CollectionGB 0231 University of Aberdeen, Special Collections
Ref NoMS 3290/2/138
TitleLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws to her relatives
Date8 July 1916
Extent3 sheets
DescriptionLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws, Hôpital Auxiliaire No. 10, Hotel Bristol, Aix-le-Bains, Savoie, France, to her relatives, regarding her hardest day yet; Lavier's re-amputated finger; he is painter in civilian life; he was quickly operated on at the front to save his life, but the hastiness of the job has required four operations since; Seurin, a sailor in the merchant marine, has had nine operations to find fragments of a ball which hit his knee; he is only 21 and in dreadful pain; he is sensitive and appreciates kindness; Aunt Amy disagrees with Mr. Smart's statement that war is never good, whatever good it causes, but Amelia sides with Mr. Smart; the cases coming in straight from the front are pitiful; some of the injuries do not seem to be survivable; a man has been brought in with his buttocks shot away, leaving his hip-bones bare; some have survived smashed skulls, the bone replaced with silver and human skin grown over it; 'If God permitted this war because it was necessary, then it is humanity's greatest reproach that such should be the case'; arrangements for mass for the patients; the singing is hearty; progress of Lavier and Seurin; amusing scene when breakfast was late; description of the rooms of the hospital [cards were enclosed but have not survived]; St. Macary has been discharged and will be missed: he was helpful and cheerful, but is much better now; he is returning to his depot in the Pyrenees; Baudin has also been discharged but is sent home for convalescence; he had abcesses in his throat and a scar on his leg; she has a new patient, name as yet unknown, with a broken tibia, found buried amongst his comrades; Le Breton has a bad scar on his thigh; Tépaaz is one of the worst, as 'a mitraille box burst between his feet ... the whole caseful of nails and sharpened iron blew up, and his legs were cut into strips'; his ankle is emaciated and his legs are wasted away, and he may never be able to move his knee again; he has been in hospital for nine months and has another six weeks to go; he is only 23 and was a mechanic in a silk factory in Lyon; he can work still but he feels his life is over, yet even so his spirits are good and he is always making jokes; the nurses take it all very well; the doctor is to arrange for the massage cases all to be in one ward; she is a little afraid of him; Bordes has synovitis of two fingers; she asked the doctor if he was satisfied with certain aspects of her work (Vaseline for cicatrices and talc otherwise) and he said that she was the expert; he is the only one who makes the wards sober and calm.
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