CollectionGB 0231 University of Aberdeen, Special Collections
Ref NoMS 3290/2/276
TitleLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws to her relatives
Date12 January 1919
Extent4 sheets + carbon copy
DescriptionLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws, Valence, to her relatives, regarding change in weather from fine to damp and cold; letting cot-cases breathe in sunny air; odd atmosphere in annexe as Mme. Soureillat knows that Amelia disapproves of Taillefer but does not know that she has been defending Mme. Soureillat to both officers and men; Taillefer and Jouvent have both been returning as usual for meals and treatment as if nothing has happened, and are ignoring Amelia; Trossat told Amelia that the soldiers consider their reappearance evidence of 'some personal attachment' on the part of Mme. Soureillat, which Amelia has denied; Mme. Soureillat has almost completely ignored Amelia; she is angry at Miéthon being posted to the hospital, and comes and goes at her own convenience; Miéthon tries to insist on lights out at 9, even when Amelia has not finished her work; she was delayed one night as Mme. Soureillat had forgotten to dress the wounds of four patients due to leave next morning; the patients are indignant on her behalf; they plan to booby-trap one of the doors; the locking of the doors at 9 has provoked Trossat and two others, normally obedient and sensible, to show their independence by staying out late and climbing over the wall; they have been reported, but others are tempted to do the same thing; military discipline in France is always at one extreme or the other, never in the middle; her efforts to move around the hospital at night without being heard; treatment of Chauvel and Lieutenant Soureillat [Mme. Soureillat's nephew]; Taillefer is now reportedly imprisoned at the Séminaire; problems with finding somewhere for Miéthon to sleep; he is treated with great respect by the nun because he is a priest; making cakes for the men; her initial intention had been to invite the Breynats and Mlle. Thivolle from the 201 to celebrate with them, but now the annexe is in disgrace she could not expect them to come; the party was intended to be a surprise for Mme. Soureillat, but she received the news in silence and was not there at the scheduled start; she turned up later and chatted with the officers, because she is trying to regain their favour; Amelia finds the whole situation very interesting but is not bothered by it as she has enough freedom to go on with her work; Captain Dobinson's foot is improving and he can use boots which she ordered from London for him; he only uses his crutches when he is tired; Mme. Soureillat regards him as a fool though she used to like him; Captain Fonsagrive is improving remarkably well; he is very good at following instructions; he is very courteous to Amelia but ironic towards Mme. Soureillat; his religious scepticism is softening, under Amelia's influence; massage brings out all kinds of confidences in the officers and men; visit of a Miss Harvey, originally from Inverness but latterly of London; her problems with the sale of her car which was being used under the French War Emergency Fund, and with the loss of her passport and papers; 'a nice, wealthy girl used to hotel travelling but with no knowledge of life at all'; she has gone to Marseilles to see the consul.
Access StatusOpen
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