CollectionGB 0231 University of Aberdeen, Special Collections
Ref NoMS 3290/2/179
TitleLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws to her relatives
Date18 March 1917
Extent4 sheets
DescriptionLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws, 7 Via Venti Settembre, Rome, to her relatives, regarding finishing entirely at S. Croce; the case of suspected meningitis turned out to be brain fever and they were expected back; their absence annoyed the doctor; her discovery of the doctor using the wash hand basin in the sala di medicazione, which belongs to the nurses, as a latrine without even locking the door; unsatisfactory cleaning of the latrines with lime; the majority of the patients clean their hands on the wall, which has also to be washed with lime; a case of measles on the ward which was not isolated; the doctor refused the ambulance men disinfectant when they did move him, saying it was none of their business to ask for it; Amelia gave them carbolic soap and Lysoform; the corporal has asked forgiveness for the latrine incident as he should have been guarding the door; Uncle and Aunt have decided that she should withdraw, which would have happened at Easter anyway; the Baroness Sonnino is shocked at the doctor's behaviour; the doctor also forbids the patients to say where they have a pain, saying that it is for him to tell them; she may have to give evidence as to the doctor's behaviour before the Colonel; she has defended the women in the ward to the Baroness but explained that they would likely get any blame attached to uncleanliness; they should have disinfectant as they are young with young children; the patients have thrown rib bones from their meals down the drains and blocked them; the doctor had been great friends with Tursini, but only because he could help the doctor's daughter with her musical career; Girondi is the new colonel and has no partiality to the doctor; she was thanked when she went to say goodbye to patients and staff and will miss some of them; the timid infermiera is a Baptist who knew Mr. Shaw and Mr. Wall, and had come to rely on Amelia as a fellow-Protestant; contrast between S. Croce and Aix; the gas is of no use tonight and the lamps must be lit; visit to the Hotel Beau Site to check on Mrs. Fleming's possessions left in store there; Aunt's visit to Mrs. Cardinali who has to be transferred to a nursing home run by the nuns in the Via Basilio; she behaved badly at the Blue Nuns last year and had to be sent home; her house should be given up and the furniture packed away, but Mrs. Polkinghorne recommends delay in case the nursing home refuses to keep her; account of the Polkinghornes' maid's visit to the Policlinico, where nasal operations were being carried on in the waiting room and instruments were not being sterilised between uses, even when the patients had diphtheria, and upset children crying at the sight; Mrs. Polkinghorne's foot is recovering; Mrs. Lewis Davidson has asked for Uncle's help in obtaining passports for herself and Mrs. Laing who both want to go home; Mrs. Laing's indecision has caused a great deal of inconvenience; visit of the Rev. Mr. Mackinnon of Greenock on his way to Malta, and of a Baptist minister, belonging to the Y.M.C.A.; Mr. Robertson in Mentone writes that he has been advised to spend the summer at Aches and Bangs (Aix-les-Bains); trying to write by candlelight; the tenants downstairs will be cross at the lack of light; Uncle seems to have had a squabble with Mrs. Brock again, but will not talk about it; mention of extraordinary changes in Russia; the Kaiser ought to be made to abdicate too; thanks for letters.
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