Thursday, 16 July 2015

Better than a picture

I have stacks of old postcards each one a small glimpse in the past for I had been collecting them for years.

This brief correspondence of a bygone age becomes the property of a reader voyeur often tells the true story many years later.

The were many of France in WW1 when hundreds of thousands of cards were sent home to loved ones all over the world.

I have one which is very precious as it it is from an Australian aboriginal soldier sent to his girlfriend Doris at home on which he writes: "On leave in Paris with friend I saw you at the station, better than a picture. Tell you about it when I get home and we are wed. Tommy.

I have been to Paris many times and it dawned on me what he meant for he had probably arrived at the old Gare'd"Orsay railway station now a museum where there are four statues of each of the races of mankind depicted by women; one of which was Oceania showing as an Australian Aboriginal woman with a kangaroo by her side.

Much later after a lot of digging in the war records that I found that Private Tommy Karpany hadn't returned back home to Australia to fulfill his dreams with Doris but had stayed on in a battlefield in France.

Image found at


  1. What an interesting story! Clever of you to work out where and what the statue was. Sad that Tommy like so many of them did not return . Enjoyed this !

  2. I've been reading a lot of WWI books lately and this is another sad tale to add to the many stories of a senseless war.

  3. OH how sad for them! What a great story and how interesting how all of our stories intertwine... that you would have his story somehow is amazing really.... thanks for sharing it..this is my favorite this week.

  4. Very powerful take oldegg! A freshness out of the ordinary. A record of love unfulfilled for some reasons.


  5. As usual, Old Egg, you pluck at the strings of my heart. (With an historical perspective).

  6. I love the historical take on the prompt!

  7. Wow, what a powerful story!! Sad, though, that Tommy, like so many, didn't return home.