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An English Military Postcard printed in Germany?


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Hello Everyone,

I purchased this post card as it was offered as a photo of an English field telephone and I though it would go well with my communications collection. When it arrived I noted the following. The hat badges look to be Artillery and while there is a fellow in the front right of the photo wearing a headset he seems to be holding a pocket watch. The fellow to the right of centre looks to be in the act of surveying. This is not what made me wonder about this post card. It is a photo of English soldiers but the caption is in German and as best as I can figure it says, " World War 1914/15 - English telepnone on the western theater of war."

The post card was sent from a German soldier of the 14 Infantry Regt. 6th Company. The signature on the back is up side down and I hope it shows in the photos.

Has anyone else encountered German photo postcards with English military subjects? I wonder how they would have come by such postcards.

If someone could assist me with the translation of the written message on the back of the card it would be greatly appreciated.

Regards

Brian

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This is the side with the address. He was sending it to someone with the first name Betty.

The date of postage is 24 Feb. 1916.

I noticed that the British soldiers are not wearing steel helments and I would imagine that the date of 1914/15 on the front is accurate.

Thanks again

Brian

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Here is the written message that I need help with. The sender is written on the top but is up side down. This starts, "Reserv. Conrad..." and I can't read the last name.

Thank you for any assistance you can extend to me.

Regards

Brian

Hello Brian.

The postcard has an imprint from Luxembourg, so it may have been obtained there. My impression points toward a pre-WW I scene.

Translation: My dear Betty.

have received your parcel with the cigarettes and the sausage today. Best thanks for it. So far I am doing well which I hope of you .

Heartfelt greetings and kisses from your Arnold.

Bernhard H. Holst

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Hello Brian,

I've seen a few postcards printed in Germany but think the only one I have shows a coloured cartoon type of card of soldiers on their way back from India.

I've no idea why they were printed but there was obviously a market for them and interesting for us postcard collectors today.

Tony

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Possible use of a pre-WWI photo during the opening years of WWI? The officer half facing the camera, with hand to face - is he wearing the earlier closed collar version of the tunic or the open collar one which was in use by WWI?

As an aside German photo postcards of British troops were very common in Britain pre-WWI , many in colour, they had such a hold on the British postcard market that come WWI the British manufacturers were publishing posters & literature with headlines as if reporting on the fighting proper, although they were actually reporting on the state of the postcard market in Britain, "England v Germany".

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Possible use of a pre-WWI photo during the opening years of WWI? The officer half facing the camera, with hand to face - is he wearing the earlier closed collar version of the tunic or the open collar one which was in use by WWI?

As an aside German photo postcards of British troops were very common in Britain pre-WWI , many in colour, they had such a hold on the British postcard market that come WWI the British manufacturers were publishing posters & literature with headlines as if reporting on the fighting proper, although they were actually reporting on the state of the postcard market in Britain, "England v Germany".

Hi Leigh,

I really can't tell from the photo itself even under high magnification. Today one would think he was using a cell phone.

The officer to the far left (viewer`s left) looks to be wearing spurs on his boots. If you look at the seated soldier with the headset there is a pair of legs just behind his hand. The legs belong to the soldier who is conferring with two others to the rght of the photo. He is wearing spurs on his boots as can be clearly seen. Do you think this would this make them Horse Artillery.

Regards

Brian

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I might go along with a pre-war photo with an updated topical caption. Are those trees on the left evergreens? Seems more like northern Great Britain than Flanders. Commercial postcard images of your enemy were not unusual - the source could be press agencies or commercial outfits in the neutral countries. And everyone likes a - to himself - an exotic subject. I've seen a number of continental cards purporting to show Indian troops that are obviously taken pre-war in India.

Regards,

Mark

Maryland

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I might go along with a pre-war photo with an updated topical caption. Are those trees on the left evergreens? Seems more like northern Great Britain than Flanders. Commercial postcard images of your enemy were not unusual - the source could be press agencies or commercial outfits in the neutral countries. And everyone likes a - to himself - an exotic subject. I've seen a number of continental cards purporting to show Indian troops that are obviously taken pre-war in India.

Regards,

Mark

Maryland

Hi Mark,

Yes those are evergreens. I thought the photo had the look of a pre-war photo even though the date on the front was 1914/15. The other thing is that the card was sent in 1916 so it had to have been stock that was on hand so-to-speak.

Regards

Brian

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Is the man on the right wearing a different cap badge & collar dogs to the Royal Artillery?

Canadian?

Hi Leigh,

The hat badge does look different but all that can be made out is a round "spot" in the photo; the same is basically true of the collar dogs. The collar dogs look more like the shape of the RA badges but not exactly the same. I wonder if this was due to light reflecting off his badges that distorted this detail. My other thought is that this may have been a training exercise or experiment in the use of equipment etc. and he could have been from Royal Engineers or Signals or some other regiment as an observer or as an advisor. There sure are a number of questions that this photo posses.

Regards

Brian

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