A postcard from the past
I am grateful to Mr John Sanderson of Blackpool for details of a postcard in his possession, apparently sent from the Orvieto on 4th August 1914 while the ship was in port during a stop-over somewhere en-route to Australia, about one month into the voyage. There is no address or postmark, which presumably means that the card was either sent in an envelope, or perhaps delivered by hand (maybe from an officer to the captain of another ship, or to someone on shore in the locality).
The picture on the front is an artist's depiction of Orvieto in shallow waters, passing through what might be taken for the Suez canal or some other eastern strait, with the legend "ORIENT LINE TO AUSTRALIA. SS 'ORVIETO' TWIN SCREW 12130 TONS". The reverse carries the Orient line emblem with the words "ORIENT LINE OF ROYAL MAIL STEAMERS". The message reads as follows:
Aug 4th 1914
I expect you will be back from your camp by the time you receive this. I do hope you have had fine weather & enjoyed yourself. We have just had reports that there is war declared between Russia & Germany & the ship is in great excitement. There will be no concerts or anything like that on this boat & things are very slack, but we are getting filled up tomorrow with passengers. Trusting you are well.