For Brumas and friends

  Blackhat 23:52 15 Jun 2008

Some while ago during a thread I mentioned some of my fathers postcard collections, I have borrowed one of the albums that my father had recovered from a derelict house. Most of the cards were sent to the same woman dating from 1915 to 1926.

There was one card in particular that I mentioned, it was sent to the lady from Archie who was off to the front, dated 1917. It was the last card received from him.

When I hold this card in my hand it always brings a lump to my throat, it tells me of the great sacrifices of so many at such a young age often without question but just a loyalty to King and Country.

Front of card click here

Back of card click here

The whole postcard collection tells the story of a woman’s life; I am piecing together the time line of the cards and contacts and trying to find any living relative.

I am sharing this one card with you all as I think it says a lot about the youth of our past and I wonder how today’s teenagers would react to the call of duty?

  Bingalau 06:13 16 Jun 2008

Just checking early morning flight arrivals at Manchester as I have to pick up my daughter and family, they have just had a wonderful three weeks holiday in Disney World. This poor chap and most of his comrades probably never achieved a holiday anywhere.
It looks like it was sent from his billet in Aldershot of course, Barracks were overflowing in those days so troops were billeted out around the area of their barracks. That also happened in the last war.
There's no telling how the youth of today would re-act if the highly unlikely circumstances were to arise again. But it might reverse the immigration flow.
That chair in the photo must be worth a few bob on the antiques market! A standard type of prop in photos from those days it seems.

  Brumas 09:03 16 Jun 2008

It is testament to the practicality and popularity of the postcard that this poignant , yet widespread, message exists.There will be no record today - texts are not hard copies!

I hope you succeed in your endeavours and thanks for sharing the cards.

  laurie53 20:26 16 Jun 2008

I found it oddly moving.

  csqwared 20:44 16 Jun 2008

Thanks for that - I think the message, in its simplicity and perhaps naivity - is very moving and I think the picture portrays the pride this chap feels being in the Kings uniform. It brings to mind a visit I once made whilst in Kent to a very small 'museum' in a wooden hut, put together by locals who had collected various pieces of shot down/crashed aeroplanes from WW2 and other flying memorabilia of that time. Amongst the exhibits was a letter of thanks to the local pub landlady from a twenty year old fighter pilot thanking her for allowing him and his comrades to let of steam in 'these difficult times'. The simplicity of that letter had me in tears and I've often thought of it when the cry of 'stress' goes up from some of todays 'hardpressed' employees.

  wellshgit 20:44 16 Jun 2008

My grandfather served in the first world war, and although he would show me his campaign medals he would never talk about his experiences. From the films and documentaries i,ve seen it have been too traumatic to talk about.

  Forum Editor 22:57 16 Jun 2008

about the youth of the past is that this young man at least had decent handwriting, and could spell and punctuate what he wrote.

Those words "I do not know how long I shall be before I go to the front" sum it all up - Cannon fodder, waiting to be sent into hell. In 1917 he would have known that his chances of surviving for long were pretty slim, and I wonder what must have been going through his mind when he wrote the card. In 1917 life expectancy on the front line at Flanders was around three weeks.

  birdface 09:17 17 Jun 2008

The teenagers of today are the backbone of our armed service's.They join of their own free will and do a magnificent job.Our future looks good because of this but unfortunately some of the young soldiers no longer have a future.How others would react to being called up for Military service I don't know.They would probably react like most have done in the past and get on with it.

  birdface 09:21 17 Jun 2008

Like you my Father served in the last war and like you say He would never talk about it.He was one of the lucky ones that came back home.

  Bingalau 09:55 17 Jun 2008

Our FE is right in stating that the youth of that particular time were indeed Cannon Fodder. They have also been described as "Lions, led by Donkeys".

Our modern service people are far better informed and of course are not conscripted men. They are well trained and led by well trained officers. I'm not just talking about the elite part of the forces either.

But I can't see the youth of modern Britain accepting being conscripted somehow.

  laurie53 19:56 17 Jun 2008

Like the youth of Britain vowing "not to fight for King and country" in the thirties, and dying in their thousands in the forties.

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