. There is nothing definitely settled as to my future yet, but I have been again overhauled by a doctor whose recommendation is that I be "released from further military service". From his report it appears that the trouble is rather more far-reaching than I had thought, but I feel quite fit to carry on work that is not too arduous. Some of the men who came over with me are being recommended for based work, and it is possible I shall be given something of that sort. Should I be marked for New Zealand and discharged, I shall have to decide whether to take the opportunity of receiving my discharge and if so whether to apply for my clearance here. In the latter case I Gould be able to do as I liked in England but there is something a trifle repugnant to me in the idea of going home in "civvies". In some respects it will be a relief to me if I am given home service here. I may know in the course of a week or so what has been decided upon and in the meantime, the papers are being sent to our Headquarters in London for ratification.


We have had the misfortune to have a case of measles in our hut here, which means that we shall all be isolated for about three weeks but I am in hopes that the restrictions imposed will not be too rigid. Provided I could get sufficient freedom there are plenty of interesting places quite close enough to visit. Salisbury Plain is a locality full of historical interest and besides that it is a district where a good deal of stock grazing is carried on.


I could spend quite a long time to advantage making the acquaintance of the farmers and their methods and discussing the merits of their different classes of stock. Some sheep that I saw today were of the Hampshire Downs breed, a class of sheep that is not known in New Zealand. They are a black-faced breed and evidently a useful mutton sheep, but I should not consider them profitable from the wool growing point of view.


When Arthur wrote he had just conducted a most successful lambing period and the returns consequently are better than the average in other parts. Like your fruit trees, our ewe flock has done its duty by bringing forth in abundance, in a time when good returns are most needed.


You say that you will not be quite satisfied till I have seen Badsey in its summer garb and that just what I should like to do. It remains to be seen though whether by that time I shall be engaged in more serious military work or whether I shall be able to resist the temptation to get black to my beloved "jimbucks" again, should the opportunity come for me to return.


Thank you for your New Year greetings which are reciprocated and may 1918 bring peace, and a return to their homes of all the fighting men.


Your affectionate nephew

Bernard Sladden

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