These embroidered postcards were largely produced by French and Belgian women embroidering strips of silk mesh, which were then cut and mounted on postcards. They were very popular with British and American soldiers serving in France during the Great War owing to their bright colours, the diversity of images, and the range of greetings they encompassed. The survival of so many reflect how deeply they were treasured.
Message Inside the Postcard
Well dearest Alice
I hope this will finde you
very well with best love
from George to Dear Alice
happy new year
I hope to hear from you
soon I hope you haven’t
for got me
Happy New Year
This postcard is one of many sent by Private George H Bubb of the Army Veterinary Corps to his sweetheart Alice E.Martin while he was serving in France during World War One. She was living in Warwick.
A typical message
The message is generally typical of many he wrote to Alice; he hopes to find her well, sends his love and wants to hear from her soon. This particular one is unusual in that the usual courtesies are briefly transcended by the poignant note sounded by George in his parting plea that Alice should not forget him. In the other postcards, he often sends his love to Alice’s parents.
The most striking feature of these postcards is their absence of information. In common with his fellow soldiers, George would have been ordered not to make any allusion at all to his situation and that of his unit in the name of national security and national morale. All correspondence from the battlefront was checked to ensure that this order was rigorously followed and stamped with the words “Passed Field Censor”. This collection included an envelope which was accordingly stamped and which would have contained a postcard.
A happy ending
In the event, George with his brother Private Sidney Phillip of the Warwickshire Yeomanry (and to whom he refers once in his correspondence) survived the appalling slaughter of the French battlefields and returned safely home. In 1929 Sidney and Alice married.
This article was Document of the Month for Warwickshire County Record Office in September 2009. Further articles can be found on their website.