CollectionGB 0231 University of Aberdeen, Special Collections
Ref NoMS 3290/2/283
TitleLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws to her relatives
Date22 February 1919
Extent5 sheets + carbon copy
DescriptionLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws, Valence, to her relatives, regarding tiring week; three infirmiers left out of seven and one has caught influenza; she has decided to move them down to the small ward; she is amused that nowadays she simply announces her intention and does things, rather than asking permission; she is rebellious about fires, which the 201 has forbidden them to have; she has insisted on having one in the kitchen for the nun to cook herself meals, to save her going up to the 201 as Amelia has to do; the officers have been transferred to the 201 and Captain Dobinson has been moved to Marseille; his luggage, missing since December, turned up the day before he left, possibly from Le Havre; the bedding has been sent for disinfection and the inventory has been taken, though Mme. Soureillat has been ill and all was left to the nun and Amelia; return of the hired piano and Captain Dobinson's hired mandolin; he left all his preparations till the last minute and expected Amelia to help; she has given him the address in Rome in case he is sent to the Italian Expeditionary Force and ends up in Rome without anyone to visit; general cleaning out and labelling, despite Mme. Soureillat's laziness; the nun, in the course of sewing, has given her frank opinion on Mme. Soureillat; she uses and abuses people but no one thought to warn Amelia as they saw that she had enough independence of thought to protect herself; she was a Parisian dressmaker, and was spoiled when young by an aunt; the annexe has been closed on purpose to prevent any more of her favouritism and inappropriate behaviour; Amelia regrets nothing in her own behaviour and is glad that the time there is ending; apparently the pattern has been the same all through the war; she was only working to impress the men and since they have gone she has done nothing; ceremony of decoration for Lafleur at the barracks of the 114th. Regiment of Artillery; she wants back the furniture she lent Amelia for her room, which Amelia says she may take at any time; Mme. Soureillat accused the nun in her absence of being a gourmand, and Amelia had to defend her to the bureau at the 201; Mme. Soureillat blamed Amelia for Taillefer's evacuation and others also thought she was partly to blame; Mme. Jouve says that she has been appreciated by all; she has been accepted by Dr. Hauraud to replace Miss Bennett and has been to look over the cases; she will have to do their dressings as well as massage, so her preparation at the annexe has been worthwhile; there are two bad cases of septic poisoning; 'Vibratory massage running down the line of the lymphatic glands compel the pus to move towards its natural exit, vibration through the aseptic gauze eases the tissues, gentle movements keep the joints from stiffening and the wound is cleaned with ether, the final dressing being saturated with a disinfectant'; the rest is mostly fractures and wounds, with one unhealed amputation, 'the flesh being kept from deadening by vibrations over gauze place on the fold-over of the flesh'; gathering references to help her chances of being given board and lodging at the hospital; the discovery that 'as the "service de massage" did not exist, Miss Bennett had never come before the Commission and was therefore only "tolerated, not accepted". My acceptance by Dr. Hauraud was therefore valueless, al themore so as he is now demobilised and his successor has not yet seen me'; if she worked as a civilian nurse it would have to be unsalaried, as she is not professional; she pities the neglected patients.
Access StatusOpen
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