Friday, June 14, 2013

Post Cards from World War I - Part Two

Also from the Tongeren Flea market, a couple of French examples:

Although undated you get the sense that this one was from early in the war.  The fellow looks very dashing and "sang froid" as he uses a sputtering bomb as "a new lighter". Indeed, I have seen another example dated 1915.  Here is the text:

The handwriting here is not too bad, albeit with the cramped word spacing common to post cards.

It is addressed to a Madam Parmentier who is staying at the home of M. Pouffier.  Why? The first lines read: "We are all in good health and well happy to be delivered of those dirty boch".   I hope you are the same."  Is this a family who became refugees?  Although the writer is presumably in the army he says little about that, only that "we have not had too much unpleasantness with the boche."

I think it may be a man named Louie writing to his sister in law, as he mentions his own two children. He also says that poor Reimi should get a long letter.

Here is another odd one...what a way to spell out Happy New Year.

And our text:

My French translator could not make much out of this one.  The cute couple on the front notwithstanding it seems to be a fellow wishing his brother a happy new year.  Perhaps that is best, how many sweet hearts would actually want to think of their loved one being surrounded by gigantic artillery shells.  Or is this perhaps a bit of phallic imagery?  It is possible to read too much into such things, but one imagines the target audience for this card was lonesome soldiers and their back home wives and sweethearts.  In that context we seem to have a coquettish smile on her face, a gently held bunch of flowers - could be dropped at any moment - and some serious looking cannons and ammo.

And recall that we are talking about lonesome French people here.

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