HERE IS SOME CORRESPONDENCE FROM THE FRONT BY WAY OF A SERIES OF POSTCARDS. They are sent by soldier, Jim Jorgensen to his family, principally his youngest brother Stan who were all at home on the family sugar cane farm in Bundaberg.
The cards usually bear little relationship to his experience in France and communicate little (but greatly missing family). We presume they were meant to reassure parents and entertain younger brothers. The French children are likely to be very unfamiliar figures to kids living back on the cane farm.
The story starts with a report from the Brisbane Courier, 13 January 1916.
BUNDABERG, January 12.
Forty seven volunteers presented them- selves at the Bundaberg recruiting office on Monday and Tuesday and the following 27 were accepted as medically fit Messrs. Joseph Johnson, John Melrose, Thomas M’Intyre, John Nyhon, James Jorgensen, Robert Hay, James Stewart, Ernest Head, John Wegert, Robert Paterson, George Smith, Robert Dixon, Joseph Cooper,Thomas Considine, Frank M’Clure, Herbert M’Dougall, Charles Butterworth, Neil M’Lean, Robert Rooke, Harry Mulvena, Charles Mitchell, William Walker, Robert Richardson, Fred. Tindell, George Rowe, and Alex. Brown.
To dear Stan Eric
With fondest love from your loving brother Jim
This rather unsophisticated posed photographic portrait was taken by R. Guilleminot, Bœspflug et Cie based in Paris, France. According to Wikipedia the company was a photographic paper, and plate manufacturer established by Gustave Guilleminot in 1858. The company closed in 1994. There are other examples of Guilleminot’s postcard work available as part of a website established by the University of Limoges. The postcards shown, of locals, also show the verso of the postcards. There are the same as the card sent back to Bundaberg.
Just at a P.C. to let you know I am quite well. I rec a letter from %% written from Harilla today.
I was pleased to hear from you.
Have you started to go to school yet how are you getting on.
Best love to all at home from your loving brother Jim Jorgensen.
Rec’d your most welcome P.C. I was pleased to hear from you. See by your P.C have not started to go school yet.
Love from your loving brother Jim Jorgensen.
This postcard is hand painted and suffers from a rough translation into English by the publishers who were working from a commune in the north western suburbs of Paris. It has rounded corners and a card number in the front left hand corner and a ‘signature’ Gloria. We have not been able to work out the publisher’s name at this stage. Very small font.
Somewhere in France 26.4.17
Received your most welcome letter and the card you sent me I was pleased to hear from you. Guess you are getting a big boy now will soon be going to school.
I am keeping quite well hope all at home are the same. Best love from your loving brother Jim Jorgensen.
There are no obvious publisher details. The initials ‘R.O.F.’ may be a clue.
Read your most recent card was pleased to hear from you. Hear you have not started to go to school yet. Are you && && get much??
I am keeping quite well hope all at home are the same. With best love from your loving brother Jim Jorgensen.
No publisher details at all.
With fondest love from Jim.
This postcard and has rounded corners and a card number in the front right hand corner. There are no publisher details on the verso.
My fondest love from your loving brother Jim.
We have a publisher identified on the front, Lumen, but no further obvious information about the company.
Dear Brothers & Sisters
Fondest love from your loving brother Jim
Dear Mum Dad
Fondest love from Jim.
Fondest love from your lov brother Jim.
My Dear Father just a P.C. to let you know I am keeping well…. at present I am on leave and spending the period …London…[the card is very faded and illegible unfortunately].
Undated, no location
You or Stanley I don’t suppose there is much difference if any now. Look out Stan does not catch up to you. I think the war will be all over soon. I will be coming home to you. Do you think you will know me, I don’t think I have changed much. Perhaps you might think so. It is raining this evening so I cannot go out. It rains nearly every day here. Am sending Stan a [letter] also. Love to all Jim.
Dear Mum Dad
With fondest love from your loving son Jim.
France, Xmas 1918
This is the cover of the Battalion Christmas card. There is plenty of space to write a message home. Jim has just written:
From Your loving son Jim
To Dear ones at Home.