CollectionGB 0231 University of Aberdeen, Special Collections
Ref NoMS 3290/2/301
TitleLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws to her parents, Robert and Maggie Laws
Date15 June 1919
Extent4 sheets
DescriptionLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws, Edinburgh, to her mother and father, concerning return to Edinburgh after eleven years' absence, visit to Reims, comments on Meaux, occupied by the Germans during the war but liberated at the Battle of the Marne, destruction at Chateau Thierry, 'Such insanity it seems for humanity to ruin towns within range while others in hollows escape the aim of the artillery. One realises how national and international questions still remain unsettled in spite of the desolation wrought upon the lives and private property of innocent victims.', description of destruction seen from train, meeting with Chauvel at Reims and description of walking through the town, including efforts to hold up ruined cathedral, history of the cathedral supplied by American military tour guide, description of chevaux de frises, pleasant visit to Mlle. Gray, destruction of pottery factories, range of wares saved by Mlle. Gray, from which she makes a present of a pair of vases to Amelia, and from which Amelia buys small pieces to serve as presents, purchase of before and after bombardment postcards of the cathedral, strike in Paris lengthened her journey back, acquisition of papers for leaving France, long queues, which the British treat with humour, punctual arrival of Uncle and Aunt, though Aunt not well, Uncle had done nothing to prepare for their journey, being more concerned for strangers than for Aunt's health, arrangements for getting them with all their luggage to the station, provisions for the journey, sandy track near Boulogne, rough crossing, late into Folkestone and therefore into London, transport difficult so the three of them travel with their luggage on an open van across London, no rooms to be had at King's Cross even though Uncle was supposed to have booked them, bad accommodation found in the end, Uncle with no cash as he had made no arrangements to get sterling, price of three third-class fares to Edinburgh, Uncle becoming more and more dependent on others, meeting with Mrs. Reid in London, their intended visit to Newtonmore, Uncle's intention of going to Crieff to be near Edinburgh, meeting Aunt Amy on the platform at Edinburgh - she is very thin, but it is to be hoped better, Uncle to attend a committee meeting tomorrow which will make their future clearer, Aunt to contact Mr. Somerville of Mentone regarding lodging near Crieff, rooms for now at the Temperance Palace Hotel, overlooking the Castle, they have brought their good clothes of 1908 to be remodelled and that will occupy them for a while, visit to Aunt Amy's lodgings with Miss Low who is very pleasant though Aunt Amy is finding fault with her, Aunt Amy is 'in a weak, nervous condition, physically well but nervously unnourished and her old self probably accentuated'.
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