Letters

20 August 1915

From/To: Gertrude Bell to her stepmother, Dame Florence Bell

[20 August 1915] 95 Sloane Street Aug 20 Dearest Mother. We are once more in difficulties for want of space, even with all the Duke's first floor. We have taken on another piece of work, at the request (between ourselves) of the Foreign Office. It is the gathering in and tabulating of all information with regard to prison camps in Germany. It is of vital importance that we should have this knowledge properly arranged for it shows us how best to help our prisoners, and who stands in most need of help. But it means more files, more archives, more people working on them, and how to have them I don't know. I have a wild dream that the Bishop of London might lend us a couple of rooms. He is next door - I can't put the prisoners' department far away without serious inconvenience and loss of time. All the departments are so closely dependent on each other and are always working together. Do you think it would be too outrageous to ask him? And if so would you ask him? Perhaps he would not mind being asked - if it's impossible of course he would have to refuse and we should understand. Can you suggest anything else? I'm at the end of my imagination. I have asked the Enfields but they say they cannot, for good reasons; and Mrs Astor cannot, also for good reasons. Your affectionate daughter Gertrude

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