Pink postcards 5.


[27 November 1914]
Name of the sender: Károly Timó, 1st Hung. Royal Infantry Regiment
Address of the sender: 3rd …? 2nd marching section, Budapest

Address: To the honored Miss Antónia Zajác
3rd district, Kiskorona Street 52
Budapest



My dear son, I received your postcard (r. v. k.), which is the only solace here, since I cannot come home. I hope that by the time you get this card, you will be healthy. I do not know whether I can come home on Sunday, because on that day I will be fully equipped, all next week, we go to Érd, Tétény, to shoot. Wednesday at noon I called the shop, but you were still at home. In the weekdays there is no chance to come home, but if on Sunday at 5 p.m. I won’t be at home, come here at 6, if you are healthy, I will wait for you at the gate, because I would like to see you. Now I live opposite the old building, in the place of the 29th regiment, 1st floor, 33rd door, but the address is what I wrote outside.
The old chap was here on Thursday. I am still cold, but it will be like this, because it cannot be helped.
I greet all of you.
Kisses and embraces from your zs… [Jew?]
bye-bye
Károly



Previous letters (indicated in grey on the map):

Budapest, 18 November 1914
Budapest, 27 October 1914
Debrecen, 25 September 1914
Szerencs, 28 August 1914
[A later inserted, unintelligible abbreviation (r. v. k.) in the second line of the postcard, which perhaps stands for “rögtön választ kérek/kapsz” (I beg for / you will get an answer ASAP). A whole week of outdoor excercise means that they can say goodbye to any meeting in the next week.

Why to Tétény? Presumably they were looking for some hilly terrain next to their regiment, similar to the imagined scenes of their future clashes. From the barracks of the regiment in the Népliget / People’s Park, they could easily carry all their equipments with a freight train to Tétény. From there, the edge of the plateau is only one or two kilometers.

The pre-war military survey, whose 1:75 000 scale Spezialkarten can be seen at the site of the Arcanum publisher, indicates no object whatsoever in the field, apart from a sheep-fold. The designation of the exercise ground might have become important later, because of the military preparations. From this period, there has been left to us the sketch of an exercise, now preserved in the Military Map Library of the Hungarian Institute and Museum of Military History. Red-blooded and blue-blooded marks play soldier.


Sketch of a military exercise

In the later editions, continuously updated and corrected, the shooting range will also appear in the area, whose inscriptions, in line with the directions of the common Austro-Hungarian army, were in German, the language of command. Thus Károly marches out, instead of having the longed-for meetings with his correspondent.

Detail of a more recent edition of the third military survey, representing the Tétényi plateau with the shooting range and exercise ground (Military Map Library of the IMMH)

The text is written in indelible pencil, which makes the address side almost illegible, but it can be partly read in the mirror, but we will return to this later.]

Next postcard: 28 November 1914