French postcards 7

Postcard 4.

Legend: the filling of army mattresses

Langres 5 September 1916, evening

Dear Marcel

As I have a moment to myself I take the opportunity to give you a few news. Health is not too bad and I wish that my card will find you the same. Yesterday was Sunday. I had a visit from Eugène Bouthenet and the Pallot- we went to the cinema; we had a good afternoon but I would have preferred to be in St Jean as I would have had more freedom. I would not have thought of coming back at 9pm but here you have to remember to be back for the call of names (l’appel). During the week time goes quickly as there is no time to be bored. Up to now things have been rather quiet but it is beginning to heat up. If you saw what they make us do: kids games of all sorts, move on all fours, jump, climb, all sorts of possible monkey stuff and it never ends as there are always new recruits arriving and we have to start it all again. Can’t wait to escape but I still have a bloody great number of days. I am going to try to get a short leave to do the vine harvesting but it is quite difficult as they are not very generous on the matter. Never mind I can’t see much else to tell you this time. I end by shaking your hand from far way. Your cousin who does not forget you.

Francis Roiz[?]

Upside down right corner:

Hear from you soon your news

Pass on my greetings to all the pals on my behalf

[…]Monelot is back. Send me his address so that I can send him some news

Upside down left corner:

Are you still thinking about the Denise? I still have her photo. She is going to […]


Under the word “timbre” in the box below, the French reads as follows: with a 5 centimes stamp this card can be sent with 5 words. Postcards were designed, it seems, for quick correspondence. However the French seem to enjoy filling them up with far more than 5 words (here several lines of very neat and tidy handwriting).

This card gives us a taste of what the life of a soldier might have been. A little outing at the week-end and continuous basic exercise to keep the troupes in good shape. This soldier here finds the whole thing ridiculous; he compares this training to kids games and uses the very derogative word “singeries” to qualify the basic training soldiers receive.

Postcard 7.

Legend: When very close to you I dream of happiness, the flame of the kiss embraces my whole heart

Yzon 11 November 1918

Dear little friend

I have just received your card that gave me great pleasure. We have just received news from Chaize- he sends you his regards and soon the final peace.

Good wishes from all the family. Big kisses. Marie