12 Charleville Circus
March 24 1916
My dear Mother
I will write and post this evening in the hopes my letter may get through by tomorrow afternoon. I am afraid you must be finding this continual cold weather very trying, and I expect you have not been able to get out of doors often. Perhaps after such a long spell of cold we may get a really nice spring. We have had a slight small of snow again though not enough to lie except on the grass. Yesterday afternoon it came over as black as night. We pulled the blinds down about four o’clock and lit up as though it was mid-winter.
I have had an official communication from the Board to say they cannot release me for military service, and had written to the Lewisham recruiting people to that effect. The Inland Revenue authorities are undoubtedly in a difficult position. They require a larger staff to cope with the work which has increased in most of the departments (land values excepted) and have lost a considerable number of men though I fancy not so big in proportion as some other Government offices. I think however the Board was extremely lacking in foresight not to engage and train a staff of women much earlier, in anticipation of the time coming when there would be more work and a smaller staff.
I suppose you have not heard from Cyril yet. I am afraid he was unable to send letters from Aden. If so, it may be another week or two before it is possible to hear. The tablecloth he sent Kathleen is a very nice piece of work, and the shawls for Juliet and Rosie are both very pretty.
I saw Mr Gaukroger’s name in the casualty lists, and am glad to hear his wound is not serious.
Juliet is coming over here tomorrow, and we are going to celebrate Kathleen’s birthday by going to see “Romance” at the Lyric. We are going in the evening as no tickets were to be had for the afternoon. I wanted to get tickets for “A Kiss for Cinderella” but that was impossible either afternoon or evening.
The air raid in Kent must have been rather alarming. The Germans seem rather fond of Sunday for their aeroplane raids. It was satisfactory that they did not all get back again. Aunt Edith must be very glad of Ethel’s help.
Kathleen heard from Mary today. We are glad to hear that the flat has been let again. There does not appear much prospect of Arthur getting leave at present. If the great push is going to take place soon, it may be some time yet before we see him. One longs for the time when the German line will get smashed up but fears it will not be done without a good deal of loss.
I see that the Saturday before Easter is to be declared a Bank holiday. I don’t know whether that means my office will close. With love.
Your affectionate son
John D Sladden