Wednesday, 19 July 2017

"Found on the Battlefield" .............. three picture postcards from the Great War

There is always a story behind a picture postcard.

In most cases it is the image which takes you to a place or an event long gone and the interest fastens around matching the scene with a similar one today.

And then there are those family portraits especially popular during the Great War.

If you are lucky the identity of the people will be known and possibly even the fate of the young earnest looking man in his ill fitting uniform.

But equally compelling can be the message on the back revealing much about everyday life at the time the card was sent.

Sometimes both the image and the “sentiment” on the reverse combine like those suggestive seaside postcards with a slightly less but still risqué comment on the reverse.

This one is just a little different.  It was one of thousands which played on those powerful feelings  caused by the separation of loved ones with perhaps also a hint of something else.

It was a popular image and reappears in similar form in two other cards.  All three show the same model in pretty much the same clothes accompanied by a man in uniform.

But what makes all three just a tad different is the message on the back which simply  says “Found on the Battlefield.”

And that sets the imagination going.

They could have just been lost or perhaps thrown away or there might be a more tragic explanation.

Of course we will never know.

They belonged to the grandfather of Bob Jones who may have found them or was given them.

Either way they were never used by the person who purchased them and offer just a hint of mystery.

Picture; La Balance des coeurs, date unknown, from the collection of Bob Jones

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