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October 28th 1915 - Letter from Cyril Sladden to his mother, Eugénie Sladden

28th October 1915
Correspondence From
Cyril Sladden, Advanced Base Depot, Lemnos
Correspondence To
Eugénie Sladden, Seward House, Badsey
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter

13th Division Details
“C” Advanced Base Depot

Oct 28th 1915

My dear Mother

I had orders yesterday to hold myself in readiness to proceed at short notice to rejoin the regiment. As we have had no orders to move today I think it pretty certain we shall not move before tomorrow morning: it is always possible that we may have to wait a few days, but it won’t be very long. It is rather a boring existence as we are tied to the camp all the while, and have nothing to do, and also have to live in a “semi-packed” condition which is not very comfortable. Several officers are going, and as it happens, all the four of us in my tent are under orders. It will be a very different regiment that I shall find on return. A new CO has just taken over recently, the major attached from another regiment has gone back; we have an adjutant from the 1st Battalion, who I expect has seen a good deal of fighting in France. All the old officers whom I shall know were away from the battalion during the last weeks or so that I was with it.

I am still waiting for letters and am in great hopes of some turning up presently when the postman brings our daily mail up here; a boat from Alexandria came in two days ago bringing the first letters from there for ten days which is a very long interval, so I think there should be a few forwarded from there for me. Without doubt this is a terrible bad place for getting letters, and one very great advantage of rejoining the regiment will be that I shall get a fairly regular post in. I expect bad weather will upset things a bit during the winter, but about two mails a week used to reach us in the summer. Considering this is a base it is a most astonishing back-wash, and we shall be much more in touch with things at the front I think. I can get no news of my valise; a message from Alexandria stated that nothing had been seen of it there. I have written to Cox’s there about as I now they will ultimately get hold of it, either there or possibly in London. I can get along without it for a time, though I shall be pleased to see it again. I am wondering how much of my equipment the quartermaster has managed to keep for me. I know he had my revolver and field glasses after I was wounded; and my pack containing various useful things was left dumped in a gulley at Anzac with those of the rest of the battalion. With luck that may be preserved more or less complete.

As a matter of fact I made a big mistake in not writing once or twice to keep in touch with the regiment so that they might expect me back in the course of a few months. If they once think anybody has gone to England he is as good as lost; at best he is certain not to return for a long time, and he may go to another battalion when he is fit. I took advantage of a morning off (owing to the men being all on fatigues and duties, which are very numerous here) last Saturday to have a good walk among the hills. It was a very good day for it. Friday had been “beastly” wet and so the dust was laid and the air cleared. The surface dries up in a few hours here with the help of the wind which hardly ever drops and is often unpleasantly strong. We struck a track to Castro and finished our walk by climbing a peak some three miles distant from it, whence we had an excellent view all round. Castro is most picturesque in the distance; it lies between two little bays, on an isthmus leading to a big isolated rock which has a rampart built round it. The hills we were among are very rocky, but are less so in other parts of the island. The scenery generally recalled North Wales to me very strongly, only the colour was rather too brown. We had a particularly good view of Mt Athos from where we climbed, with its top sticking out above big clouds that hung about it.

I will write as soon as I can from the peninsula to tell you how I find things there.

Best love to all from
Your affectionate son
Cyril E Sladden

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