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Postcards from Somewhere in France -3- Death and Dying on the Battlefield

November 7, 2015

The front lines of the battlefield were no doubt a horrific place to be. Will describes it in his own words on the backs of these officially censored postcards.

39A 39B

Somewhere in France. May 15, 1917

“The wounded are brought out very quickly on these trucks. A man who is wounded gets ‘dressed’ roughly by the advanced  Red Cross men then they are taken by truck to the Field Ambulance Base where they are fixed up sufficient for them to stand the trip to Blighty.”

Blighty, I learned, is a slang term from the last century, or earlier, for Britain. This Printed Photographic Postcard (PPC) above is featured on another website describing the postcard history and postcard creation during WWI. It makes for interesting reading.

34A 34B

Somewhere in France. May 17, 1917.

“You wouldn’t want to carry the stretcher case out when there are only two of you carrying. As a rule we have four fellows to each stretcher. Even then it is hard work if you have to carry very far.”

38A 38B

Somewhere in France. May 15, 1917

“When possible a regular funeral is carried out by the chaplain and a big cross erected over his grave.”

I wondered, after reading these three cards, just how many friends and comrades Will had carried, how many he’d seen buried? His matter-of-fact descriptions seem to mask the terrible realities of life on the battlefield. What would he have been thinking and could not write? I’ll continue to read between the lines.

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