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October 5th 1914 - Letter from May Sladden to her sister, Kathleen Sladden

5th October 1914
Correspondence From
May Sladden, Seward House, Badsey
Correspondence To
Kathleen Sladden
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter


Oct 5th /14

My dear Kathleen

I left your letter till after I had written others yesterday and it got put off till today. I have just finished one to George which I am sending with a few eating pears and apples. I had a nice letter from him a week ago. He seems to think he will be going abroad in about a fortnight, but you may have had more recent news. Dear old boy – of course he is keen to be off, but it will rather alter the state of our feelings when we know that one of our boys is actually at the front, won’t it? The only thing will be to remember that it would be worse if they hadn’t gone. I do hope before he gets there this terrible battle will have ended in a complete defeat of the Germans. Your sight of all the wounded men coming in to hospital must have made you feel sad. There are two families of Belgian refugees in Evesham, Mr Richard Burlingham has lent his old house in Port Street which was to let, they formed a committee and have got furniture etc given and lent, and money promised. The refugees arrived on Thursday by the same train as Miss Pollard. I saw some of them outside the house next morning, there are a lot of children and they look much like French children with their plaits and tartan frocks. Miss Pollard had seen some German prisoners at Paddington and had an amusing story of how she had nearly been misled into cheering them thinking they were British recruits! It is very nice having Miss Pollard, and a great pleasure to Mother. Mela thinks her very nice and I am sure she likes Mela. She is a very easy visitor to have, she likes anything and is always happy. Mela was delighted yesterday evening after church when Patty Mustoe ran after her to tell her that Charles Murray (Cissie Bell’s husband) had been staying with his brother on Salisbury Plain, and stopping one day to watch some soldiers drilling, he was surprised to see it was Mr Cyril Sladden drilling them. He seems to have brought back the report that he looked very smart. Mela feels jealous and says why can’t she go and watch the drilling on Salisbury Plain!

Today May Openshaw asked for leave of absence all next week to go and see Harry at Maldon, Grace Horsfield is to go with her. I think a week is rather a tall order and we are not too keen on letting her off all that time, certainly not unless Miss Reading can come and take her place, however she thinks she will be able to. May seems to think Harry will be going to the front in two or three weeks’ time but I don’t think anything is known for certain. Miss Opie arrived to tea and gave us some songs afterwards so I only had time to get George’s parcel off before post and couldn’t finish this. I hope you won’t be quite so full up with work as the term goes on, at present you seem to be having too long hours. I am glad Jack has written a long letter to Dolly, she will be very glad to hear. I had a letter from her dated Aug 16th which I will enclose, you will like to see how they are thinking and acting in regard to the war. Send it back when you write please as I must answer it soon. I was sorry to see in today’s casualty list the Grant Dalton who was reported missing is now reported killed. The Henderson you noticed was not Mrs Ashwin’s grandson, he was wounded a short time ago but only slightly and was going back to the front.

I saw in the paper last week the death of a brother of Mrs Jackson’s who was Rector of Eastnor near Ledbury; it was from a motor accident, and only three days before he had officiated at the marriage of his niece, Marjory Colvile who has just married Captain Lloyd Phillips who has a nice place I hear somewhere in Pembrokeshire.

If the Russian story was true we haven’t heard any startling result of their presence in the west yet though of course they may be quietly doing the work they came to do. I am not exactly a sceptic, but I wish I could meet someone who had seen them at first-hand, all our reports seemed very well founded, only they were all third-hand.

Yesterday was Harvest Festival here, the collections were all given to the Cottage Hospital and amounted to £5 5s. Miss Pollard is very pleased with Mother, thinks she is looking so well and so much less thin. It is such a good thing, being well she is not likely to worry nearly so much about the boys.

I am afraid I haven’t written to Jack for a long time, tell him with my love I will try and write in a week’s time. School work is settling down, I feel as if I have gone back to very elementary work but some of the children are quite promising. I must look over some sums now.

With much love from

You left your green hat at home - I am sending it with this.

The latest news of Aunt Lizzie is that she gets weaker. Betty has had a bad cold again as perhaps you know, she was in bed two or three days last week.

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