In the Edwardian era – the start of the 20th century – Pond Farm, on Salisbury Plain above Easterton, was a working farm but it was owned by the War Department and used by them for summer camps for a variety of different regular and territorial regiments.
Once the post card era arrived, local photographers realised they had a good source of income, making and selling cards which showed camps. There seem to be dozens of such photos and we have shown several on this blog before. Here’s another.
The sheer scale of the camp makes this quite a substantial township. It would have more than doubled, albeit temporarily, the population of Easterton. No doubt the authorities looked to the locality to provide some food and fuel – all cooking had to be done up there on the wild, windswept downs. Local farms may well have been able to provide fodder for large numbers of horses and of course, Lavington Station was one of the rail heads for these soldiers arriving in Wiltshire. These camps must have brought additional prosperity to the area.
This card has been sent although probably not until the soldier had returned home.
The postmark is Chester and it was sent to a Chester address (although Buckley was actually in Flintshire) by Jack who wrote it on 17th May 1909 and stated this was the Welsh Royal Mounted Brigade Camp (Shropshires).