CollectionGB 0231 University of Aberdeen, Special Collections
Ref NoMS 3290/2/28b
TitleLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws to her relatives
Date2 August 1914
Extent3 sheets
DescriptionLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws, Stetteneck, St. Ulrich in Gröden, Tyrol, to her relatives, regarding results of the assassination of Austria's heir; Austria has sent an ultimatum to Serbia which annoyed the Serbians, and the Serbian administration are rumoured to have been closely linked with the assassination; Austria has declared war, though the people do not want to fight; visitors have been leaving the Tyrol en masse; the Viennese have left because they want to see their families home and all in order before they have to fight; the Germans have left because Germany has offered to assist Austria if Russia helps Serbia; Jews left for financial reasons and to offer military service; all the horses in the valley, apart from the post office ones, are to be called up for military service; the troops have been mobilised and men between 19 and 42 have been called up; the people are gloomy; Emperor Francis Joseph's manifesto, calling the country to fight, is pasted up; the people are patriotic; men are already disappearing to fight; there is an air of hurried preparation and anxious debate; all must go, even those who paid the tax of exemption from military service; it will mean ruin for the harvest; the bank is closed as all the staff have gone; the women have behaved admirably; description of the local Alp and the problems of bringing the cows back; the children are suffering for there is no time for discipline; the official at the inquiry office blames the priests for encouraging large families; the railways are to be closed for 5 days to allow for mobilisation; France may join the war and at the moment their position in the Tyrol depends on Britain's neutrality; mails have already been affected, and the route back via Zürich will probably be cut off at Innsbruck; Uncle may be able to go directly to Italy, but she and Aunt hope to travel later via Bozen, Meran, Mals, St. Maria and the Ofenpass to Schuls, the quickest way to Switzerland; there is then the route from Schuls via Samaden, the Bernina Pass, Tirano and Milan to Rome; it is better to go soon while they can, rather than risk being held hostage; Switzerland is the only calm refuge as Italy may soon join in the war, going via Austria to the Russian frontier; Uncle has written to Professor Cowan's son to prevent him coming in case he cannot return; they may leave next week; Irving asked for a summer station and was given Pontresina, which Blake asked for - Irving may have wanted Interlaken.
Access StatusOpen
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