This week, with Remembrance Day having just passed us by, it seemed the perfect time to share the postcard above. This is a fascinating card, bringing together ‘The Allies’ in a floral tribute. Of course, not all allies are represented (New Zealand is missing just for a start!), but the card itself represents one of a vast number of patriotic postcards produced during the war.
Postcards were ‘invented’ in the late 1860s in Austria, though at this time they were not illustrated. They were simply cards made to reduce the time and cost of letter writing. By the time of the First World War though, they had not only evolved to be what we recognise as postcards today, they were wildly popular. During the First World War, the sending of postcards reached it’s absolute peak, with thousands using the cards to send hasty messages to loved ones. Many were sent home from The Front, while those left at home had an endless choice of Patriotic Cards to send to their loved ones serving abroad.
Of course, cards were not purchased just to be sent to loved ones, but also as additions to postcard collections, which were also very popular during this period. Postcards helped to commemorate events, with many postcards showing bombings on the home front, or the aftermath of a battle, and also to boost morale, with many beautifully illustrated patriotic cards, such as the one above, being produced. At home, they were available everywhere from chemists to cinemas, while on the Front, war cards were available in YMCA canteens, at rest huts and even in military training camps.