CollectionGB 0231 University of Aberdeen, Special Collections
Ref NoMS 3290/2/329
TitleLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws to her relatives
Date23 November 1919
Extent3 sheets + carbon copy
DescriptionLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws, St. Quentin, to her relatives, regarding their intentions to leave, 'It's a veritable nest here of self-praise', Mlle. Chiry's family have forbidden her to do more than one night duty a week, Amelia will not wait for a reply from Rome, but has discovered that three of the nurses are laid up, 'two with typhoid and one with something unnamed ... probably cholera', some say that the huts at the front during the war were in better condition than this, men would be better for night duty here with dark corridors and isolated wards and no lighting, the German prisoners-of-war are the only efficient workers in the place and though they were to be repatriated they cannot be done without, the Catholic church wants to regain control over the hospital, and the patients agree, the prisoners of war are doing all the work of reconstruction while Frenchmen cannot find work, 'Here if accurate information, prompt service or any article for use be desired the nurses frankly say, "Ask a Boche".', she has found excellent postcards of the place to send them, the Germans are in a camp but under no surveillance, 'the French are deplorably weak, for hours on leave are spent in a mutual comradeship with the prisoners as if no war had ever existed', German is as common as French in the town, Mlle. Chiry's forecast of another war soon, 'French egoism ruins their national life', if there had been a capable senior nurse Amelia would gladly have remained and given her service, but she does not regret this experience, it would be morally wrong to undertake night duty in the circumstances, she is returning to Paris on Tuesday, visit to the pastor who wished her to stay, but agreed that there was nowhere else locally she could work, the British Red Cross has tried supporting the hospital but it has made little difference, so they devote themselves mostly to patient transport, description of the dirt and lack of hygiene of the building, and odd mixing of patients with different complaints, she is looking forward to washing her clothes in Paris, fortunate that she and Mlle. Chiry have been able to fight together.
Access StatusOpen
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