Sept 24th 1915
My dear Mother
Yesterday on calling at the army post office I got some quite unexpected letters, namely three that had been forwarded from Malta. I had counted upon all those going straight to the regiment, but these came via this office so got held up. Some earlier ones have missed me, but it is a great thing to pick up some recent ones. There were two from Mela, and the latest of them was a long one Father wrote me on Sept 5th. From these I gathered quite a lot of news about Dorothy Mary, whose name I had not previously learnt. I had decided the god-parents in my own mind, but omitted George, being otherwise correct. I ought to have allowed for the invariable prodigality extended in this matter to the one and only, a prodigality that must often be regretted when the one and only becomes eldest of many.
The doctor suggested this morning that he thought I might be put down on the active service list tomorrow, and I expect he will do so. In that case I shall be likely to embark within a few days. I think it is about time I get back to work again. I feel much more ready for it than when I arrived here, and am not likely to grow any more anxious to go back. My arm is very little trouble in an ordinary way and won’t be much inconvenience; probably to become absolutely normal in movement and strength would need a month or two, but one cannot wait for perfection.
I have been kept busy the last two days censoring letters and supervising work in the divisional base kit stores; not very strenuous, but it just gets one into the habit of realizing that there is such a thing as employment. I have been making a purchase here while I have the chance, of an article I propose to reserve till Christmas when I want Mela to have it. I will dispatch it soon, probably to follow by the mail after this letter; I am addressing it to you and want you just to put the parcel away and forget its existence for a couple of months. In case I am still out here and don’t refer to it in any letter at the time you will know its destination at Christmas.
By the way, in case I get wounded again I suggest that you try addressing by rank, name and regiment, c/o Army Base Post Office, BMEF, Alexandria. Letters would then get held up here till they get my hospital address. I should have mentioned write “reported wounded” clearly on the envelope. In case of being put in hospital either here or in Cairo that should work very well; if landed at Malta or Cyprus one might hope to get letters within three weeks of posting with luck. At any rate it is small use addressing straight to the regiment after one has left it as all letters go right through first.
As a matter of fact if I get another wound anything worse than a mere scratch I shall feel justified in putting in a claim to get to England. There is another point while I remember it. I believe official notification as made to next-of-kin recognizes two classes, wounded, and dangerously wounded. The distinction is likely to be rather rough, but it is something to go by.
I congratulate everybody upon the way in which the plum picking was carried through. Clear memories of 1907 enable me to judge what a task you have had. In these days of grievous and heavy budgets it is a most excellent thing that the season is such a splendid one. What I want to know is, will George be taxed 50% on his war profits?!
Best love to all from
Your affectionate son
Cyril E Sladden
PS - 12:30 pm Sept 25th
As I expected the doctor put me down today as fit, so I shall be certain to move within a few days.