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The Battle Before The Battle!! What Does That Mean?

Hello Collectors,


Old Timer Miner comfortably relaxing in his rocking chair with eyes closed, is startled.  Buddy, who is a  retired Coleman miner named 'Sludge Hammer Horst', yells out. "What ya doin Old Timer?"

"Well Sludge, I’m trying to see what the inside of my eye lids look like. Obvious isn’t it?"

Oh!! Oh!! I never heard “sleep” being described in that way.  Yep I heard it on the radio. 

"Good to know", replies Sludge.

Sludge takes an envelope out of his coat pocket.

"Take a look at this. it’s post marked:"

Coleman, Alberta
June 15th, 1945 
Air Mail Saves Time

"Where in the Hell did you get that?", replies Old Timer Miner now showing signs of frustration and anxiety, accompanied by immediate stomach pains.

"From Ella", says Sludge Hammer Horest in a quiet voice.

"What, Ella my sister?"

Yep it’s true.

"Ella said list it on MJR’s website, for $45.00!"

 Collectors please take a look at item #4 in today's list, to see the infamous cover.

Well now, you might ask about Old Timer Miner. He is now panning for Gold in the Klondike. Apparently he and Ella are not on speaking terms.

You know, I think that we might have room for the start of another story in this newsletter, so here goes!

The Battle Before The Battle !! What Does That Mean?

About 5 years ago as a Dealer I attended the Vancouver Postcard Club show. This was a one day show. 

So a flight early in the morning from Edmonton, Canada to Vancouver.B.C. was planned. Then a return flight the same evening to Edmonton, which worked well.

The Sunday event was held at the Hastings Community Centre, with a lot of “postcarding”  going on. When time permitted I made a quick tour viewing other Dealers stock.

One Dealer had a pricey Canadian military postcard. 

He indicated that he thought it was Canadian soldiers in a Prisoner Of War camp some where.  And furthermore thought it was an exchange of military personnelm “their guys for our guys. No proof though.

So I made the purchase, and a couple of weeks ago it suddenly appeared in a box with hundreds of others.
Now I’m going to check this pricey post out to get the real story.

Here’s The Story

Well forget the P.O.W. stuff, the prisoner exchange but one thing for sure it was Canadian military WWI. 

In fact it was the First Canadian Contingent. But where?

The real photo postcard revealed about 15 Canadian soldiers huddled together, posing for a photograph ilikely in a tent.. But where?

As it turned out it was the First Canadian Contingent 
located In  England, Salisbury Plain military camp. They left Canada October 1914.

It’s important to note well trained German military, August 1914 had invaded Belgium.  As a result  volunteers (non trained military) made a commitment to help. And “help” they did from the Dominion of Canada.

How many? 

Well over 35,000. Yep, and 30,000 became Canadian military soon to BE trained FOR war, THAT BEING WWI. 

OK! Ok! I get it. How did they transport all of these troopers to England from Canada? 

If you’re thinking “canoe” not likely.

Thirty (30) Ocean Liners escorted by British Royal Navy ships made it across the Atlantic Ocean, in about one week.

Now get this!!

Upon arrival at Plymouth England. 

Yes, 30,000 troops, 7,000 horses and tons of artillery equipment unloaded off the ships. The challenge of moving on to Salisbury Plain is increased, due to a previous two days of heavy rain. 

Mud and slippery conditions everywhere.
The transport continues well into darkness and now comes an intense down pour of rain. The troops and animals were soaked.

The roads now a muskeg and a river of canals. Up to their knees in mud, eyes obliterated from the rain, the troops had no idea where they were and whether or not on road or barren land.

The sure footed horses slipped, fell and rolled over. The tonnage of guns skidded into ditches or water holes.
Mud, bog, torrential rain, darkness - all this and the troops were not yet trained for combat and WWI.

One horse bolted and reared, the soldier thrown off and the heavy hoof landed on the man’s head. The soldier was now unconscious and bleeding profusely.


What would you do next?
The story continues Next Week.
WITH the content, started from looking at a postcard.

What’s the story behind your Postcards?

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