Saturday, 20 May 2017

A kiss is just a kiss ......... postcards from Italy 1918

Now I have been thinking of the contribution made by the Italian community here in Manchester to the Great War and remembered this postcard from the collection of David Harrop.

It was sent by Fred to Flo and the army postmark is dated July 28 1918 although Fred wrote the lines a full month earlier in June.

Now Fred did not add his surname which will make it pretty impossible to identify him, but I may have more luck with Flo.

She was Miss F Hudson of 27 Nowell Terrace, Harehills Lane, Leeds and the census record offers up a number of possible women who could be our Flo and in time I am confident we will find her.

Of course the other intriguing thing is that the card was sent from Italy, and was “Made in Italy” with the message “The Kiss of Redemption.”

This shouldn’t surprise us as British army units were sent to Italy in 1917.

A year later Fred could say “I am still in the pink and hope you are the same [adding] How do you like this card? ‘Some girl’ isn’t she?

Flo’s reaction is sadly unknown and as yet I have no idea what happened to Fred.

But I bet both derived some comfort from a card which transcends nationalities and the centuries, focusing on that simple emotional message of two people separated in war.

I wonder if either picked up on the symbolism or just took it at face value.

After all a kiss is a kiss in any language.

And that is about it with just the promise of  more to come.

Picture; “Il Bacio dei riscatto” 1918 from the collection of David Harrop

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