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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
Chirol, Valentine
Wilson, A.T.
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 letter plus envelope, paper
Iraq ยป Baghdad

33.315241, 44.3660671

Baghdad Nov 1 My dearest Mother. There is still no word from Father - probably his plans are uncertain owing to the rapid march of events. Today war has ceased here - the official announcement of the Turkish armistice has reached us. It's almost more than one can believe. I trust our troops are in Mosul [Mawsil, Al] tonight, for we hear that the Turks have left the town and if there is no strong hand there I fear there will be looting and massacre. We have struck the final blow this week with an advance up the Tigris. I am so very glad that the C. in C. has had the final success; if anyone ever deserved success he has done so. Also Richard P.H. [Pope-Hennessy] will get his share of laurels, and Gen. Cobbe who commands that Corps.
The I.G.C. has arrived today. I shall probably go down with him to Basrah [Basrah, Al (Basra)] next week, just for the trip, rest and change of air. But I am very much better. I've taken to doing only a half day at the office. I come back to my house after lunch, rest for a couple of hours, have tea and then either read a novel or talk to people who come to see me. This regime has done me a great deal of good. I have put on pounds and pounds in weight and am nearly fit again, thank goodness. I suppose this means that the malaria is quite over.

Today I gave a tea party in my garden - largely attended. The American consul came, the I.G.C. and various other magnates. For females I had some of the nuns and a matron from the hospital I was at a fortnight ago and an American missionary lady from Kirmanshah [Bakhtaran], who is here on a visit.

One of my colleagues and I are preparing a pamphlet about the administration of this country, giving a general idea of all that has been done in the past 4 years, so that people may know. It will be very useful for circulation in America. I can't tell you how wonderful it is to write - such a splendid story. I have just finished the chapter on the pacification of the tribes and Col. Wilson and I agree that it might make as it stands a separate article for publication. I shall send it to you next week, typewritten, and ask you to send it to Blackwood and to correct the proofs for me. If you can't find time to correct them, perhaps Moll or Elsa would. It's not long and I know Blackwood will jump at it. He likes things from the East. Domnul will like to hear that we are doing this, for he knows that the U.S.A. are very eager for information about Mesopotamia. We are sending copies of the Arab in Mesop. to the American market. You see we must not keep our light under a bushel. What our work here has been like ought to be made public. Ever your very affectionate daughter Gertrude

Your letter of Aug 30 and Father's of Sep 4 just arrived - bless you.

IIIF Manifest