12 Charleville Circus
Aug 31st 1914
My dear Mother
I had a good journey back here last night and got in soon after eleven. The train was well filled all the way and packed after Reading, but it was not more than five minutes late at Paddington. My overcoat which I forgot in the hurry at the station arrived this evening. My watch was 2 or 3 minutes slow by rail time.
Lord Kitchener’s statement in this morning’s papers respecting the military operations is satisfactory reading, and The Times military correspondent is less gloomy this morning. We are very short-handed at the office with a good many Territorials away and other men on leave. The authorities do not appear at all anxious for the remainder of their staff to recruit and are refusing to let men go unless they are prepared to volunteer for foreign service. They have also forbidden anyone to join the special constabulary. It is not a good example to other employers. The rumour about the Russian troops coming from Archangel is very widespread in London. I am glad that there is no foundation for the report that Boulogne was to be abandoned. It seems very unlikely if there is any possibility of keeping the Germans away.
Please tell Kathleen that Mrs Horsman is getting some plums for making into jam. Mrs H did suggest having some sent up, but they are so cheap here that the cost of sending a basket here would probably be greater than their price here.
I had a good night last night and felt more fit today though it has been rather warm and overcast, as it was yesterday.
With love to you all.
Your affectionate son
John D Sladden