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Letter from Gertrude Bell to her stepmother, Dame Florence Bell

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Reference code
Bell, Dame Florence Eveleen Eleanore
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Person(s) mentioned
Maude, Frederick Stanley
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 letter plus envelope, paper
Iraq ยป Basra

30.5257657, 47.773797

G.H.Q. Basrah [Basrah, Al (Basra)] Aug 27 Dearest Mother. Your last letter answering mine describing Nasiriyah [Nasiriyah, An] was addressed only Basrah. Some of my letters are so addressed and it isn't enough. It causes a delay of several days. The best address is G.H.Q. Basrah. We are still rejoicing in cooler weather. I've ridden once or twice of a morning but it doesn't fit in very well with my hours at the Political Office and I don't do it often. I went out last week along the light railway 25 miles into the desert - it's the Nasiriyah railway - and found myself in the middle of a big Shammar encampment, hearing all the desert gossip in the familiar manner. It was so curious to travel 50 minutes by rail and find yourself in another universe. A fine desert with lots to eat in it. General Maude, our new Army Commander, has just arrived. I've made his acquaintance, no more. I feel rather like our Bavarian friends - do you remember? "Was fur eine Familie wird es sein!" My riding boots have come - thank you so much, and lots of underclothes, most welcome. I've written to Sylvia asking her to choose me a coat and shirt and saying you would tell her or the shop how it was to be packed. One has to think so dreadfully long beforehand and it's difficult to imagine one will ever be cold when one still holding a fire in one's hand.
I continue to like my work very much and to be extremely thankful for it. Ever your affectionate daughter Gertrude

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