March 31st 1916
My own Darling
Letters again at last! From you three dated Feb 12th, 13th and 19th, also one each from Father and Mother of about the same date. The have come at a most opportune moment, because I intended to write in any case this afternoon because it is the last chance I can be sure of getting for a time. I have not got so much time as I had hoped because I have just had orders to go on picket duty tonight and have to take over immediately after a fairly early tea.
In your last letter you had received my news telling you pretty definitely that we were coming out this way and that leave was off for the present. You are a very good girl to be so little gloomy in your letter. If I knew you less well I might have thought you didn't much mind; but as things are I greatly appreciate your effort because I know (if only from experience) how you must really have felt about it.
Then in your earlier letter you body attack the subject that I didn't care to discuss by letter very much, though I have mentioned it since once or twice. After once having got into my head the idea of our getting married shortly, like you I found it would not quietly go out again to suit the circumstances. And I always knew very well in my own mind that if on arrival home I discovered you wanted to size the chance regardless of possible difficulties later on I for my part should not have needed any persuasion to agree. I am utterly weary of waiting, and am always wishing you were actually my wife now even though it wouldn't help to bring me back home to you any quicker I dislike the position in which the world at large does not recognize what to me is so predominant a fact of life. However as things are at present the question unfortunately is anything but urgent, in spite of which I think we may take it we have arrived pretty well at a decision. At present everything is very much in the air until events here have developed. And then supposing I strike luck just a peg better than last time (concerning which occasion I have no complaint to make, and would quite cheerfully compound for the future on the same terms), I really have no idea what is likely to happen as the summer comes on. We are told that activity in the hot weather is very nearly out of the question. If we can settle the Turks before that time it may perhaps mean that some troops will be taken away. Supposing leave were even given from here it is so far that once can scarcely hope for a chance to get home.
In case of serious wound or sickness (of the latter not the faintest hint in my case as yet) I cannot think that India about May or June would be an ideal place for nursing white troops, so I fancy a fair number of cases are bound to be sent home. That is a possible fate for any of us - good or bad according as you like to regard it. It depends rather, doesn't it?
It will soon be a year since my last visit home; I shall be thinking of the time a year ago if I am not too strenuously employed just about that time. Then you and I met once again on the occasion of my birthday at Sydenham; and it will be almost a year from then before you have this.
I have no news that I can give you; I hope before long I may be able to become rather more communicative. I will always try to write regularly, but remember no news will always be excellent news.
Very best love, dearest. It was simply delightful to get your letters again. God bless you, always.
Your own affectionate
Cyril E Sladden