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July 10th 1914 - Letter from George Sladden to his mother, Eugénie Sladden

10th July 1914
Correspondence From
George Sladden, 12 Charleville Circus, Sydenham
Correspondence To
Eugénie Sladden, Seward House, Badsey
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter

12 Charleville Circus
Sydenham SE

10 July 1914

My dear Mother

What boots it that I should write letters to keep you in mind of my existence! Have you not with you your magnificent son (with letters after his name) and your daughter-in-law who married your son! I take it that we petty men had far better, in the circumstances, hide our diminished heads in our little burrows and keep our petty names (totally unadorned by letters) well hidden from the public view. I am feeling very keenly the want of letters after my name. This evening arrived a communication for Arthur’s (though indeed it was addressed to A F Savory Esq) and the name was decorated with the letters “MB”. At first my fraternal pride boiled with resentment at the insult that this inferior title seemed to carry. I said “Tush” and “Pooh” and “Tut tut”; many such observations indeed, until I had worked me up into a fine contempt of so poor a learned degree. Then came revulsion. Who was I to scoff at such honourable adornments! I, who can claim not even the modest BA (pass), not even the CVO (fifth class)! Yea, verily, not the ISO – dear decoration of the humble Civil Servant, decoration known to the scoffer as “Ignotus sed Ornatus”. I was humbled, abashed, crushed; and thus I remain and shall remain (perhaps) until a gracious Sovereign or an admiring University shall decorate me with such modest distinction as my soul desireth. In the meantime inexorable employers expect my attention to their affairs from ten till five, and it is just a consolation to feel that I can fulfil their requirements equally well with or without a mixed selection of alphabet to adorn me. But I should like a modest two or three nevertheless! I would not grudge Boo his stature. How I grudge his BA!

I managed to go to the flat one day while Mr & Mrs Williams were staying there. It was pleasing to see them again. Mr Williams seemed to twinkle all over and Mrs Williams was obviously very happy to be there. They talked topography and local history of Pembrokeshire, and between the four of them told me of so many places that I ought to see while at Newport that I wonder how a fortnight will contain them all. I had some difficulty in arranging to take leave immediately after camp, but I have fixed it up now. I shall return straight to London at the end of the month and must arrange to spend another short holiday at home in late September or early October. I am afraid I shall miss you at Newport, for I shall not arrive there till the 17th.

Love to all from
Your affectionate son

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