French postcards 3

Postcard 1:

Legend: Je suis à vous coeur et pensées toutes à la fois: I am all yours heart and thoughts.

Nouzières 11 August 1918

My dear Camille

I have just received your letter of the 8th with pleasure and I am very worried about your hand. My health is a little bit better but Yvette is very tiring. Today, Sunday, we have just finished doing the oat, to tie […] This evening I am going to […]. Tomorrow we will give the sheaves. We have Mr Bruno with his oxes and his cart, Bicquelou and Bossieire’s cart as ours will not be ready before Thursday although I have begged him…never mind I’ll tell you if it’s gone all right tomorrow. The weather is good. The vines look amazing- in about 8 days we will be eating grapes if that continues. Nothing else only that I am alone at the moment and I would like to see you. Receive from your wife all yours two kisses and her best wishes […]

Postcard 2:


Next to each other : it is sweet to have a friend brave and loyal, in my heart you will never have a rival.


Nouzières 4 July 1918

My little darling man,

I don’t have any news from you this morning but I wish for your health to be good. For myself, I am better once again. I have just paid the income tax: for me 12.50 fr and my father 86 fr. I haven’t seen anything interesting and not even found anything to eat; it’s becoming terrible. I bought a little surprise for Yvette and this card. There was a bit of rain at the end of the day on Sunday. We could not find any bleach. Marcel Bricquelou has arrived this morning. He is 5 minutes away from you. He was going there 3 times a week in the evening to drink. He can’t believe it now; he is doing cleaning. I think that they make him do a bit of everything and all the trench coats, the sheets of the dead. I think it’s mad but he’s alright. I leave you by kissing you very warmly. Your wife who loves you. Léa Dissais.


This postcard was written four months before the end of the war. Shops are empty. Food and cleaning supplies impossible to find, as Léa testifies.

Marcel Bricquelou seems to be a friend of the family who might have been posted close to Camille. He is mentioned in other postcards. He seems to be back on leave when Léa writes this card. He is not fighting on the front but works as an army cleaner. Léa always seems interested and slightly amused to hear what men are up to, especially when they are assigned domestic tasks such as cooking and cleaning. She herself has to look after the land and do the heavy agricultural work which was previously done by the men. This is a temporary change that will have an important impact in the perception of women’s roles in French society.


Nouzières le 4 Juillet 1918

Mon cher petit homme chéri

Je n’ai pas de tes chères nouvelles ce matin mais je desire que ta santé sois bonne pour moi je suis mieux encore une fois. J’arrive de payer les impôts donc moi 12fr50 et mon père 86fr. Je n’ai rien vu d’interressant et même pas trouver rien pour manger sa deviens terrible. J’ai donc fait emplette de une surprise pour Yvette et cette carte et le dimanche terminer il a tomber un peu d’eau nous avons pas pu trouver de Javelles. Marcel Bicquelou est arriver de ce matin il y a que pour 5 minute de chemin d’auprès de toi il y allais 3 fois par semaine au soir boire un coup il n’en reviens pas maintenat il fait le lavage. Je crois qu’ils lui feront faire de tout un peu mais ses toutes les capotes les draps des morts. Je crois que c’est fou mais il se porte bien. Je te quitte donc en t’embrassant bien fort ta femme qui t’aime Léa Dissais.

Post Card 4:


Life has its merit. You are happy on earth to taste joy, pleasures and happiness; but felicity is the troubling mystery that brings a kiss so dear to our heart


Nouzières 24 December 1915

Dear little friend,

Today I have no news from you. No-one cares that it is Christmas Eve, apart from the small children. Everything is sad. It still pours outside and I don’t know whether I will be able to attend mass if that continues. That would make me unhappy. Hello to grand-mère. I am going to bed at 9. I would like it to be tomorrow morning and be waiting for Maxime. Edouard the Parisian has visited us for 4 days on leave (permission).


Nouzières le 24 Décembre 1915


Cher petit ami


Aujourd’hui je n’ai pas de tes chères nouvelles. Personne ne songe pas que c’est la veille de Noël si pour les petits enfants mais autrement tout est triste. La pluie tombe toujours à torrents. Je ne sais pas si sa continue si je pourrais aller a la messe pourtant je ne serais pas contente. Bonjour a la grand-mère. Je vais me coucher 9 heures. Je vouderais être rendu a demain matin pour attendre Maxime. Nous avons eu la visite du Parisien Edouard qui est pour 4 jours de permission. Il est rester d’apprendre les autres maîtres mitrailleures il a les grenades en […deau…] il est a 20 kilometres en arrière du front mille bons baisers sur ta petite bouche chérie ta femme Léa Dissais

Post Card 5:

Legend: From the vague twirl of pleasures and pains only will emerge the old tendernesses

Nouzières 19 November 1918

Dear friend

I have your letter of the 15th- in spite of the misery with pleasure. I simply offer you my best wishes and my sincere love. Léa

Given that I have no answer to give you. I kiss your cheek heartily.

Note: Léa has not received news from her husband for 4 days. It may be that the post is slow or that he did not write. Maybe women are better than men at writing!


Nouzières le 19 novembre 1918

Cher ami

J’ai ta letter du 15 malgré la misère avec plaisir. Je viens simplement t’offrir mes amitiées et mon amour sincère vu que je n’ai aucune réponse à pouvoir te faire. J’embrasse ta joue de bon coeur. Léa