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February 16th 1916 - Letter from Cyril Sladden to his fiancée, Mela Brown Constable

16th February 1916
Correspondence From
Cyril Sladden
Correspondence To
Mela Brown Constable, Seward House, Badsey, Evesham
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter

Feb 16th 1916

My dearest Mela

Just a line in the hopes of getting the pilot to take it off with him in the morning.

We came on board just before lunch, and got on the move before it was dark.  This part of the voyage by moonlight is very interesting, especially doing it for the first time.  I hear this boat has never been this way before.  There is of course a lot more to see here than in normal times, detail of which I cannot describe; but it all helps to make the voyage more interesting.

You are running serious risk of being left behind by me in the matter of travel, but for the present there is no likelihood of my encroaching upon what has hitherto been your special area, although I shall be getting that way.

Orders to move came just a little sooner than I had expected, making it rather a rush at the last minute.  I had a pretty long job closing up the mess accounts after dinner last night, then I finished Mother’s letter and went out and posted it, and finally spent some time looking over a lot of letters and things; result being bedtime was after 1.30 am.  As reveille was 5.0 am and breakfast at 6.0 I didn’t have a very lengthy night.  Luckily I had managed to get a good time in town before dinner to do all I wanted in the way of shopping.

I think we just missed a mail which was expected in today.  That was bad luck as I think it means at least a fortnight, and very likely three …..


….. year, which I think now sufficiently stale news to be safe.

June 21st - Left Blackdown, and embarked on HMT ‘Cawdor Castle’.

June 24th - Sailed from Avonmouth.

July 11th - Entered Mudros harbour, Lemnos.

July 13th (evening) - Left ‘Cawdor Castle’, and went on trawler ‘Newmarket’ to Cape Helles.

July 14th (arriving small hours of morning).

July 28th (evening) - Left Cape Helles in the ‘Newmarket’, landing at Mudros E.

July 29th (morning).

Aug 3rd - Left Mudros on ‘El Kahira’ (a Khedivial Mail Line boat) for Anzac reaching about midnight.

Aug 13th - Embarked from Anzac in the ‘Guildford Castle’ hospital ship.  Steamed to Imbros.

Aug 14th - Left Imbros harbour for Mudras.

Aug 15th - Transferred to HMT Andania (Cunard Line), temporary hospital carrier.

Aug 17th - Sailed from Mudros harbour.

Aug 20th (night) - Lay anchored off Malta.

Aug 21st - Disembarked and entered Blue Sisters Hospital, Sliema, Valetta.

Sept 8th - Embarked on HMT Karou (British India Line).

Exact dates uncertain - Sailed for Mudros, spent two or three days in harbour there and left for Alexandria.

Sept 16th - Disembarked at Alexandria.  Attached to Carlton Camp, Mustapha.

Oct 2nd - Embarked on HMT ‘Manitou’, and sailed at dusk.

Oct 6th             - Reached Mudros harbour and lay there until

Oct 11th - Disembarked at Mudros West.

Nov 14th - Embarked on steamer ‘Ermine’ and sailed to Suvla Bay.

Nov 15th - Sailed to Imbros.

Nov 16th - Returned to Suvla and disembarked.  Took up my abode at Sulajih Farm or thereabouts.

Dec 19th - Embarked at Suvla on HMS Magnificent and sailed for Imbros.

Dec 20th - Disembarked at Imbros.

Dec 23rd - Sailed on steamer ‘Redbreast’ to Mudras.

Dec 24th - Disembarked at Mudros W.

Dec 27th - Sailed on ‘Ermine’ to Cape Helles and disembarked.

Jan  8th - Embarked on ‘Ermine’ and sailed to Mudros.

Jan 9th - Landed at Mudros West.

I will leave the tale there.  It makes quite an eventful list doesn’t it?

Goodnight, dearest.  I wish I were going over this part in the other direction, but let’s hope it won’t be long before I do.

Best love from

Your own affectionate

Cyril E Sladden

Letter Images
Type of Correspondence
Envelope containing 2 double sheets of notepaper
Location of Document
Imperial War Museum
Record Office Reference