British Postcards 1

Postcard 1

Miss L Haynes 2 September 1915, 11 Priory Rd Hornsey


Dear Lil, Just a card as promised if you don't want to go any where else come down here. have not heard from G. only had photos of which I send one with love J W


Note: Picture seems to show non-commissioned officers of varying nationalities, presumably cooperating in some task or training. British soldiers appear to different cap badges; soldier far right back row has badge of Somerset Light Infantry.

Postcard 2

3 Mar 1918


Mrs G Masters

42 Beatrice Rd



Dear Wife,

Just a few lines to let you know I am quite well and in the best of health I will write as soon as possible from ??

loving hubby George xxxxx

Notes: a typical British postcard of the Great War. It has been passed by the Military Censor and contains no actual references to George's location or duties. It is a French card; these may have been widely available amongst British forces and were perhaps seen as rather more romantic.

Postcard 3:

Master G Tymms

12 Bloomfield Rd


Legend: Who's got the needle?


My Dear Gilbert,

Just a PC to let you know that I am spending another pleasant day at Boscombe. Am sorry to say that the weather is not as fine as it should be.

Hope you are spending a good time in the scouts. I expect you will soon be going to camp. Hoping you and all are well.

With love Harold.

Notes: Harold F Tymms served as sergeant in the Gloucester Regiment.

Postcard 4:

15 Oct 1918

Mr R Rutherford 17 Market Place Beverley Yorks


Legend: Glad you're all right, now you've all left! You'll do all wrong, if you don't all write!


S.S. Maureen c/o/GPO London

Dear Bill Just a PC to let you see that I have not forgotten you. I hope you are getting along all right at school, and I wish you the best of luck when you go up for the exam and I hope you come through alright. I got shifted last Monday to this ship I was not sorry because there was a big change in the old ship after you left. Your old friend Jim Simpson.


Note: This is a card by Fred Spurgin, originally from Latvia, who came to Britain with his family in 1900. He produced artwork for many postcard publishers but by 1916 his brother had set up the 'Art and Humour Pub. Co,' as an outlet for Fred's work which was closely tuned to contemporary attitudes and tastes.


The SS Maureen was a Londonderry steamer that was requisitioned in WWI as a carrier of troops and stores to France and coal to Scapa Flow. It also participated in convoys through the Mediterranean.

Postcard 5: 2 Oct 1914 Hull

Miss Bessie Marley

Hemmingways Bldgs

Golfhouse Gate nr Wakefield


Just a few lines hoping to find you well as it leaves me at present we are having a nic time of it up here I hope you are doing the same go night and bless you from J. S. xxxxxxxxxxxx

Notes: The woman in the picture has a war map on her lap.

Postcard 6:

Legend: Poem 'The soldier to his wife'

...with love to my dear wife and boy and may God grant that we may come together again sooner than ever we expect Good might. Dear God bless and protect your alway Oh by the way Dear I went to Bromley ...

Postcard 7

Dear Harry

I received your letter this morning an thank you for your good advice. Surely you don't think I joined as any other religion than R.C. do you? I am a three years man but if of same mind in a little while I will surely take...

Best Wishes Frank

Note: Could this be a photo of a police force?

Postcard 8

9th Feb 1917 Miss Olive Case, Duddings, nr Dunster

Legend: Are we Downhearted?

W. Courtmail

I am so sorry I didn't know you were ill, and hope you are heaps better now. When I can get away I will come over and see you. We went to the W.D. Wednesday (Hilda, Essie D. and I) and had a jollie time. Wish you had been there though. I had 2nd prize I couldn't get away in time to go to see you just or would have. Love Kathie. The soldiers are still here. Make haste and get well.

Note: Are we downhearted was a propaganda song written by Lawrence Wright (1888-1964). It was included in the musical Oh, What a Lovely War!

Postcard 11

Legend: Now then you spalpeens, (rogues) come on!


Note: in The Kangaroo Marines by R W Campbell, an account of Australian forces at Gallipoli,  the word 'spalpeens' is put in the mouth of Paddy.

Postcard 13: Miss G J Miles, 7 Earl St, Yeovil

27th Sep 1917

Dearest Gwen

I hope you received my letter. I am going back Sat morn. Shall not be sorry to get away and back home to Hainault. There is a little too much discipline here to plenty of drill. I hope you are still in the pink. I am not up to a lot myself. Have had a nasty pain in my breadbasket the last few days. Love and kisses Will.

Postcard 14: Miss G Miles, 4 South View Road, Weymouth

12th July 1914

Dear Gwen, I have managed to get a PC of the ship. If I get a chance to get ashore I will get you a Devonshire Dumpling. Yours sincerely W Curtis.

Note: HMS Caesar was a majestic-class pre-dreadnought battleship. Commissioned in 1898 she was placed in the reserve in 1912. Following the outbreak of WWI she returned to the Channel Fleet and was then transferred to the West Indies. In 1919 she supported operation against the Bolsheviks and as such was the last of the pre-dreadnoughts to see service outside of the U.K.

Devonshire dumpling: as well as being a slang description for a girl from Devon, this was a kind of steamed suet dumpling, served with roast meat. It would provide a filling supplement to a meagre potion of meat.

Postcard 15:

Mrs Culliford, 51 Croft Park, Yeovil

23rd December 1918

Wish you a Happy time and a complete family gathering early in the New Year just heard from Will says he is A1. Kind love your Nellie.

Postcard 16:

Mrs V G Culliford, Woodleigh, 81 Crofton Park, Yeovil, Somerset, from LaC W Culliford


Legend: I am not going out with this draft!

Et moi qui crains les courants d'air!


Dear Ma, Just a card to say I have not moved yet although the Squad has broken up again. We are still at the old camp will send new address as soon as I know it. Love to all Will.

Notes: The humour of the play on the word 'draft' is rather lost in the French translation. Was there indeed a market for these British published cards amongst French solders? The artist was Donald McGill (1875-1962), one of the best known of all postcard artists. At the age of 16 he lost a foot in an accident playing rugby. He produced about 10,000 different postcard designs during his career. His name became especially associated with the genre of saucy seaside postcards.

Postcard 17: 10th August 1917

to 2nd a/m W D Culliford 59976, C Flight 44th H D S RFC Hainault farm, Chadwell Heath, Essex

Dear Will, Just a PC to let you know we are getting on alright and having a fine time. Have just been up and seen the artillery going thought their training. had a letter from G- also a card and heard from Elsie yesterday. She said she saw you Sunday but no particulars. She is still excited. We are staying here till Monday morning if all goes well. Love from Mum and Dad.

Note: Sopwith Camels were based at Hainault Farm aerodrome to intercept German Gotha bombers attacking London.

Postcard 18: 30th August 1916

to Miss E Culliford, 81 Crofton Park, Yeovil

from 23 Severn Avenue, Weston Super Mare

Dear Elsie, We are having a ripping time here. Thanks for the PCs. Sorry we did not write before. Give our love to all with love. Irene and Muriel.

Notes: The goose step is the pejorative English term for the Stechschritt (literally, 'piercing step') which originated in Prussian military drill in the mid-18th century.

Postcard 1/19

Legend: Poem 'I'm thinking of you everyday'.

2.15 PM 27 Sep 1917 Hatton Camp

Miss G J Miles
7 Earl St

Dearest Gwen
I hope you received my letter. I am going back on Sat morn. Shall not be sorry to get away and back home to Hainault. There is a little too much discipline here and plenty of drill. I hope you are still in the pink. I am not up to a lot myself. have had a nasty pain in my bread basket.
Love and kisses Will

Postcard 20: 20th July

to Mrs J P Wright, 12 Mildenhall Road, Lower Clapton, London

Arrived here quite safely but very tired. Hope you are feeling better. We are quite fir. Love to all George.

Postcard 21: 3rd June


Legend: To My Dear Sister: a few lines of news and a message of cheer with love and best wishes I'm sending you here.

To Mrs K Cook, 12 Holly Terrace, Heamoor nr Penzance, Cornwall

My dear sister, Just a PC to let you no [sic] I'm having a jolly time at Cairo and hope this will find you in the best of health also your boy. Fond love Jack xxx

Notes: Whilst postcards cost 1/2d to send in WWI, telegrams were around 6d for nine words and a penny for extra words. Girls were allowed to deliver telegrams during the war. Deliverers were expected to wait to see if the recipient wanted to send an answer. However, telegrams were used to send bad news about family members in the army killed or missing and in those cases the telegrams were marked to indicate that a reply would not be expected.

Postcard 23:

Dec 16th 1914

My dearest Joy, no doubt you would hear the report of the "German" guns this morning. Don't get alarmed, dear, for its only a casual attack.

I only wish I were in Saltburn now for I love to be where there's some excietment.

Have just finished "College" exams today.

When you write don't forget to tell me all the "news."

with love to all and self, Rue.


Note: postcard to Miss Ivy D. Walker, "Fairholme", Emerald Street, Saltburn-by-Sea, Yorkshire.

The card refers to the raid on Scarborough, Hartlepool, West Hartlepool and Whitby, which took place on 16th December 1914, by the Imperial German Navy. The attack resulted in 137 fatalities and 592 casualties, many of whom were civilians. There was public outrage towards the German navy for an attack against civilians, and against the Royal Navy for its failure to prevent the raid.

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Postcard 24:

My dearest Dollie

Many thanks for most welcome letter, acc. just received (10'clock).

Sorry things are so dismal and no lights allowed, never mind don't be "downhearted", it won't last very long.

Don't you think this postcard is "sweet". Nil desperandum.

Hope all at home are keeping well, best love to them.

Don't work too hard at stocktaking, dear.

Much love, Rue.


Note: This is another postcard sent to Saltburn, probably in early 1915. The blackout referred to was probably as much to protect shipping from submarines as to protect the town from aerial or naval attack.

There was village near Saltburn called Skinningrove with an iron works that was said to have been involved in the production of mustard gas. This made the site a target for Zeppelins and also for spies.

Postcard 25:

To Mrs F Jackson, 58 Chandos, St Darlington - on active service (undated)

Dear Wife, Just a PC hoping you are first class and not worring [sic]. I am keeping in the best of health. I trust it won't be long before I am with you + all again. Give my best wishes to all and the very best love for yourself. I am as usual your loving husband xx

Postcard 26:

To Miss Lily Jackson ... Dec 8th 1918

Dear Daughter, I was very pleased to read in your letter today that mother and yourself and all were first class. I am in the pink. I have nothing fresh to write about as I told mother all the news yesterday. Its like summer here today. Best Wishes to all and very best love to your mother and yourself. From your loving father WR 273810 F Jackson RE

Postcard 27:

Mrs F Jackson ... Jan 4th 1919

Dear Old Nap, Received you nice letter tonight, pleased you and Lily and all are fairly well. I am champion now. I will write a long letter tomorrow (all been well). Best Wishes to all very best love to Lily and yourself. WR 273810 Pr F Jackson RE one day nearer.

Postcard 28:

Dear Nap (2nd Feb 1919)

Still at the Demob camp but hope to get away tomorrow. Hope you are all well. I am in the pink. Don't worry, hope I'll be with you soon. Best love Jackson RE

Postcard 29:

To Mr J Sanders, Godolphin Terrace, South Street, St Austell - 21st Dec 1918

Dear Uncle Jack

Sending a couple of little cards to remind you of the absent scapegrace this Christmas. Best of love to Aunt Fanny and yourself. Sending a couple of cards to Uncle Tom (Arthur)

Postcard 30:

To Mr J Sanders (10 Jan 1918)

Dear Uncle Jack and Aunt Fanny

I thank you so much for your kind present received yesterday. Considering your kindness at Christmas I can assure you I expected nothing and my surprise is all the more agreeable.

It delights me to know you are all going on fit and well, as my letters from home state and I ...

Postcard 31:

To H Panter, Harehills, Leeds -  23 Oct 1917

Dear Father Mother Ida, Muriel

Just a line hoping they will find you all well as I am glad to say that I am still alright and in the best of health. Well I received your registered letter of the 1st and found the things alright. Thanks for the photos. How is the weather with you. It is not so bright with us today. Well I think this is all this time so good bye for the present. xxxxxxx George.

Postcard 32:

2 Aug 1915 to Miss Brunton, c/o Mrs Stanbrook, 55 Rawson St. Farnworth nr Bolton

Dear Ada, Trust you are spending an enjoyable Bank Holiday.The composition in French gave much satisfaction. Charles.

Postcard 33:

Mrs Chas. H ??, 2 Rutger Race, Stoke, Devonport, Devon, Blighty

Sunday 5th Jan 1919

My dearest

Since closing the envelope containing the four cards which you should receive with this I have just been handed your large letter with all the others inside, thanks awfully. Heaps of love Charles xxxxx

Postcard 34:

To Mrs E Moult, Manchester Rd, Wilmslow, Cheshire - 15 March 1915

?? , Just a line and for Auld acquaintance. I am in the best of health. Gertie has my address. Best Wishes and  warmest regards to all. Yours very truly. Frank C.

Postcard 35:

To Miss Coverdale, 134 Holmesdale, South Norwood - 31 March 1918

My dear Pet, Hope you are well at 134, glad to say I am quite fit in spite of living in a disused stable. It is also raining furiously which does not add to the comfort but I don't mind so long as you are all going strong. Fond love Dad.

Postcard 36:

To Pte P Ward 153565, B Coy 7 Keel, 2/5 Scottish Rifles, The Range, Co Cork, Ireland - 13 Oct 1917

Dear Farther

Hope you are well. And not like these poor men at the back. They look like there be drowned. With fondest love Frank xxxxxx

Notes: The artist was Reg Maurice.

Postcard 37: March 24th 1919 Lincoln


Legend: Shay, conshtable where's them d_ U-boats?


To Mrs H H Blackburn, Sutton, Nr Retford, Notts

Dear Mother,

I arrived back alright. Bicycle chain came of 4 or 5 times and rear light went out several times. When you hear from Dick send me his full address. I will send a letter later, Best love Harry xxx


Notes: The artist, Doug Tempest, was a freelance artist and also worked for Bamforths, the postcard publishers from 1912. Unable to enlist because of a heart defect, he resolved to design comic postcards during the war.

Postcard 38: December 1917 Gravesend

Dear Hazel, I hope you all spent a happy Xmas, it was very quiet here but enjoyable. We will have a good time when Uncle Jack comes home, you will have top tell me your new address. With all best wishes to Mum and Dad and kisses for you Aunty Edie

Postcard 39: 7th August 1917

To Master R Edgar c/o Mrs F Carles Bowers Farm, Peaceford Hants

To darling Ron from Grace, wishing him many happy returns.


Notes: The Military Service Bill introduced in January 1916 provided for the conscription of single men aged 18-41. They were given three choices 1) enlist at once, 2) attest under the Derby scheme (whereby men undertook to enlist when required), 3) or on 2 March 1916 be automatically deemed to have enlisted. In May 1916 the bill was extended to married men.


Postcard 40: 1915


Legend: Now then children, you must make this worm go a long way because it's "War-Time!"


To Miss B Gray-Cheape, Carse Gray, Forfar

I haven't seen Father Griestone [?] about yet but I hope he won't forget to visit you. I wonder if you have any snow yet and been able to snowball Nanny. Lots of love from cousin Barbara.


Notes: The artist F E Morgan produced numerous postcards satirizing rationing in WWI through images of animals.

Postcard 41:

Mr Mrs Greenwood

Moon's Hotel


Legend: Pup: "Don't waste gas old girl, remember its rationed."


My dear Ma and Pa

Received your letter this morning. Having a good time here getting use to cuttens [?] up and shopping. Went to Blackpool on Saturday night, Fairhaven yesterday, walking across the fields. It simply poured last night, little better this morning. remember me to Mr and Mrs N. Yours George.


Notes: During the autumn and winter of 1914 supplies of fuel were reduced, street lamps dimmed and no long lines of lights were permitted. Fines were introduced for those who showed house lights at night for fear of Zeppelin attacks. By early 1915 there for a significant coal shortage.

Postcard 42:

Legend: "I never was so popular before"


28 July 1917 To Mrs Swabey, 23 Wymdale Road, South Woodford E18

In future may you have plenty of the overleaf but trust you will never be put to use such exertion to show your affections for him. Love Beatrice.


Notes: There was official encouragement to eat more potatoes and less flour on both sides of the Atlantic in WWI. In October 1917 in the USA there was a national potato week when recipes were publicized. There was a large surplus of potatoes in Britain in WWI and families were encouraged to use them in unusual ways, such as to make puddings.

Postcard 1/56

Thursday 11th Jan 1918

Mr J Sanders

Godolphin Terrace

South Street

St Austell


Legend: Guerre 1914-1917

Le Clocher de N-D de Brebieres apres plusieurs bombardements par les Allemandes. The steeple of N-D Brebieres bombarded by the Germans.

Dear Jack and Aunt Fanny

I thank you so much for your kind present received yesterday. Considering your kindness at Christmas I can assure you I expected nothing and my surprise is all the more agreeable.

It delights me to know you are all going on fit and well, as my letters from home states and I......

Notes: The Basilica of Our Lady of Brebieres was built from 1882-1913. The bell tower, 62 m high, was topped with a golden statue of the Virgin, work of Albert Roze.

In 1915 a shell hit the dome supporting the statue which bowed but remained in a precarious position. The legend arose that "When the Virgin falls, the war will end." The photograph of the 'leaning Virgin' became well-known.