Territorials on Summer Camp Postcard

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:

SKMBT_C36414112708260_0001The chaps are wearing a mixture of uniforms, both the newly introduced khaki service dress and one chap in the old home service uniform:SKMBT_C36414112708260_0001aIn 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:SKMBT_C36414112708260_0001bInterestingly there is also a chap larking around with a knife:SKMBT_C36414112708260_0001cIt 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:SKMBT_C36414112708260_0001dUnder 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:

SKMBT_C36414112708270_0001The back of the postcard reveals it was sent from Scarborough on 3rd August, unfortunately though the year is missing from the postmark:SKMBT_C36414112708270_0001aThe 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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.