April 22 1915
My dear Mother
I was glad to have you letter this morning and to hear you had been able to get out again. Sorry to hear that Mela has been laid up with a cold. I came here on Monday. The workmen came in at No 12 Monday morning and got started. I expect by now they are well on with the work. Mrs Horsman will have a time of it with the workmen and the spring cleaning. Uncle Fred and Aunt Florence arrived here Tuesday, but I did not see them till the next morning as I had a Masonic meeting on that evening. Harry managed to come up from Windsor for it. He was resplendent with three stars on his tunic, being now Captain. Walter Mourilyan was also present. He has joined the Anti-Aircraft Corps of the RNVR and is at present spending eight hours a day thrice a week at the gun stationed on the Foreign Office. He has given up the special constable job and finds the present job more to his liking.
I heard today that Béthune was the town where the Civil Service Battalion was billeted. One of my colleagues had a picture postcard of the place from a friend in that Battalion, and was just able to decipher the name which was censored. It is rumoured that they have been in trenches at Givenchy.
Aunt Pollie is quite flourishing. She sends her love. Archie is coming over to lunch on Saturday. I daresay I shall see him although I shan’t be able to get back till later on in the afternoon. We are very busy at Somerset House just now, and it is impossible to do much in the drilling way just at present. The Corps is in rather a bad way. The last route march was quite a fiasco. Hardly anybody turned up. I believe many knew nothing about it.
I am glad you have found a new servant, and I hope she will prove some use.
With love to all.
Your affectionate son
John D Sladden