CollectionGB 0231 University of Aberdeen, Special Collections
Ref NoMS 3290/2/239
TitleLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws to her relatives
Date5 May 1918
Extent7 sheets
DescriptionLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws, 7 Via Venti Settembre, Rome, to her relatives, regarding Aunt practising a hymn; copy of a notice from the Scotsman regarding Captain W.P. Young, chaplain and son of the Rev. Dr. Young in Trinity, Edinburgh, who had been reported wounded but is now known to be unwounded but a prisoner in Germany; letter from Dufau saying that he is beginning to walk again; he has great pain inside his foot as a steel rod 8 centimetres long has been inserted to consolidate it; the medical authorities must have made bad mistakes in his second operation, as the third was necessary to straighten his foot and he had been walking well at Aix; he is still cheerful and hopes to see his three brothers, who are at the front and whom he has not seen for four years; they are beside the British army on the Somme and are shocked at the British sacrifices there; he is grateful to the British, and cannot see why so many bars have been put in the way of her returning to France to her work; she hates the heat, and was angry with Uncle yesterday when he said that Mr. Huston said the British losses had only been 37,000 against German losses of 400,000; she wishes that men over military age were sent to the front to 'bleed a little for themselves'; 'Here no one would imagine there was war'; the Hopes and Miss Jamieson, whose nephews are now prisoners or unfit, talk casually of action at the Somme; they are very selfish; Irving has arrived for the Presbytery and is to stay at the Landels'; Blake as usual was the worst element at the meeting; he was held in check by the Rev. Col. Cameron Reid, chief chaplain over non-Anglican forces in Italy, and the Rev. Capt. Wales Cameron, Presbyterian chaplain to the troops at Genoa and member of the Continental Committee; they cleared up points of procedure; Crozier thinks more of himself than of Leghorn, and wishes to be made full minister of the charge, though Uncle has told him that it is unlikely that Leghorn will be raised to that level; his work there might be used as a recommendation for progress at home, but it is not fair that men come and do some missionary work rather than go through full training; Crozier and Irving were appreciative of Aunt's efforts over the lunch; Blake and Smith said nothing, and W.P. Henderson is suffering from gall-stones and awaiting an operation; his father married one of two mulattoes from Jamaica in Genoa for their education; he is quite dark and looks particularly ill; the whole thing passed over better than expected, however; Uncle's connexion with Leghorn affairs has now formally ceased, but this passed without comment and with no thanks for his 15 years' service; next day Uncle went sightseeing with Colonel Reid and Captain Cameron, and had a good day but returned very tired; Aunt and Amelia went to hear Rossini's Moses, with Nazzareno de Angelis singing bass; the scenery was magnificent; she summarises the performance and costumes; she decides that it is not as fine as Lohengrin, as 'the Italian temperament, especially of Rossini's day, is unfitted to write dramatic, sacred music'; Captain Cameron is the son of the Rev. Mr. Cameron now in Bermuda, and the brother of Meg and Jessie Cameron that Amelia knew at school and at West Linton; Amelia took him on a tour and returned with him for lunch; Uncle complained later that he had had very little fish, though he had had more than either of them; she detested Captain Cameron on sight, though could give no reason for it; Meg has had a breakdown and Jessie is married to a Bermudan lawyer; the Captain has married a Miss Leitch, daughter of a minister; he refuses to force his son to take a scholarship, a reaction as he, as one of ten children, had to fight for a scholarship himself; he has given up his charge at Cupar and does not recommend Fife; he is enjoying his time in Rome; he is on the Continental Committee and Uncle had him write a statement in support of Genoa having both missionary and minister; Mr. Smith is to go to Genoa, and Uncle is now no longer thinking of a week's holiday; letter from the Sindaco at Chiesa outlining conditions there; as it sounds suitable she will now write to the hotels, trying to secure places for Aunt and Uncle for the summer; they will be well away from everyone they know in the Waldensian Valleys; Mr. Lowrie has returned from America with his new wife, previously Miss Armour; she seems lovely but no one can understand why she chose him.
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