12 Charleville Circus
Jan 15 1916
My dear Mother
In case you may not have heard from George, I am writing to tell you that he is getting his month’s leave at once and is starting this evening via Boulogne. He ought to arrive about midday tomorrow. K had a letter from him this morning. He expects to stay here the first week.
We are getting tolerably well settled down in Canada House by now, but our difficulties are increased by the fact that we are losing so many of the registrars who are being called up in their groups. We lost a man from my division a week or two ago, and two more are leaving on Monday. A lady clerk came on Thursday and another is coming on Monday. There are several in the other divisions. It will however be some weeks before they really know the work well. I hear today that the Board are postponing for a fortnight the departure of the men in groups 5 to 9. The move was a big business. We spent all Friday afternoon and Saturday last week tying up papers. On Monday morning the movers had not nearly finished, and we were unable in my division to do anything until the middle of the afternoon. Tuesday and Wednesday we spent putting papers into their proper places. It was not until Thursday there was any chance of going on with our proper work. We are very crowded in the new place and unless one is quite near a window the light is very bad. The artificial lighting is good, the system being electric light reflected from the ceiling, by which means the light is evenly distributed. I think if it was not war-time the branch would make some protest against the general accommodation. I found all well at Addlestone. I thought Aunt Fanny was looking a good deal older than the last time I saw her, which was some time ago. I am glad May is doing some war work. Christine is also doing some voluntary work.
I went to receive my armlet and 2/9 on Thursday. I did not however go through any medical examination which is postponed until the men are called up. I hope this compulsion will go through without much more trouble. Are not its opponents a lovely crew? I imagine they will most of them retire into private life after the next General Election, and as Gilbert says, “they never will be missed”.
With love to all.
Your affectionate son
John D Sladden
PS – Glad you have had news of Cyril. I wonder where he is now. It must have given him great joy to trick the Turks as they did.