Two cards today, both of which were bought, along with a couple of others, in the early 1980s for a few francs from a seller outside Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, so I suppose these are what, decades later when Ebay reared its ugly head, turned me into a Great War postcard collector, of sorts, for my sins.
I do not collect them for any other reason than the direct link they provide with the professed war to end all wars. I have no interest in what is rare, what is expensive, or anything else other than the insight which the images and text (when I can read it) give us into the minds and lives of the writers and recipients, and by extension into society across Britain & continental Europe at the time. Many of these cards were penned by men with grubby hands who knew not what the future held for them, nor how long that future might last, and if the cards reached their destination, which nearly all did, they were then held by mothers and wives, girlfriends and fiancées, fathers and brothers, sons and daughters, treasured, most of them, the joy of communication tempered by the pain of separation. I imagine a few might have been met with emotions other than those the writer anticipated, as little war-induced family tragedies were acted out on the Home Front. I imagine some spent time on mantlepieces; I imagine one or two were removed, suddenly, from those same mantlepieces one day, perhaps not seeing the light of day again for a generation. I imagine a few were held by the same hands who wrote them, later, much later, in a time of peace, and perhaps stories were told of the circumstances of their writing. Postcards, above all other Great War ephemera, are a veritable feast for the imagination.