1940 A postcard from Barcares

On the first of februari 1940 Engage Volontaire Silvan wrote to his friend Jean Thieres a Carte Postale from the Camp Barcarės.

Front of the Carte Postal
Visible the Postmasters stamp of the 1er R.M.V.E.
[Coll. NLL. ]

Silvan wrote:

Cher ami
Je vous écrit ses quelques mots pour donnes de mes nouvelles qui sont trés bonnes comme j’espère que la presente vous trouve de meme.
Ici le moral est bon et la santé aussi je vous souhaite de meme.
Je crois quand se moment vous ne devez pas faire mal au poisson car il fait encore tres froid, Vous me direz si vous avez fais de bonnes péchés car ici le pense toujours a la pêche que nous avons fait et ma heureusement je ne pourais que ma prochaine permission ici nous ne mangeons pas beaucoup de soue aux fromage on mange due le ration.
Recc cher salutations sincères.

The back of the Carte Postal

Dear friend
I write you these few words to give my news which is very good as I hope the present finds you the same.
Here morale is good and health too I wish you the same.
I think that for the moment you will not do the fishes any harm because it is still very cold,.
You will tell me if you have made some good catches, because here I always think about the fishing that we did and my fortunately I did not swear that my next permission
Here we do not eat much cheese soup we eat due to the rationing.
Best wishes

The full adres of Silvan was:

Silvan Mle 2592 9me Comp. 2me section 1er R.M.V.E. au Barcares Pyren. Oriental F.M.

This indicates that Silvan served in the 1er Régiment de marche de volontaires étrangers.
The unit was formed on the 29th of September 1939 in Barcarè in the Pyrénées-Orientales
On the 25th of Februari the name of the unit was changed to 21e Régiment de marche de volontaires étrangers.
The unit contained regimental units and three infantry battalions.
With 2800 men, the regiment left Barcarès on the 30th of April 1940, in reinforcement of the Maginot Line.
On the 25th of May the regiment was transferred in a rush to the region of Verdun.
Incorporated into the 35th Infantry Division, the regiment was engaged in combat during the night from June 8 to June 9. Despite exemplary resistances, the regiment had to retrieve to Aire, in Argonne.
Following a new combat engagement, while being heavily surrounded and attacked with great force, the 21e RMVE was retrieved from the front on June 14, to be reorganized. With the armistice being signed, the regiment would not take part in further combat. The 21e RMVE had suffered 50% casualties and was dissolved in July 1940.

The French Army war casualties list does not contain someone with the name Silvan.

The friend of Silvan was a restaurateur at Gourdon, called Jean Thieres.
Being a very small village apparently only a number was required for the address No 39.
(The above postcard is for illustration purposes )
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