Well that’s not very interesting, is it? Bear with me, though. You may find the rest more entertaining.
Now that’s more fun, eh? The reverse shows it was posted on 29th May 1915, although the card itself has a bit of a pre-war look about it. Nonetheless, here we have son keeping father on the straight and narrow, father being Private George Paton (note the ‘Ge’ on the first address line), Royal Army Medical Corps.
During the Great War, Shorncliffe Camp, down on the south coast near Folkestone, and originally established in 1794, saw tens of thousands of troops passing through on their way to France – ‘the gateway to the trenches’, I have seen it called. Training camps with practice trenches were established there, along with medical facilities, and there’s a military cemetery which I am pretty sure is still open, and has, I believe, three Victoria Cross holders buried within. The Gurkhas used the camp until very recently, and may still do, as a quick Google search revealed what appears to be a current phone number.
And on the reverse we find the same George Paton writing to his daughter Maggie, also in May 1915. Note that ‘Shorncliffe’ at the top of the card (below) is overprinted, allowing this same card to be distributed to numerous locations by the simple expedient of adding a different name…
…and sticking in a different set of photos. This is, of course, an old seaside postcard trick. And it’s not as if the British postcard manufacturers suddenly appeared out of nowhere in the summer of 1914. It was during the Victorian era, due entirely to the expansion of the railways, that coastal towns became holiday resorts, and as men and women packed the trains to the coast, the postcard industry grew. By the early 20th Century the cards themselves, if not showing scenic views, more often than not featured the humorous or bawdy images that the Edwardians seemed to love (and which would become a British seaside tradition),…
…until 1914, when, with the outbreak of war, the bawdy bloke on the beach morphed into a British Tommy, in this example a bawdy kilted Scottish soldier (reverse below). The war, in effect, delivered the postcard manufacturers a vast new marketplace right on their doorsteps, as thousands of soldiers, all desperate to write home, descended on military camps all across the country, and they knew exactly how to take advantage of it.
It so happens that this card is also from George Paton to his daughter, and it is entirely possible that we shall meet George, Jack & Maggie again, at some future point, should you wish to.