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January 28th 1917 - Letter from George Sladden to his father, Julius Sladden

28th January 1917
Correspondence From
George Sladden, In France
Correspondence To
Julius Sladden, Seward House, Badsey
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter

In France

28 Jan 1917

My dear Father

This winter doesn’t sit as lightly on me as did the last. Then I used to be able to go about wet to the skin day after day if necessary and the worse conditions the better I seemed to feel. But this year, for one reason or another, I find conditions rather trying. Rheumatic pains keep cropping up all over me and I have arrived at the conclusion that this War has got to finish before next winter; otherwise I shall be ‘going sick’ before the next winter is over. The fact is, this locality is horribly damp: the present cold weather is by far the most bitter I have ever known; although the thermometer can never have stood very low. I am thankful for the frost on the whole; it is a great comfort to tread dry earth once more. But while frost is better than mud, neither of them are enjoyable; I realise why the soldiers of Marlborough’s army swore so horribly.

It struck me that at first some of the newspapers spoke rather dubiously of the prospects of the War from being the tremendous success that is desired. But I noticed that in almost every case the subscriptions that are quoted show that the big subscribers have considerably more new money than stock for conversion. That is a very assuring sign. I am having my 4½% stock converted and I am also managing to take up another couple of hundred: so you see I shall be quite a large holder! I did not have my Exchequer Bonds to convert. I had expected the loan to be floated last autumn and I did not think it worthwhile. I might just as well have done so as it turned out. I can’t help thinking that the 6% bonds were a great error. Nobody really wanted or expected such a rate. If they had been issued at 5½%, this loan could probably have been floated at 98 or 99. And the conversion of the 4½% loan would have been correspondingly less advantageous to the Government. No, I still fail to see the greatness of Mr McKenna. He purchased success at a high price paid out of the Nation’s pocket. A very cheap way of getting credit!

Tell Ethel I received her long letter a few days ago. It was a good letter; quite exhaustive, in fact. And it brought me right up to date in local current news and various interesting things that other people had forgotten to say. Notably, that Joe Gillio has come to England at last and settled down in Hampshire for a time. For how long, I wonder. If he doesn’t return to work he will go and live somewhere warmer after the War I expect. Italy perhaps.

Arthur must have been pleased to see Mr Norton and his crowd again. Not a very likely thing to happen either; seeing that they are attached to the French Army. I hope Mentone is doing Tark good. I could put up with a fortnight of it myself!

I had a letter from Jack Lintott lately. He broke his arm badly in Egypt by a fall and he is now at home and likely to be off the active list for some time yet. He doesn’t know where he is likely to be sent when he is passed fit again. The RNAS in Egypt now disbanded.

You had a good year with the orchards. I hope there will be no worse a crop this year. Prices are sure to be good again, no doubt there will be a need for all that the country can grow. Especially if Lord Devonport takes in hand the question of boiling and the sugar for the purpose.

I see the production of beer has been limited. No doubt we have come close to the edge of great embarrassment in the merchant shipping difficulty. Still I think the difficulty is going to be met now. I wonder greatly whether the Germans are not planning a tactical scheme for using a large fleet of their powerful submarines as a fighting force in a general fleet action.

Something in the nature of using them as a sort of mobile mine-field on to which to try and draw our fleet. They surely must try to do something with their much boasted Navy; and their only chance of equalising the odds seems to be by submarines seeing that we refuse to smell about their mine fields.

Thank you for your good wishes for my birthday, also for the book that you say you have sent me. It has not arrived yet, but I will let you know when it comes.

Love to all from


Letter Images
Type of Correspondence
Envelope containing 5 sheets of notepaper
Location of Document
Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service
Record Office Reference