Men at work

24th October 1914

Postcard to Miss M Crawshaw, 29 Strathleven Road – dated 26-10-14 but stamped 24 Oc 14

Dear Till

Just a PC to thank you for handkerchiefs which I was glad to get. We are still having a busy time of it and also plenty of work. As Aunt got my letter which I wrote her. Glad to hear that you are getting on alright and still doing the stammering Sam. I have answered Muff’s letter , which she wrote me. Now I think this is all this time trusting this finds you all in the best of health and hope to hear from you soon.

I remain

Your loving Brother

BID xx

This is one of those postcards you might give a cursory glance at and move on from. It doesn’t contain any news, nor does Frank try to converse with Mabel. However, I think this postcard carries much more weight, once you know what Frank has just experienced over the last ten days, and the two months before that.

I think that it is the postcard equivalent of a big hug. He doesn’t describe anything about what’s been happening. I think he just wants to connect with someone he loves deeply – and writing is the only way he can do this at this time. He tries a little repeated joke at the expense of his father, “stammering Sam”, but other than that, the tone is loving and the sign off is very formal which just adds to the postcard’s poignancy.

The Dorsets spent another day in billets with the Cheshires. The Germans sent over a lot of high explosive shells that afternoon directed at Festubert. At 6:30pm they were sent into Festubert to repair the damaged roads. An hour later they were sent back to their billets and told to remain on high alert.


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