This postcard was sent by J. Galt to Miss Jeanie Logan, Mid Auchenmade, Kilwinning, Ayrshire, Scotland on the 2nd April 1917 and it reads as follows:
“Dear Jeanie, I think I mentioned to you, we have now transferred our quarters to the Royal Barracks Dublin. That’s the Black Watch drawn up on the square, not us. That would be before the outbreak of hostilities but the buildings are just the same – somber and prison like. Trust you are all well, will write soon, J. Galt.”
I had thought that it would be relatively easy to identify J. Galt through the online army records at the English National Archives, Kew Gardens but the surname is not as unusal as I believed. There are at least 107 J. Galt’s serving in the British Army during this period of World War I – so whether he survived and returned to Scotland or became a casualty is not know. Another factor which hampers this search is the fact that one has to pay to view the army records at Kew and also to view Scottish census records. Thankfully the National Archives of Ireland do not charge for access to their excellent 1911 census project.
I did find out, however, that Mr Galt did not go on to marry Jeanie Logan. The 29 year old married James Craig, a farmer, on the 2nd of June 1921.
The photograph was taken by the firm of Lafayette – a company which still exists in Dublin today and the postcard was printed by the company of Bourke’s Stationers, Parkgate Street, Dublin which was located very near to the barracks.
The Royal Barracks was renamed Collins Barracks, when handed over to the Irish Free State, in 1922. It now houses the National Museum of Ireland where I work! I have to agree with Mr. Galt that some of the surrounding buildings are still somber and prison like though the museum itself is great.