The Weekly Postcard No. 55

A day late this week, to allow you time to check out this week’s other posts.  The men in charge featured heavily on Great War postcards from all the warring nations. 

There are hundreds of images of war leaders, politicians, monarchs, you name it, and I can obviously only show you the small selection that I possess,…

…beginning with a few English examples.  The first two show Kitchener who, despite his fall from grace in military circles (ever considered why it was a soldier, as opposed to a politician, who was appointed Secretary of State for War in 1914 until his death on 5th June 1916 – you might well also ask what the hell the Secretary of State for War was doing on a boat headed for Russia and talks with the Tzar less than a month before the start of the Battle of the Somme; he was drowned on the very day Fourth Army HQ issued orders for the pre-battle bombardment), was still hugely popular with the public, and thus images of the great man, young (above), or old (below), were a guaranteed seller.

As were, in the early months, images of the man in charge of the British Army at the outbreak of war and indeed for the first year thereafter, Field Marshall Sir John French (above & below).  The National Relief Fund, incidentally, was founded just days into the war in order to raise money to help the thousands of poorer families who were being reduced to poverty levels now that their menfolk and breadwinners had enlisted and gone off to war; conscription would later exascerbate the problem.

Admiral Sir John Jellicoe strikes a pose; he became a popular figure after Jutland in 1916.

French postcards now, and here we have the Supreme Allied Commander from the spring of 1918, General Ferdinand Foch,…

…followed by a 1916 French silk card featuring Sir John French’s successor as British C-in-C, General Douglas Haig.

This French card shows the arrival of U.S. C-in-C General John J. Pershing in Boulogne in France on 13th June 1917,…

…and, of course, French heroes of the past were also sure to appear, this card featuring an image of Lieutenant General Jean-Jacques Uhrich, commandant of Strasbourg during the Franco-Prussian war of 1870 (reverse below),…

…although he did surrender the city, which doesn’t sound especially heroic.

The Kaiser’s eyes follow us round the room on this German card (written in December 1915 – see below) showing cavalry on manoeuvers,…

…and here’s a distinguished bemedalled Austrian chap,…

…the card actually an official Austrian Red Cross card.

And finally, if you wanted, you could even send a postcard to your Mum featuring a picture of the late, great, Fulton Mackay masquerading as the Lord Bishop of London.  If you really wanted.

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12 Responses to The Weekly Postcard No. 55

  1. Daisy in Indonesia says:

    Vivent des États-Unis: Long live the United States.

    Some great figures in history. Love the moustache! The young Kitchener wins by a whisker… (pardon me)

    Nick, please have a look at 31 Drove Road, Biggleswade in Bedfordshire and tell me if these are the original houses with a make over?

    Those silk cards are special and rare I would think… Douglas Haig, the educated soldier no less.

    Belle collection de cartes postales Magicfingers! Aimes votre travail.

    • Magicfingers says:

      Heh heh! The most sought after silk cards are the regimental ones – I showed a couple in a Daily Postcard a while back – but I think you are right about the Haig one, especially considering its condition. The colour Kitchener one, btw, is also, although English, an unusual woven card (look carefully for stray threads), and quite rare too.
      Merci mon ami.

    • Nick Kilner says:

      Hi Daisy
      Sorry for the late reply, for some reason I missed this post entirely.
      In answer to your question, I would say almost certainly yes. There are numerous chimney pots on each house, which given the size of the properties indicates to me fireplaces on both floors. A typically Victorian trait, and something that had certainly disappeared by the time ‘council houses’ were being built in this style post WW2

      • Daisy in Indonesia says:

        Thanks Nick
        It always intrigues me whether the original address is still in existence. Hooray for Google Maps…

  2. Margaret Draycott says:

    I’ve wondered that in the past why Kitchener was in such an exposed situation given his position.
    That chap certainly likes his medals. My favourite is the Lord Bishop, has a kind but firm look about him.
    Interesting array of cards.

    • Magicfingers says:

      Yes indeed – pack him off to Russia – get him out of the way – oops!
      Did nobody watch Porridge???

      • Jon T says:

        *Raises Hand* yes I remember Fulton Mackay and Porridge. Great series and a great actor, along with all the rest of that wonderful cast.

        Plenty of conspiracy theories over Lord K’s fate but I suspect it was just a monumentally bad plan to send him off to Russia at that moment rather than anything more sinister.

        These cards continue to give a fascinating insight into a completely lost world MF.

        • Magicfingers says:

          I am so glad you, and others, are still enjoying them, Jon. Afa Kitchener is concerned, I don’t go for any of the conspiracy theories either, although I do believe that they did want him out of the way prior to the Somme. But out of the way in Russia, not out of the way at the bottom of the ocean.

  3. Margaret Draycott says:

    Loved Porridge and Fulton Mackay great actor but been many a long year since last watched can’t really recall his face now.

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