Frances and Jane Coster of Eastbourne

17 Oct 1914: Jane Coster to Her Niece, Florence Scott

This is a letter written in 1914 by Jane Coster (Nurse to the children of Grand Duchess Xenia of Russia) to her niece, Florence Mary Stilwell of New Zealand.

106 Moika
St. Petersburg
Oct 17th 1914

My dearest Florrie,

At last, I will try and write to you to send your Darling Boys letter. I am so sorry for your loss, which I also regret, although I never met him, but be sure he is in Jesus' bosom, where he can never sin or be unhappy, which is a great comfort to a Mother, when her heart begins to heal after her bereavement. I hope all the rest of you are quite well and that everything is prospering with you. I have thought a very great deal about you and am still longing to see you, but nothing is yet settled.

I broke my arm very badly about a year and a half ago and, since then, have been able to do very little with it, and even now it is very difficult to hold a pen. Aunt Fanny has been ill. I think it must be her heart, but I hope she is better now. We are not together, and, at present, I can't get to see her but hope to do so soon. Then, if she is well enough, I am going to try and go to England for a short visit and see if she will go and settle there. You see, she is in a situation as well as I. She ought to give it up and rest, as she must be very tired, and I ought to be quite free in a year or two, as I have brought up 7 children and the youngest is in his 5th year. If they give me a good pension, I want to go and see you, but it will depend on Aunt Fanny for the present.

Uncle George, your Mother's eldest brother, is not at all well, and we must go and see him. Uncle Jim lives at Eastbourne, and I feel very much at home in his house. And I want to see his wife, Sophie, whom I love very much. I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and Bright New Year and still hope to see you before I die, though I am already 55 years old.

Accept my best love for your dear self, your dear husband, all your children and brothers and sister.

From your loving
Auntie Jennie Coster