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February 21st 1909 - Letter from Cyril Sladden to his mother, Eugénie Sladden

21st February 1909
Correspondence From
Cyril Sladden, Christ College, Brecon
Correspondence To
Eugénie Sladden, Seward House, Badsey
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter

Christ College, Brecon

Feb 21st 1909

My dear Mother

We are going to lose Mr Morton at the end of this term; he has been appointed to the headmastership of Brecon County Intermediate School, which is a considerably more remunerative position than his present one. We all knew from the beginning of the term that he had applied, and as from all accounts he seemed to be one of the most likely of the applicants to get the position, we were not altogether taken by surprise. The final selection was made on Friday morning, and there was no little excitement in the school to hear the result, which came out just after dinner. I, for one, am quite unable to realize what it will at first be like without him. At present everything is quite unsettled as to what will happen to his house, and his secretaryship of the O.B’s Society.

I have got my two logic books from Thornton’s; they cost, including postage expenses, 4s.3½d, which sum I shall be glad to have refunded if you will send it when you write. The smaller book alone costs 3s.6d new, and the other being more than twice the size would probably be over 5s, though I can’t find out the actual price. It was therefore a considerable saving.

I have at last had another “6d a dozen” lot of photographs taken, as you instructed me. They are not as bad but scarcely as good as the last; some of them appear to have been printed on dirty paper, as they make my face or collar look dreadfully grubby. I will send you one to keep if you think it worth it, and possibly Judy could do with another. She can look upon it as a reward for her labours last holidays in hearing λuw and many other such things. She may be interested to hear that I have done the greater number of exercises in my book, and hope in a fortnight to have finished and started Xenophon. It would take hours now to hear all the vocabulary and grammar that I know – or ought to know.

I have been suffering for a week from a fairly heavy cold. It was worst on Tuesday, and a little better next day, since when it has remained exactly the same until today, when it really shows some sign of improvement. It has never been the sort of cold that makes you feel unfit for anything, but it has been bad enough to keep my ‘tankies in a sad state, and to worry me a good deal. I hope it is really going at last as I am tired of it. It’s a queer thing that people very rarely talk about having too much of a bad thing, but is clearly much easier than to have too much of a good thing so frequently talked about.

The number of fellows now in the sick room with a mild kind of influenza is simply appaling. One of the dormitories on the ‘private side’ has been made into a temporary sick room.

I had a little midnight excitement on Thursday night. Soon after I had got comfortably to sleep, a little before 12.30 in fact I was woken up by a fellow in a great state of alarm, who declared his heart was stopping beating. I tried to comfort him from my bed in the opposite corner, but this was no use. He was so persistent in his moanings that he alarmed me not a little and I got up and lit a candle and had a look at him. He was firmly convinced that to lie down would at once prevent him breathing, and I thought he must have had some kind of fainting fit. I then woke up another prefect and afterwards Lance and the Matron. We conducted him to the sick room, and I carried his bed clothes down, made his bed and put him in it, and left him to the tender mercies of Lance and the Matron, and went to bed again. He was not apparently very bad, and nobody knows exactly what was wrong with him. He is now quite restored in spite of the fact that he was firmly convinced that his last hour had come.

We have had simply gorgeous weather for the past four days, and today is just like May (i.e. May as in books etc) and about as far removed from February as anything that can be imagined. The only thing wrong is that the leaves have not yet appeared. Even lambs are becoming quite numerous round here so that all the necessary conditions for an early spring day are fulfilled.

The hockey team got beaten at Abergavenny, but only by 3 goals to one while last year was 8-1 down there. They also won another match here very easily.

George wrote me a cheerful letter last week ending up with this little ditty:

I like it very much, and think it well worth quoting.

Adieu                    By bit                    You’ll cer

[x xxx]                  With fit                 tain sure

If you                    Remorse              Incur

Pursue                  To wri-                 Bitter

Your u-                 te reply                 Anger

sual course          to my                    Of your

Omit-                    Most high           Brother

ting bit                  And dry              D. Horse

ting bit                  Discourse

I was sorry, but not surprised to hear of Uncle Frank’s death; it is a good thing that Aunt Edith is not too much cut up over it. Poor Eric Thomas has been waiting a long time for me while I write this long epistle. Much love, therefore to all from

your affectionate son

Cyril C. E. Sladden

P.S. Thanks for stamps

Letter Images
With grateful thanks to Felicity Kilpatrick, former archivist at Christ College, Brecon, for transcribing this letter.
Type of Correspondence
Envelope containing 2 double sheets of notepaper
Location of Document
Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service
Record Office Reference