Dr Elizabeth Ross, Letters from Persia, Dec 1912.


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Extract from S.W. PERSIA Letters and Diary of a Young Political Officer 1907 – 1914 by Sir Arnold Wilson.

While the 39th C.I.H. was on the road from Bushire to Shiraz, a party of the Boir Ahmadis, who live in the hills west of the Shiraz-Isfahan road, had twice robbed, stripped & maltreated Dr (Miss) Ross. She had every right to be on the road: no one had warned her not to travel, for there had been no attacks on unarmed travellers for some time. She returned to Dehbid and awaited our arrival. The F.O. won't let me send fifty men to bring her to Shiraz, because this might be represented (by -Russia) as intervention and provoke similar action, perhaps with less reason, in N. Persia. The Governors of Fars & Isfahan can do nothing but express regret.

A week later I wrote:
All goes well; we are at Dahbid; I am enjoying everything except the weather. I have never been so wet or so cold for so long - 48 hours on end in wet clothes in drenching rain. I could not help it, for I had to go ahead of the troops to fix things in advance and then return on my tracks. But for- lots of fresh horses: it would be impossible. I brought with me some miscellaneous articles of clothing for Dr Ross, whose age, I should add, is about 50 (she was only 36), collected & packed for me by a lady in Shiraz: she was glad of them but asked earnestly for a camp bed & blankets; I blamed myself for not having thought of them, so I hastily gave her all my bedding £1: a blanket or two borrowed from others. I shall have to sleep in my coat on the stone floor of the sarai for the rest of the journey, but it is worth it, for she beams gratitude through her spectacles, having had no bed for a fortnight.


Dec 12th. Isfahan.

This is the end of my journey: all has gone smoothly. Dr Ross has been restored to her missionary friends in Shiraz;