Like the older sisters, during the First World War, the younger Anastasia and Maria visited the wounded soldiers in hospitals. They sewed linen for the soldiers and their families, and prepared dressings. Both regretted that because of their young age they could not become real sisters of mercy, like the great duchesses Olga and Tatiana. The duties of the younger sisters were to entertain wounded soldiers. Maria preferred to sit at the head of the bed and ask about their families and children, and she knew names almost of each soldier.
The concert in our hospital was a great success. De la Zary was very nice and he told a lot of funny stories. The lady, dressed in a sarafan, was dancing Russian dance. (She fret over that). My Demenkov was really nice and introduced us to all the actors. Little Shvibsik [Anastasia’s dog] has just done a job on mummy’s carpet, and now Anastasia is trying to explain to him how to behave …
from Mary’s Letter to Father