It’s thanks to a dedicated team of subscribers from The Badsey Society that the Sladden family letters appear on this website.
Val Harman, Valerie Magan, Jane Neill, Alan Tutton and Shirley Tutton accompanied me on numerous occasions to The Hive at Worcester where the majority of the letters are stored. Digital images were taken of each of the war-time letters and typed transcriptions were made of each of the letters. Transcriptions of all the First World War letters are now on the website.
After the project had started, it came to light that there is also a large amount of correspondence at the Imperial War Museum, largely the war-time correspondence of Cyril Sladden and his fiancée, Mela Brown Constable. Being located in London, this proved more problematic, as we couldn’t keep visiting the Research Room as we could at Worcester. So we hired a small coach to take us to London. Ross Davies, John Sharp, Lyn Sharp, Tony Spinks, Avril Wood, Tony Wood and Gill Woods also joined us on this trip. However, restrictions on numbers able to access the Research Room at any one time meant that there is still work to be done.
On our return to Badsey, Ross Davies and John & Lyn Sharp, who had been on the Imperial War Museum trip but were unable to help out in the Research Room because of the number restriction, offered to carry on with the transcribing at home, working from the digital images. What a task this was! Mela Brown Constable, Cyril Sladden’s fiancée, was a prolific letter-writer, sometimes writing on an almost daily basis! Ross became so involved with Mela’s letters that she felt she needed to go and introduce herself to Mela, who rests in Badsey churchyard. John and Lyn have worked hard throughout 2016 and 2017 to bring Cyril and Mela’s letters to the screen, often poring for hours over some of the letters trying to decipher them.
A huge thank you to all the transcribers.