The Daily Postcard No. 37

Following yesterday’s card, today we pay a visit to the forgotten front.  The British sent an army to Salonika in October 1915 to counter Bulgarian advances south into Greece, and it remained there, through blazing summers and atrocious winters, until the war’s end. 

Although undated, this card was clearly sent quite early in the campaign, the message also showing an example of how language and meaning have changed over the ensuing century.  And I think it entirely possible that this card was sent by the same brother who wrote yesterday’s card, by the way.

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17 Responses to The Daily Postcard No. 37

  1. Nick Kilner says:

    Well thats an interesting conversation, or at least one side of one! If I’m not mistaken it reads
    “Niece, you cannot tell me that you are not making love to a soldier, as your Mam told me you was. If you are, who is going to make my Yorkshire duff when I come home & —— gravy. But I think it will be a long time before I taste it again. It will be after the war because we are too far away, so if the war lasts two years we shall be out here all the time. If we get wounded there is hospitals here now.”
    I’ve punctuated it, to make it slightly easier to read. Doesn’t sound like uncle is too happy about his niece dating a soldier whilst he’s away.

    • Magicfingers says:

      Yep, you are correct. Fascinating, I think. And btw it’s the hospitals bit at the end, of course, that tells us that it is early in the campaign.

      • Nick Kilner says:

        That and the fact he says the war may last for two years. Any idea what the gravy is? just out of curiosity?

        • Nick Kilner says:

          actually I’m not sure it is gravy looking at it again. I’m pretty sure Yorkshire duff is Yorkshire pudding though 😉

        • Magicfingers says:

          I think it says, like yours with my added punctuation:
          “…when I come home, I know Carry*, but I think it will be a long time…”

  2. Magicfingers says:

    And good point about the two years……

  3. Margaret Draycott says:

    I concur, imagine knowing your going to be stuck there for 2 years, it does seem like he expects that it’s not a purely random choice.
    Got to say M always had an interest in ww1 and I know the clue is in world war, but must admit my main area of interest has always been Europe- France, Belgium and always been fascinated by the Gallipoli campaign, these postcards are making me think about the other areas of the war….so thank you for that.

    • Magicfingers says:

      Excellent. I am ever so pleased M. It is easy to be Europe-centric with the Great War, as you say. I am currently reading a book about the Indian effort in the Great War, and I’ve been all over the globe, it seems, and I’ve only read two-thirds!!

  4. Margaret Draycott says:

    Fascinating, the Indian nation fought in so many areas of the war, they don’t always get the recognition but it was great to see them all at the Armistice in Ypres.

    • Magicfingers says:

      There are so many myths about the Indian Army on the Western Front in the Great War, one being that they suffered in the conditions of the winter of 1914. Total rubbish. Many of them had fought previously on the North West frontier of India in terrible winter conditions in battles against independant tribes, and many had experienced trench warfare there too, which your average British soldier would only know about from the text books and training. They were more prepared for the winter than the British (and had better supplies most of the time), but still the myth of the Indian soldier suffering in a European winter endures.

    • Nick Kilner says:

      Just as a point of interest Indian troops suffered the second highest casualty rate of any country fighting at Gallipoli, with a staggering 81% killed or wounded. The only country to have a greater loss was New Zealand who suffered an 84% casualty rate. Australia’s casualty rate was 52% by comparison

      • Magicfingers says:

        I could tell you why, too. A lot of it was down to the inadequacies of the non-Indian troops around them, thus during an attack the Indians would get further than the rest, get isolated, and have to retreat suffering huge casualties. Statistics are what you make of them.

        • Nick Kilner says:

          Well now that is interesting. I must confess I have not looked at it in detail as regards exactly who was where.

  5. Margaret Draycott says:

    I didn’t know any of that…thank you. I find it strange that even in India they don’t seem to get the recognition.

    • Magicfingers says:

      When we get to Neuve Chapelle and the battle of, I suspect (because I haven’t written a word of it yet) we shall look into the Indians on the Western Front in closer detail.

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