Monday, 19 December 2016

Christmas from the Western Front .......

Christmas is supposed to be the season of goodwill but war has a habit of twisting the message.

This Christmas card was sent by my uncle to my father on December 12th 1918. The Great War had ended just a month before and uncle Fergus and his battalion of the Black Watch were in Cologne, relieved no doubt that the fighting was over.

On that Thursday in December he wrote that “Cologne was a lovely city with some fine cinemas” but they were prohibited from fraternizing with the civilians which for a young man of just 21 was a bit of a bore given the attractive young women he came across.

But duty was never far away and preparations were a foot because “we are crossing the Rhine tomorrow” and there was a determination “to show the rest of the division the way as we proved to be the finest marchers during the trek to Germany.”

Picture; With Best wishes for a Happy Christmas and a Victorious New Year, December 1918 from the collection of Andrew Simpson

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