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Letter from Gertrude Bell to her stepmother, Dame Florence Bell

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Bell, Dame Florence Eveleen Eleanore
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
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1 letter plus envelope, paper
Iraq ยป Basra

30.5257657, 47.773797

G.H.Q. Basrah [Basrah, Al (Basra)] May 14 My dearest Mother. I must write to you too and tell you how deeply grieved I am about the poor baby - I fear there can be little hope of his recovering. It will be a terrible sorrow to you both for his own sake and for darling Moll's. I do hope you are better; when you wrote you were ill in bed (Ap 6) and Father says that you have had a great deal of pain and misery over it. I have written to him at length on the question of my staying here - will you two talk it over and remember that I am always ready to do whatever you wish. If you don't want me I think I am of more use here than anywhere but it is clear you must be overworked and if you want some one to help you I will come.
Meantime it is being very interesting here, much more interesting than I can write about, but I have given him a brief account of the sort of things I do.

Today's post brought me some clothes and a lace gown and a nice little silk stripy gown, just the thing I want. This encourages me to hope that some more washing things will follow by post - one needs an unconsiderable amount. Only I'm afraid my request for them came at a most unlucky moment, when you were ill and Moll in such anxiety. I am so sorry to have added to your burden of occupations - I hope you got someone else to shop them for you.

I must write to my poor little Moll about Hugh. Ever your very affectionate daughter Gertrude

The stronger glasses have come too and will be a great comfort. One lives in semi darkness because even reflected light coming into the room is so intolerably hot.

IIIF Manifest