CollectionGB 0231 University of Aberdeen, Special Collections
Ref NoMS 3290/2/330
TitleLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws to her relatives
Date29 November 1919
Extent4 sheets + carbon copy
DescriptionLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws, Paris, to her relatives, regarding delays in departure from St. Quentin, where everyone was annoyed that they would not do night duty, criticisms of Mme. Leppert, who is vain, sketch of the refectory, including Mlle. L'Homme whose brother was shot for not killing his pigeons during the war, Mme. Richard, a perfect witch, 'She had the children's ward of 17, plus three women of ill repute', her treatment of the children, Mme. Leppert, who was only there for self-glorification, she had been a prisoner for ten months but managed to spend the Armistice at Weisbaden at the Hotel des Allies, or Romersbad, opposite the Hotel Rose, Mlle. Saureux, 'a young, short-sighted nurse with little character beyond a tendency to take life very easily and irresponsibly', quarrels between devout Roman Catholic nurses over extreme unction, quarrels between different classes of nurse, several of the nurses were 'no doubt ... trying to earn her entrance into heaven by passing some months in the purgatory of St. Quentin', an unhealthy hospital where so many patients die and the nurses catch typhoid, bronchitis or rheumatism, mixing of patients was bad, and the English would have made a fine hospital of it, 'it is colossal folly on the part of the French to allow themselves to be possessed by the Germans in such a fashion. They are angry at being retained in France when all other countries have sent back their prisoners. Revenge and hatred burn deep as they say, "Wait till we return in a few years. We'll possess all this"', Dr. Huard, a Belgian whose property was destroyed in the war, was 'the only real element at the Hotel Dieu', he had worked in a British hospital during the war and thought highly of the British staff, the doctors had no power in St. Quentin, Paris seemed clean and luxurious on her return, four different posts now being offered to Mlle. Chiry and her, either Casablanca in Morocco, a dispensary in the Somme, a first aid post outside Amiens 'with the use of bicycles', or ward work in the military hospital at Metz, Mlle. Chiry fancied Casablanca but only if Amelia goes too, the Somme needed a lot of diplomacy, Amiens was uncertain and Metz was the only one Amelia would consider, Mlle. Chiry knows one of the staff there and will investigate, there is a good deal of influenza there, the hospital was established by the Germans and is well-built, but French hygiene may let it down, the salary is low, there still might be a post in the new clinic in Valence.
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