Although I have only been seriously collecting militaria for the last six or seven years, I have been picking the odd bit up since I was a child and tonight’s postcard is one I’ve had since I was seven or eight years old. This is the first WW1 postcard I ever bought (although I can’t remember where!) and so it is a bit special to me, its also a very interesting image in its own right.
The Territorial Army was set up in 1907 to replace the previous volunteer force and yeomanry. Part of the commitment made by members of the Territorial Army, or ‘Terriers’ as they were known, in the years before the Great War was a two week annual camp. By all accounts this camp was a popular event with good humour and comradeship going hand in hand with the training. The image below is of a group of terriers at their annual camp just before the First World War:
The chaps are wearing a mixture of uniforms, both the newly introduced khaki service dress and one chap in the old home service uniform:In the background we can see the bell tents they were using as accommodation during their camp, and several of the chaps are holding mallets for putting in tent pegs:Interestingly there is also a chap larking around with a knife:It is worth noting that the shirts worn by the men without jackets vary considerably, this suggests that some are wearing civilian items rather than issue shirts:Under a magnifying glass the cap badges show these terriers come from the Durham Light Infantry, backed up by the address on the back to Gateshead:
The back of the postcard reveals it was sent from Scarborough on 3rd August, unfortunately though the year is missing from the postmark:The message reads, ‘Dear Louisa, We are still having fine weather here, in fact it is to (sic) hot. Think you should pick me out of this lot of Terriers (?). Tell Mother + Pa to ???? them is all right. Hoping you are all having fair weather as well too.’ Unfortunately I can’t make out the signature so we can’t put a name to the sender.
There is something very poignant about this postcard as many of the faces here, enjoying their last few summers of sunshine, would not have survived the coming storm.