CollectionGB 0231 University of Aberdeen, Special Collections
Ref NoMS 3290/2/42
TitleLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws to her relatives
Date16 January 1915
Extent3 sheets
DescriptionLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws, 7 Via Venti Settembre, Rome, to her relatives, regarding a severe earthquake; the panic of people still in bed or just getting up; Mrs. Bethell fainted in the arms of Miss Trewhella; the Bachelors were terrified as they live 8 floors up on the edge of the Quirinal; Mme. B. thought it was her maid making too much noise; Mrs. Courtenay's china was smashed; Avezzano particularly badly hit (on the Tivoli-Sulmona line), with 8,000 of the 10,000 inhabitants killed; estimates of 30,000 killed in the Abruzzi district; bad architecture partly to blame; the Waldensian Church is made of reinforced concrete ('armed cement') and has survived well; visit of the King to affected areas, including Sora which was cut off by damage to roads; all officials killed and lines of communication cut, and no one believed the few people who managed to walk through, so there were delays in rebuilding the roads; the King participated in ambulance work; he is trying his best to sort things out quickly; carts sent from Rome to fetch the wounded could have taken food and blankets but instead went empty; Mr. Conklin's account of the wasted food sent by America and left on the shore to rot; Rome is full of refugees; all the Red Cross preparation for the war is taken up with earthquake victims; theory goes that the quake was caused by the draining of Lake Fucino in the Abruzzi district; the Porta del Populo is closed; the statue of St. Paul fell off S. Giovanni in Laterano; the Scala Santa church is damaged as is the Y.W.C.A. in the Via Balbo; rumours for once are not as bad as the facts; news that the Kaiser has ordered Germans to leave Italy; possibly her last lesson with Dr. Spiro as a result; Mme. B. can remain under the protection of her son, a naturalised Italian; rumour grew from the fact that the governess of the Bavarian embassy wished to return home and applied for a passport; Mme. B. is panicking but this derives from 'deliberate blindness and egoistic patriotism'; she says that 'Germany is fighting for her life. She must and will conquer'; news of Scotland via Mr. Burns; he is not volunteering as yet as there are plenty who are; it would do him good, for he is a snob; Dr. Brock's lecture was a success and he is encouraging her to look over bones and attend the extra classes for the St. John's Ambulance Certificate; Uncle has completed his 48th. year of ministry; hoping that everything goes well at Karonga.
Access StatusOpen
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