Marion Emmons to Wilburt C. Davison


Jam 2nd 1920
Dear Dr. Davison-
I was awfully pleased with the little pamphlet you sent me. It was good of you to think of me and Bob was pleased too. Tho' as normal very modest about his share - and I am so glad that it is so -

I never thought to have so sad a thing to tell you - as the little history of these last few days. Of course you know all about it - and are one of those, who feel they have lost one of the dearest and best. Lady O. says he never had any doubts about his case - he knew

it was his "knock out blow" and except for leaving her - I think he was not sorry to go. The War just broke his great loving heart. Yet he had a wonderful month at Jersey (6 weeks really) last summer - in front of the water, and so wonderfully young and buoyant

again - almost alone with Lady O - and no worries. She said he looked his old self - so brown and even[?] fat! But he went immediately to Glasgow, on his return and got caught in the rail-way strike and some-where picked up what they now think was an influenza bug. He had pneumonia,

then pleurisy, then pus formed in the pleura and he had the operation for empyema. On Monday morning (the 29th) he seemed more cherry, and the London surgeon redressed the wound, and up to lunch time all went well. Then he got very restless and alas, the wall of the pleura must have broken,

worn thin by his coughing and condition and age I suppose. And he soon sank into unconsciousness - and never revived. I hope I am right in all that I say - I only repeat of course - what I heard. Lady O. is too wonderful - she has faced it with him, for so long.

I am thankful to say Mrs. Chapin and Billy Francis crossed with us and had a week with him. He was very weak. Could only whisper, and thought of every-thing and every-one, and we shall never see his like again, but it is good to

have known such a man. Bob is dreadfully broken up - and cannot express it, it is too deep - and he has lost a wonderful friend. Sir Wm. approved of his going to Naples - and he will return for Spring exams and try to pass on to the hospitals - but he says no-one thinks he will 'till Xmas of next

year. We had a happy Xmas - and Sally fitted in very sweetly - and it all seemed so wonderful to her, after her lonely life. They are very happy. And when I look back on all the turmoil and misunderstanding I thank God, that we did not lose our boy. And thank you and your wife for helping us all. Tho' still, I grieve,

that the boy has had no free happy times - before taking on such cares - for Sally will always I think be very delicate. How-ever the Dr. gives her another year to recover all together. And she is certainly much better.

Forgive this long letter - but I knew you would want to know about Sir Wm. The service at the Cathedral was most lovely - a Latin hymn that he loved - and a wonderful piece on the organ - and the Cathedral full. (Christ Church)

He is to be cremated to-day. And my daughter is with Lady Osler, and will remain for a while to help with the 1000's of cables and letters. My kindest remembrance to your wife. I am so very sorry to hear of Dr. Thayer's accident. If possible, do tell him how much I regret it. He, too, will feel the loss of that wonderful man.

Yours sincerely
Marion Emmons
My husband wishes to be remembered.

Item Description

  • January 2, 1920 letter from Marion Emmons to Wilburt Davison discussing the death of Sir William Osler and its effect on her friends and family.
Date created
  • osler105a-b-106a-b-107a-b-108a-b-109a-b-110a-b
Resource type
Archival collection
  • Wilburt Cornell Davison Papers, 1881-1972 (MC.0010)
In Collection:

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