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Sister Mary Gonzaga collection
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Sister Mary Gonzaga collection

  • RBSC-ARC-1732
  • Collection
  • 1834-1866

This group of letters consists, with minor exceptions, of correspondence from Sister Mary Gonzaga (Georgiana Barrie) (1825-1873), a Sister of Mercy from Bermondsey, to her sister Julia (Mrs. Edward Boodle) during the Crimean War. There are a few letters that were written after the Crimean War. A few letters were written by Mrs. Boodle to Gonzaga and one letter was written to Boodle by Alfred Green. There are also assorted reproductions of photographs, certificates, and drawings related to Sister Mary Gonzaga and the Sisters of Mercy.

Gonzaga, Sister Mary

To “Dearest Grasshopper”. From Scutari Barracks.

Civilian orderlies have arrived in their uniforms designed by Prince Albert who “since he has the vocation for being a tailor so strongly developed” should “set up a shop in Regents St. and let the army alone”. New troops passing through. News of friends she had seen or heard of. Had been ill and might have been sent home, but recovered. Not sure that women nurses is a good idea. Staff not well organized.

To “My dearest Juey”.

Tells her story of taking a deranged nun to an asylum at Bruges. (This incident possibly contributed to the temporary closing of the Hospital of St. John and St. Elizabeth and to the return of Sister Mary Gonzaga to the convent at Bermondsey.)

To "My dear Juey". From Scutari Barracks.

Trouble at Kulali where “new nurses” had been established. Encountered Alfred Green, a family friend. Still another earthquake. Decrease in number of hospital deaths. More on wild flowers, etc. Sebastopol not yet taken. Would like a telescope.

To "My dear Julia". From Scutari Barracks.

From Scutari Barracks. Scolds her sister for publishing one of her letters. Acknowledges receipt of some items she had asked for, including wormwood to repel fleas. Much religious activity around the hospital - services, scripture readings. Patients more sick than wounded. Encountered someone who gave her news of Canadian friends. Asks for stationery, pens and pencils, biscuits, etc . Mentions rats.