[postcard to Mrs John Adams, Kingsmill, White Cross, Co. Armagh, Ireland]
[possibly postmarked Aug 12 1914 – fits with history of Royal Inniskillings]
Dear Aunt just a PC to let you know I am at Lough Swilly, hoping all is well, if you be writing my address so far is 7388 Pte T Davidson, D Company, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, [Pubble????] Camp, Co. Donegal.
I received your letter alright. I am sorr J has the cold. I am very afraid he would not stick this long. We are just in from a route march to Helen’s Bay and it has rained the whole way home. You need not think because I don’t write often that I have forgotten you but sometimes I have nothing to write about. We may put in a pass for Sunday week if we get away. Both our [arms?] are better and we are in the best of health. I think this is all now.
I remain your son
Postcard shows painting of soldier and elderly mother as soldier bids farewell to her to join his comrades. “Duty and Honour Bid us Part”.
[postcard showing a group of 18 soldiers bathing/washing by a stream in a steep little valley. Large rocks (possibly haystacks) in the distance. It is not clear if John Adams is one of the 18 or is the photographer. If he is in the picture I think he is either 5th from left, leaning, or 3rd from right, in braces, standing.]
[Postmarked Holywood, 29 Jan 1915]
[to Mrs J Adams, Lisadian]
Just a line to say we will be home on Sat night. Tell J that we will be in Newry at about 5 o’clock. I got your letter alright many thanks. I think this is all until I see you all.
your loving son
[From 13971 Pte J Adams, 9th Batt RIF, D Coy, The Palace Barracks, Holywood, Co. Down
To Mrs J Adams, Lisadian]
Postmarked 02 Feb 1915
Just a line today we got back here alright. I was not down seeing J[eannie] yet nor will hardly see her tonight as we are for an night attack. But I will go down to se her before we leave on Thursday. It will be Sunday week before we are the length of Bessbrook, but I think we weill have time to go home on that day. I think this is all now.
Your loving son
You need not write again until you hear from me for I do not know when we will be shifted.
Just a line hoping it finds you all in good [sic] as this leaves me in the same at present. We are stopping at Portadown tonight and going on to Moy in the morning. We are getting a fine reception everywhere we go. It will be Sunday week before we are in Bessbrook. We are spending the weekend in Loughgall. This is all at present. I will send word when we get that length.
I remain your loving son,
“It’s a Long, Long Way to Tipperary (1).
Up to mighty London came an Irishman one day,
As the streets are paved with gold, sure ev’ry one was gay;
Singing songs of Piccadilly, Strand and Leicester Square,
Till Paddy got excited, then he shouted to them there:-“
A man (the “Paddy”?) leans on the entrance to a Bakerloo line underground station, while London life, red omnibuses and crowds passing along.
[Postcard showing Loughgall]
[Addressed to Miss A Adams, Lisadian]
[Postmarked 07 Feb 1915, Loughgall]
Just a line hoping it finds you in good health as this leaves me in the same here at present. I hope you will come to see us when we get to Bessbrook. This is part of Loughgall. Perhaps Mother would know it.
Your loving Bro
Just a line to say we have got back here again. We had not as good a time as the last but it was very good. I will write you a long letter when I get settled down. You might write and let me know how youse are all getting on. We are shifted to Newtownards now.
Your loving son
D Company 9 Batt RIF
Postcard shows Church Square, Monaghan. The large Dawson Obelisk stands on the left foreground. A cannon stands in front of it. The church, with a tall spire, stands at the right background. A number of figures are milling about near the cannon, and two horse drawn carts travel along the road.
I hope you are better, we are all as usual for so far. Isn’t it lovely weather. I would just love to go home for Easter. It’s well for J getting, but I might get later on. Tell Annie I will write to her soon if I have time. Write soon and tell me how you are. Is J [illegible] well? With best love,
Postcard showing: “Kenworthy’s Hydropathic Establishment, Southport”, a grand house.
Just a line to say that we have got back alright on Tuesday night. I hope Annie and Jimmy got back home safe. I am sorry that I was so long in writing but I had not time until now. This is all now. Will write later.
Your loving son,
“Grey Abbey”: an image of a large set of ruins. See on Google Maps.
Just a PC to let you know that I received your parcel alright. Many thanks for them. We are getting on alright. Lord Kitchener was down inspecting us on Tuesday asn is well pleased with the Ulster Division. I do not think we will be long here. We will be going up to Aldershot shortly. I also got the paper. There was a Belfast W. News came to us. I did not see the Markethill meeting in it. I am sending Jimmy this cutting from the Lurgan Mail. He may like to see it. This is all now. I have not time to write a letter. Excuse scribble.
“For “King, Queen and Country.” A Soldier’s Letter.”
Photographs of King George V and Queen Mary.
“To My Truest of Pals.
A poem set at Seaford Camp, and signed from “John”.
Postmark: Chyngton Camp B.O., Seaford, date unclear, 1915
[estimated date based on a hunch]
Just a pc hoping it finds youse all in good health. As it leaves me in the same here at present. I had a letter from Tommie [?] today. He seems to be all right. I am sorry this is all I have time for. Will write later on, and tell youse all the news. We are having fine warm weather now. Hoping it continues. […unclear sentence…]
Postcard shows: “My thoughts are with the dear ones at home”: A greatcoated soldier at camp, sitting on a box, smoking his pipe, is thinking of his wife and young baby at home.
Postmark:Chyngton Camp B.O., Seaford, 16 August 1915
[There is an additional mark on the front of the card, showing “11 AM 17 AU”, but the location is not visible].
I received your letter this morning. There is nothing strange here, but I will write later on. Hoping you will have a good time at home. This is all I have time for now.
Postcard shows: “The Esplanade, looking east, Seaford” Pedestrians in Edwardian dress promenade along the front, while some rest on the adjacent benches. A shingle beach, scattered with small boats, fills the right hand side, and a terrace of houses lines the road on the left. In the distance are the headlands and white cliffs of Seaford Head.
I will be going on two train[s] leaving Crumlin. I think I will get the train that arrives in Newry about four. You might meet me at Gorawood [sic] for I have some things to carry which will be heavy. I will be going on Friday.
Postcard shows: “The Sun Dial, Langford Lodge, Crumlin”. A view across some formal gardens. A sun dial, supported by cherubs, stands in the foreground.
We have arrived here safe but tired. I would not do the same journey again for any money. We arrived her at 5.30 on Thursday. Hoping youse are all keeping in good health. Will write later on, excuse this in haste.
Postcard shows High Street, Bordon. A row of shops on the right, with a hairdressers in the foreground. Trees stand on the left of the road, on which a number of men loiter.
No date or postmark. Presumably included in a letter, or posted in an envelope. The inspection by the King mentioned in the cards took place on 30 Sept 1915, a Thursday, so this puts the date of this probably at the beginning of that week, perhaps Monday 27 September 1915, and his location at Bordon, Hampshire. He landed in France, as indicated in the cards, on Monday 04 Oct 1915.
Card 1: “Good-bye, Mother Darling”
Just a PC in answer to your letter and card which I received alright. I am sorry this is all I have time for now. We are just in from a rehearsal of the march past which is to take place on Thurs before the King, when he is going to inspect us. The place we have to go to is about 9 miles from here and it rained the whole way home on us, so you may expect we were wet. But we may be worse off before long so we need not complain. Well I got back alright but it was an awful journey. But I sent you a P Card the night we came across. I do not know how it was you did not get it. But I did not post it myself, so that may account for it.
Card 2: “Good-bye, Mother Darling”
I also wrote to Jennie, but she may not have got it either. I hope Jimmy got back alright from the main line. There was a lot of people there that night. There will hardly be as many to see us off to France the day we go away. But then we are leaving England and not Ireland. I will write to you after Thursday but I have not time now as we are gearing up for the Review. I want Jimmy to get them photos as soon as he can as I would like to have them before we leave here. I expect we will be clear of this place on Monday. But I do not [sic] if it is the [Tuesday?]. I think this is all now.
I remain, loving son [sic]
Postcard 1 shows:
“Good-bye, Mother Darling (1)
Mother Darling, I must leave you, there’s a duty to be done;
At the front the battle’s raging, won’t you spare your only son?
From your eye a tear is falling, Mother, have you nought to say?
Bus she bowed her head in silence – ‘twas the price she had to pay.”
A young man, in a civilian suit, bids farewell to his aging mother as he goes to join up.
Postcard 2 shows:
“Good-bye, Mother Darling (4)
Good-bye, Mother darling, good-bye, you make it hard to part;
Battles may rage in the days to come, one takes place now in your heart
Twixt your love and duty, for England is calling your son.
There’s a parting at a cottage door, a battle now is fought and won. “
Mother and son embrace outside the cottage door as he, now in uniform, leaves for war.
Postmark: Field Post Office 108, 18 December 1915
Also marked “Passed Censor No. 2524” and appears to be signed by “R. S. Hood”
I received your letter last night. Glad to know that you have got quite alright again. Hoping all at home are in their usual good health as this leaves me in the same at present. The weather still keeps wet, but I think it is the same all over. All at present, will write later.
“Souvenir from France”: A soldier rests, holding his rifle as a staff and resting his arm on his knee. He dreams of his sweetheart at home, who in turn thinks of him.
Just a line hoping you are quite well and safe. I hope you will excuse if I have got a very bad hand, I am in pain with it so this is just a few lines to let you know I am still thinking about you. It is near Chrismas now. The time is working up until we are going home. I won’t be sorry, I am fed up with this life. Well I will say goodbye for the present hoping to hear from you soon. Good by Dear. I am yours to a sender all [?] G.
The message is surrounded by a number of “x” kiss marks.
“Forget me not. God be with you till we meet again. Ships and trains may take away, but friendship & love with us always will stay.” A card showing a map of Australia in the centre. Above, two hands, a man and a woman, hold each end of a knotted cord. The card also shows a ship and a train, and is decorated with glitter.
Stamped “Passed Field Censor 2198” and countersigned “DRHood”
Just a card to say that I received your letter yesterday alright. Glad to know that all at home are still enjoying good health as this leaves myself in the same here at present. I am sorry that I have not time for a letter just now, but I shall do so as soonas I have time. The weather still keeps fairly good and I hope that it continues to do so. No more at present.
I remain your loving son
“Greetings from France”: an officer and a man from the ranks look wistfully into the distance amongst the conical tents of camp.
Just a line to say that we have got back safe so far on our way back to France. I hope you are keeping well and that Jimmy got home safe from the station. It seems to have snowed a lot here of late. We leave London at 4 pm and we arrived here at 7.00 this morning so have quite a while to stay here.
Postcard shows: “Birds Eye View of London”, with the view dominated by St Paul’s Cathedral’s West Front.
Just a card to let you know that I am getting on alright. Hoping all at home are the same. This is a view of a place that we went for a drive to yesterday. It is about 11 miles from here. The weather is not too bad now and I hope it keeps good when I get home.
12 July 1916
Just a PC hoping it will find you still enjoying the usual good health as this leaves myself not so bad at the time of writing. How are you getting on this weather, it is very wet? It is just as well that they are not going anywhere today. It is simply pouring. It is as bad as the 12th that we went to Tandragee. Do you remember that day? We yesterday was fine for a wander [?] and we were at Lock [sic] Lomond for a day’s outing. It is a lovely place. We were out for a sail on a motor boat and it was splendid. I heard J McCullagh was wounded, but I cannot see his name in the list. I do hope it is not time. There is about 10 Bessbrook wounded. I see a Brown name [A Brown?]. We have lost a lot of Officers. Both our Captains are wounded, but there is not many Ptes in D. Coy wounded that I can see. I hope it will soon be over.
No more at present, Jack.
Postcard shows “Inversnald Hotel and Falls, Loch Lomond”. Taken from the water, a large hotel dominates the photograph, with a waterfall tumbling into the lake beneath a bridge on the right. Small boats are scattered on the waterline, and a path slopes from the lake up to the hotel.
Mr James M Adams
Postmark 19 July 1916
19 July 1916
Just a card to let you know how I am getting on. You never think of writing to me at all. How are you getting on? This is the place we were at for a drive on yesterday. I think I will be going home next week. I am not quite sure yet. I see in last week’s paper that I have lost most of my section. Hard luck but I suppose it is what may be expected. No more now.
Postcard shows “Lover’s Walk, Rouken Glen”: a path winds between densely planted shrubs and trees. A distant couple approach, indistinctly, at the far end of the path.
Just a line hoping will still find yourself and all a home in your usual good health, as this leaves myself going on alright. I expect to be going home next week, if I keep going on as I am now. But I am not sure yet. No more at present.
“The falls, Rouken Glen”. A view of a cascade through a narrow, wooded valley.
Current views: Flickr and Google Maps. Odd that the bridge is not visible in the postcard. It was there in 1916.
Mrs John Adams
Just a card to let you know I am getting on alright, hoping yourself and all at home are keeping in good health. The weather is keeping quite nice. No more at present.
Postcard shows: “Greetings to my loved ones at home.”
A soldier writes a letter, using his hat on his knee as his desk. In his thoughts are his wife and young daughter.
“Here’s a greeting to my loved ones,
Just to day all’s well with me,
And to tell them I am thinking,
Of the home I’d love to see.
Cares there are – yet sweet the knowledge
That one holds a place apart,
Very warm and tender in each
Faithful loving heart. “
Madeleine St Clair
This is just a wee line to say I am well and got your letter alright. I will write soon. I had a PC from J. He was not sick when I saw him at all, only the doctors say the hand is no good till the dirt comes out. I am sure he is very lonely. I had a letter from Jack. He is a srgt now. I wants J to write to him. I am having a grand time down here. We are out all the time. This is our front, only the waves are lovely. I hope you are all well. I have the . Write soon with love from Jeanie [sic]
Postcard shows ‘Ballyholme, Bangor’, a view of the bay from some way behind the seafront, over a calm sea.
[I] received your letter, will write soon. We leave here on Monday. Am writing this on the [shore?]. Hope you are not too lonely. Have had a very good time. [Shane?] enjoyed it very much. The weather is lovely just now. I tried to get some shells but there is nothing but fine sand. A lot of people has gone away to [dog?].
Love from Jeannie
I have been to this church.
Postcard shows ‘[First] Presbyterian Church, Bangor, Co. Down.’
A simple view of the ivy covered front of the church, including its steepled tower. The card has been nibbled by mice. Google StreetView
This is just to say we are leaving here on Monday so will write when I get to Holywood. I am sorry going for I have had a very good time. The weather has got cold. This is our part [?]. We are just in behind the houses, down this opening [marked with an X]. How is Jimmie?
Postcard shows ‘Ballyholme Beach, Bangor, Co. Down’. A busy beach, with many people strolling on the sand, sitting on the bank and paddling in the sea. Google StreetView
Sorry I have been so long in sending those things but I will soon. I have been so busy. Baby was vaxinated [sic] – his arm is sore. I will write soon. Got your letter alright. Glad to know about J being up. Hope all is well. Give my love to all.
Postcard shows: ‘Cultra Manor, Co. Down’. A view across a mown field to a large house. Haystacks stand in the foreground, and beyond lies Belfast Lough and the Antrim coast.
This card indicates that he returned to Newtownards on 26 Jan 1917.
Postmark: none, but the word Tipperary is underlined on the written side.
Just a card to say I reveived your ever welcome letter alright. And I am glad to know that all at home are still enjoying good health. I am leaving here on Friday for Newtownards, so you need not write here again. I need not tell you that I am not sorry at the change, for I am sick of this place. So I asked to get back to my unit. We were to go on Thursday but now it’s changed to Friday. The old address in Newtownards will find me. No more at present. Love to all at home.
Your loving son,
“Lake Muskry, Galtee Mountains, Co. Tipperary” A view over the lake toward a steep hillside or mountain on the other side.
Just a line to say I have got so far safe on my journey out to France. I received your parcel alright before I left N Ards. Many thanks for what you sent to me. The weather is still very nice. I hope it continues. No more at present.
Your loving son
Just a Line to say I am well and having a very good time. The weather has been very good for so far it’s dry. This is another view of our road. These are fishing boats. The waves are very big today. Had a PC from J yesterday. Love to all from Jeanie