Letters

15 November 1914

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

[15 November 1914] Sunday. Clandon Dearest Mother. I write today though I fear it won't reach you till Tuesday. Your letters get here at 10.30 and sometimes but exceptionally at 8. I'm gradually getting onto my feet and finding more to do. They won't let me go into the wards to do any nursing on the ground that I shall not be able to keep authority over people who during some hours of the day would be in authority over me. I'm sorry because I should have liked to have had some sort of experience of all kinds and also because I haven't yet enough to do to fill in my day. But perhaps if I wait patiently I may yet get my way. The Matron is a very nice woman and says she is anxious to let me learn all I can. She was at Brussels in the beginning of the war. Lord O. [Onslow] went to France yesterday for a day or two. Lady O. breakfasts in bed and I in my room where I read the papers and write letters as long as I can bear the cold! About 10 I go down to the hospital and stay there solid till about 5.30, longer if there is anything to do. Lady O. is very much done up and these last 2 nights she has had dinner in bed. I've dined peacefully by myself, which I prefer. I go in to see her for a bit afterwards and then go and read or write in my room. Quantities of people seem to write to me. I heard from George Lloyd yesterday. He is with the Warwickshire Yeomanry and is waiting orders to go to France any day. No news I suppose about Maurice? I hope the mittens will be in time. Now I must go and get out the wine and beer! Your affectionate daughter Gertrude

I hope the Bellgians are not being a trouble. Marie will help you - but don't let them make claims on you.

[Note on back of envelope] Certainly tell Father to do what he likes with Reinach's remarks. I may be at 95 for Wed. night. Will communicate with him.

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