Louisa Garrett Anderson to Elizabeth Garrett Anderson

Scope and Content

Undated. Written from 60 Bedford Gardens, Campden Hill, W. Transcription:

Dearest,

I am afraid I have not written often enough since I left you on Monday, but the amount of organisation required by our small hospital unit is extraordinary and Dr Murray and I have done it practically by ourselves.

We have been working at it continuously for 10 days since the French Red Cross accepted our offer of help and it is lucky we did otherwise it would have been impossible to start on Tuesday.

The packing cases are to be closed tomorrow and they will go ahead of us to Newhaven on Monday.

Our preparations have been hampered by the extraordinary inefficiency and muddle of St Johns Ambulance Association. We went to them as we were told - incorrectly - that no hospital unit could leave England unless it went away under the St Johns Association.

We have spent weary hours with one incompetent official after another each contradicting what the last said, and all of them losing papers and letters which they assured us had to pass thro' their hands.

We think now that we have done them a favour, as finally they failed to do any of the things they said they and no one else could do; even the getting of the passports which is not difficult, they failed to do. Committees of untrained women, bossed by old men who act as figure heads make one almost despair of women - whereas their inefficiency really comes from the bad training the women have had. No methods no consideration for time, petty jealousies, red tape, attention to details of no importance etc etc etc.

We are very pleased to have our plans settled and for many reasons I am glad we are going to Paris. There will be no danger at all there and the journey will be quite easy where as there might have been a good deal of bother in getting across France to Belfort.

Then the ease of communication with Paris will be a very great comfort. I expect that there will not be the least difficulty in writing or soon in coming home for a few days if necessary.

We are starting at 10am from Victoria on Tuesday Newhaven to Dieppe route. We had thought of having a service in St Mary Abbotts or some other central church but there is no time to arrange for that and instead we want our friends to come and see us off - and give us a sense of blessing and good will that few services could do.

If you could and would come it would be very sweet.

My address in Paris will be: Claridge's Hotel, Champs Elysées

Very much love dearest

Yrs always, LGA

I am so very glad that Gladys is coming to you and Miss El?? too.