CollectionGB 0231 University of Aberdeen, Special Collections
Ref NoMS 3290/2/135
TitleLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws to her relatives
Date18 June 1916
Extent6 sheets
DescriptionLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws, 7 Via Venti Settembre, Rome, to her relatives, regarding Uncle's attendance at the Waldensian Church; Aunt is unwell again; Amelia is suffering from sandfly bites again; she wishes to hear Mr. Green's playing but not Mr. Lowrie's sermon; she and Aunt are to leave the day after tomorrow; visit of Mr. Smart, Y.M.C.A. secretary, just about to start work at Brindisi and Taranto; anecdote of a soldier home on leave; anecdote of a sailor pushing a German through a porthole; the service at the Waldensian Church was not edifying and the scirocco made the walk tiring; description of Mr. Lowrie; Mr. Smart met Sir Rennell and Lady Rodd, Mr. Dallas Smith and Miss Jazdowska, all of whom approved of him [There were Jazdowskis associated with teaching and art in Aberdeen: James Bronislas Jazdowski, son of John, teacher in Aberdeen, graduated from Marischal College in 1856 and according to an annotation of the Search Room student list died in Rome in 1902]; Mr. Smart has seen through what everyone has told him about Mrs. Brock and seems determined to avoid her; he has a good sense of humour, which he will need in Brindisi; it is dirty, dark, liable to air raids, and stinking; it is a wonder that British sailors are not more often found drunk, as the water is undrinkable; the racial mix is not a good one; Mr. Smart found the consul, Mr. Morgan, with a watering can disinfecting the premises, but his landlady stopped him and he has moved into one of the three poor hotels; the Y.M.C.A. marquee is at least away from the stench of the harbour; difficulties in getting wood and coal delivered - wood has to be ordered from Malta; anecdote of an accident with the well; Mr. Johnson, his assistant, cooks - he learned in the trenches; anecdote of five British nurses delayed at the port and then forced to sail near torpedo boats, while the Italian sailors took all the lifebelts, several each; the British sailors are tired of mine-sweeping in the Adriatic; some have been there for two years without home leave; the Italian Admiral's flagship has not yet left the quay during the war, and is almost rusted to the chains; anecdote of a survivor of one wreck; Mr. Smart was at Corfu when thousands were brought in exhausted from the Serbian retreat; coffins for the dead were made of bamboo and flowers as the wood was too dear; 18,000 Serbians lie buried on Corfu; the soldiers laid on a very impressive service as many of them 'turned out to be office-bearers in Presbyterian churches!'; the Serbian retreat was very hard on British nurses; Mr. Smart has been secretary at the Crystal Palace, taken over by the Admiralty for the Royal Naval Division, and has seen some interesting things; Amelia helping him to shop; he virtually lived with them for three days; Mr. John Burns gave him money for books and a bagatelle board; visit of Mrs. Polkinghorne and then of Miss Jazdowska who wanted to inveigle someone into helping her down to the station and seeing her off; Aunt's visit to Miss Chiellini and news of Mr. Burns, whose wife continues to be useless; she is at least not extravagant; even her mother had cause to remonstrate with her as Mr. Burns had too much to do around the house; he is not well; the Bentons have gone to Nettuno again, leaving the baby behind; the new ministry has been formed but from the photographs looks unimpressive.
Access StatusOpen
Add to My Items