CollectionGB 0231 University of Aberdeen, Special Collections
Ref NoMS 3290/2/200b
TitleLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws to her relatives
Date26 August 1917
Extent7 sheets + carbon copy
DescriptionLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws, Chambéry, to her relatives, regarding death of Vestu, one of the patients, from suspected tetanus; he was given chloral but it did not last as long as they had hoped and he was in agony, with terrible contractions; his pains disturbed those in the ward with him and they were moved out, and his parents were telegraphed for; they were very nice; the staff were good with them; the funeral was from the mortuary chapel of the military hospital; the fracture and wound in his arm had been on the point of recovery, and he had been playing bowls the night before the tetanus set in; it is suspected that it developed from a microbe of shell left from a splinter removed from his face; the patients have taken it very quietly, but feel it is better to die at the front than in hospital; there are fewer patients just now, but the fighting at Verdun will probably produce more soon; Hill 304 is taken; most of her patients have been there and 'Boursier said that not an inch of ground can be turned up without revealing the dead'; the British artillery have been passing through Chambéry every evening for several days, probably for the Italian front as Salonika has no need of so many; Monte Santo has been taken by the Italians; they will be pleased if they are able to get to Trieste; busy week; Legendre is walking without a limp; her new patients are mostly young, and though skittish and hard to keep still they are eager to please; one has only been married four months and writes daily to his wife; the other three are fractures (no longer sent to Aix now that she is there to massage) and have been x-rayed so she can now treat them; one, aged 40, is called 'Grandfather' and is innocent-looking, but plays practical jokes on Legendre; the young ones are called the 'bleu' as they have blue uniforms for their first year of military service; the most interesting cases are the frozen feet; Brethes' curled-in toes are now straight; Jouette has only a 'pincushion' of a heel and ankle but it will be useful; Desforges has a cloven foot because he had a long, deep abcess, badly sewn, but she is improving the shape and he is being very co-operative; that foot has only three toes and the other ends with the arch; some account of Mme. Félicie, the cleaner, and her briskness with the men; Durand was very rude to her, and the other men decided he needed a wife to train him, but Amelia said that was not a woman's job nor a pleasant one; Mme. Félicie has succeeded in training Le Bihan, anyway; she sums up Commeras quite neatly and allows him to talk endlessly while he works; she is from the invaded territory and has anecdotes about German rule; her father was shot in his own field for refusing to give away the whereabouts of the French soldiers; she is brisk and efficient and very brave; 'everything is open, no keys ever used and nothing ever stolen!'. [Letter breaks off without signatures]
Access StatusOpen
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