Ypers SLADDEN (1914-?)
Ypers, or Wipers as it was sometimes spelt, was the Sladden family dog who arrived at Christmas 1914. He is mentioned in a number of letters. He was obviously given the name following the first battle of Ypres. Mela Brown Constable thought that Wipers was a splendid name for the new little dog. Juliet Sladden felt he was a great addition to the household as he kept them all lively.
Soon after the arrival of Ypers into the household, the cat, Kitchener, tried sleeping in the kennel with Ypers at night-time, even though he was terrified of him during the day.
Ypers took to having a baby around the house when the Sladdens’ granddaughter, Dorothy Mary, came to stay. “She is the joy of Wipers’ heart,” wrote Mela in October 1915. “If she whimpers in her cradle (the old cradle has been done up for the occasion), he rushes round like one possessed until he finds someone to come to Baby.
At Christmas 1916, Mela sent a photo to Aunt Lizzie Fellows of herself, Ethel and Ypers sitting beside what they called the Fairy Bower at Seward House. It seems to have been taken in September 1916 as there is mention of it in a letter of October 1916 but this photo no longer seems to be in existence, so we have no knowledge of what kind of dog Ypers was.