The Daily Postcard No. 17

Today’s card shows Belgian artillery ‘on guard’, the officer in the foreground looking somewhat rakish, I would hazard to say.

Dated 13th July 1916 and posted the following day, the card is French manufactured but has a Belgian stamp and military postmark and is impressed ‘private correspondence’ in blue (top left), which in turn is overprinted with a single blue line – ‘Armee Belge’.  So is this a Belgian soldier writing to a Yorkshire lass?  The seven in the date is a continental seven so, personally, I’m inclined to think it probably is.

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16 Responses to The Daily Postcard No. 17

  1. Sid from Down Under says:

    A nice pose indeed moustache included – with the three behind looking as though they’re enthusiastically discussing the young lasses they hope to impress at the upcoming local dance …. it’s definitely not the football being discussed

  2. Nick Kilner says:

    Devilishly handsome fellow! hahaha
    Just as a further point of interest, 21 Kelso road still exists. Not only that but it is still a victorian terrace which looks pretty much exactly the same today as it would have done when Sibyl received this card over a hundred years ago, perhaps with the exception of the double glazed windows.
    As regards the recipient being a Yorkshire lass, whilst thats certainly a very strong possibility the surname seems unusual (from what I can make out), so I wonder is she might actually be a Belgian refugee? A quick google search shows that around a quarter of a million came to the UK during WW1. Questions, always questions! lol
    Another splendid card M.

    • Magicfingers says:

      He is, isn’t he. Lol! On the other point, yes, why not. Thanks for doing a check on the address – I simply do not have the time, even now, to check such things. Although is Sibyl a Belgian name?

      • Nick Kilner says:

        It was my pleasure. I often look up old addresses to see if they still exist. Most of course have been replaced with modern buildings, so it’s always nice to find a period property still standing (or a street of them as in this case). In truth I have absolutely no idea if the name Sibyl is used in Belgium, it was really the spelling of the surname which looked slightly unusual and in point of fact I think the common British spelling is Sybil. An error on the authors part? Perhaps. A very nice little mystery, and ever shall it remain so.

      • Daisy in Indonesia says:

        Hello Nick,

        I also like to check the adrress on these postcards. Google Maps Street View, thank you very much. 21 Kelso Road currently for rent?

        I concur fully Sibyl Walbank (the last letter is a ‘k’, right?) is a Belgian refugee. The English spelling of Sibyl is Sybil as in Mrs Fawlty.

        There are definitely women named Sibyl in Belgium, you can chat to one on Badoo if you wish…

        • Nick Kilner says:

          Hi Daisy,
          Its probably best if I don’t ask how you know that lol, but thank you kindly for the confirmation.
          I believe that it is number 23 which is for rent. 21 looks to be the property all but hidden behind a largely overgrown garden hedge.

          • Magicfingers says:

            Ha ha ha!! Very good.

          • Daisy in Indonesia says:

            Bonjour Nick,

            Brussels = Beer Paradise.
            Un autre bière sil vous plait Sibyl.

            Yes, likely 21 is behind the hedge but with the original houses to see on Street View it’s easy to let the imagination wonder how things might have looked 100 years ago…

    • Daisy in Indonesia says:

      Hey MagicFingers,

      having or displaying a dashing, jaunty, or slightly disreputable quality or appearance.
      “he had a rakish, debonair look”

      Yes, agree with rakish…


      • Magicfingers says:

        Yep, definitely rakish. Almost raffish, I’d say.

        • Daisy in Indonesia says:

          Hahaha. Oui, Monsieur Doigts Magigues…

          unconventional and slightly disreputable, especially in an attractive manner.
          “his raffish air”

          I like ‘raffish’. From now on I will try to use it in normal coversation as often as possible!


  3. Margaret Draycott says:

    A very cheery card indeed given the year and month. As you don’t here a lot of the Belgium army after the initial months of the war take it they were well away from any serious fighting. Hence maybe the cheery postcard. As for the info Nick found, if only walls could talk as you say a mystery it will remain.

    • Magicfingers says:

      Don’t compare the image on postcards with the date the card was written; I could write on one of these unused Great War cards and send it to you this week in the post, and then there would be over a hundred years between the image on the card and the message I wrote and the postmark. See what I mean? I think the Belgian image is most likely 1914 or early 1915. Card written, as we know, in July 1916. See, there’s more to this postcard lark than one might think – and you’ll all be experts by the time we finish. Or at least you’ll know more than most!

  4. Margaret Draycott says:

    Your absolutely right of course I just takes things literally as I see them don’t always analyse the whys and wherefore. Don’t know about expert but will certainly know a great deal more than I did. As always thanks to you

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