Louisa Garrett Anderson to Elizabeth Garrett Anderson

Scope and Content

Thursday 17 Sep 1914. Written from the Grand Hotel Terminus, rue St Lazare, Paris. Incomplete letter. Transcript:


A gentleman in this hotel has very kindly offered to take letters back to England for us as he is going back tomorrow.

It seems a long time since we left home. I feel this to be a quite different Paris to the one I have known before. The streets are empty and quiet: almost all the shops are shut: the banks shut: no men about and ambulances running everywhere.

Everyone expects a great many wounded to be brought in within the next few days. I am afraid the fighting has been terrible - but the news here is less full than in London.

Up to the present there have been comparatively few wounded. Great preparations are being made for their reception and a large number of auxiliary hospitals, or which ours is one, have been arranged.

When we arrived 2 days ago we found Claridge's Hotel a gorgeous shell of marble and gilt without heating or crockery or anything practical but by dint of mild 'militancy' and unending push things have advanced immensely and we are moving in ourselves tomorrow and will be able to take in patients tomorrow night or Saturday. The concierge at Claridge says he thinks he would have had an easier time fighting the Germans than facing so many active English Ladies! - très energetiques.

I went out in Dr Haden Guest's motor ambulance yesterday to a wayside station a few miles out of Paris. There were a number of our troops there and some wounded English there - lying in a shed with nothing at all to help them. They had been there 1-3 days - a nice Scotch doctor wrung my hand and said he was thankful to have them taken away. We took back the three worst - one a very nice officer - boy of about 20. I sent a telegram to his family and felt I had not come here in vain. On the way back we were passed by a very large grand motor with an old man in it. He saluted me or rather the ambulance with me perched on the knife boardy back of it and then stopped us and gave us a huge basket of grapes and many kind words about the men.

We have met several friends already. Dr Haden Guest and Mr Joll who have the Majestic Hotel as an auxiliary Hospital have helped us very much, and are letting us help them w. doctors and nurses and orderlies until we get busy ourselves. And today the English Chaplain Mr Blunt called on us - and said he knew Ivy quite well and there have been others. The visitors in the hotel are very kind to us and press £1 notes into our hands as we meet them on the stairs. There (rest of the letter missing)