CollectionGB 0231 University of Aberdeen, Special Collections
Ref NoMS 3290/2/173
TitleLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws to her relatives
Date4 February 1917
Extent3 sheets
DescriptionLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws, 7 Via Venti Settembre, Rome, to her relatives, regarding Communion Sunday; waiting for American reaction to political situation; Germany has forbidden neutral merchandise and travellers to cross the seas; the American officials in Germany have been ordered to withdraw; Holland is very anxious; they are glad the Dutch secretary has returned safely to Rome; the At Home went well during the week; there was talking for two and a half hours, which Amelia hates; Aunt was tired out by it and ill next day; the address was read aloud, which was embarrassing; Uncle is delighted with it, not his usual modest self; Dr. Miller's son-in-law arrived to visit, on his way to Taranto to join his ship - he was nice before but has even improved; Rachel, his wife, is with her father at Bordighera; three sailors visited Miss Jazdowska [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] and Uncle was summoned to meet them - they were English, very nice, and belonged to monitor ships, which are constructed to go into creeks looking for submarines; none has yet been torpedoed; Aunt has been worried over Miss Forster Walker; Mrs. Pearce wanted her to see Dr. Schiavoni to use his influence to find accommodation and nursing: he thinks an operation would at least relieve some of the infection; Miss Forster Walker feels this a terrible humiliation; she is humiliating others, for she can now finish a bottle of brandy in three hours; the doctor is ordering a limit to the alcohol consumption; her move to the Blue Nuns is finally arranged, thanks to Dr. Schiavoni; Aunt and Mrs. Pearce have been to the hotel to see Miss Forster Walker every day, but once she is in hospital it will be easier for them; tactless priest at the hospital has suggested that Amelia should wash away Dora's birthmarks, about which she is very embarrassed (she 'has splashes of birth-marks all up her right arm, the result of wine-spilling at a dinner-party before she was born - every spot of wine is exactly reproduced'); Amelia forces an apology from the priest; he has improved in his manners since; rumour that the orderlies were to be replaced by women, but the patients were against it as 'such women are of the uneducated, immodest and often immoral class'; bad experience of one patient with a female orderly at Viterbo; Miss Stewart was also distressed as it had been proved elsewhere that the two types of women could not work together; Florence Polkinghorne said later that Italians would not allow their daughters to work with female orderlies because it would ruin their reputations, even though they were happy for them to work with men; the men in their ward are pleased with Amelia and Dora; they will withdraw if women are appointed; Miss Stewart has had problems with the laundry of shirts which she brought in for pneumonia cases, which has resulted in an order for her to remove everything she has brought in, even flannel shirts from sick men; none of Amelia's patients will help her by doing exercises for themselves, except for a Calabrian whose facial injury will make him less successful with the girls; mention of the men's tactics for faking injuries to avoid military service, and the surgeons' tactics for finding out the fakes; Menzazzini has a blackboard in his clinic full of names of these 'simulatori'; injections of petroleum and ink are frequent; a commander's nephew has arrived in the ward to avoid conscription with a sham illness; she is looking forward to withdrawing from work there.
Access StatusOpen
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