CollectionGB 0231 University of Aberdeen, Special Collections
Ref NoMS 3290/2/258
TitleLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws to her relatives
Date1 September 1918
Extent3 sheets + carbon copy
DescriptionLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws, Valence, to her relatives, regarding busy week and short letter; illness of Mlle. Combe from a chill affecting her heart; Amelia will have to take her heavy work from her, but in return Mlle. Combs knows the value of an afternoon rest and insists on Amelia having one; absence of Mme. Soureillat; some help from the sisters Breynat from the 201, brought in to do the dressings; Amelia is amazed that she is able to cope with all that is to be done; aseptic baths used to soak wounds for 20 minutes, so that the 'gaping joints may be cleaned by the oxygenated water and the dead flesh be cut away'; description of further treatment in one case; preparation of an infusion of limeflowers and liquorice which the French love; treatment of gassed patients with syrup of codeine; applying ventouses on their backs and chests (which she thinks is called cupping in England); bugs in the laundry cupboard; they are the pest of the hospitals and town, brought in by the soldiers; the beds have been treated with a plumber's lamp; men would rather sleep out of doors than in the Séminaire, as the problem is so bad there; arrival of new officers, 'an improvement on the previous set of licentious young men'; problems with new regulations governing the locking of the hospital gates at 9p.m., and the officers' objections to this; the patients, including Staub, were very helpful when she was so busy; Staub is from Meurthe et Moselle and used to run his own café, now lost in the invaded territory; his wife has died of grief and his son is staying with relatives; he has a fracture of the cubitus but is better now, thanks to his own efforts, and they will be sorry to lose him; Lecomte gave her a present of rabbit, part of some sent by his wife; the nun never has to ask for help in the kitchen for the patients have organised a rota of washers-up; her massage cases are doing well, including Boulard with a dislocated shoulder and a little Marseillais who has a poisoned wound from a nail; 'Girou's radio-plate [x-ray] has revealed half-a-dozen bits of shell and an unconsolidated fracture of the collar-bone. The doctor extracted one bit of shell on Fri. and I have to do vibrations to try to assist the other bits to move towards the channel of the drainage tube'; arrival of two officers, one asthmatic and one gassed, with 'the usual peculiar look about the eyes, which need boric acid to make them open in the morning. The skin is a dark brown but not peeled in his case; his voice is very rough'; the men dread gas more than injuries; she is to dress minor wounds soon. [Letter breaks off without signature]
Access StatusOpen
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