Saturday, 22 July 2017

“The Canadians are holding their own” .......... and nor were they alone .......making a bob from the troops in the Great War

Now if you were far from home sending a regular picture post card was away of keeping in touch with the family.

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And over the four years of the Great War millions of cards must have been sent from army camps ships of the line and from all the battle fronts.

All of which will have been good news for the commercial postcard companies whose commercial considerations meant that when they had a good picture it would be daft not to use it over and over again.

Before the war this meant using the same comic image and altering the name of the seaside resort or in the case of Tuck and Son marketing the same Edwardian “belles” on a series of postcards changing only the city they were from and altering the rhyme extolling their beauty and charms.

So had you been in the south west you could have read “Of all the girls’ it’s nice to meet Torquay girls are hard to beat”, which had become “The prettiest girls it is well known Are mostly found in London Town” and had variations for pretty much everywhere else.

So when the Great War broke out what better than market a winning image with a different regiment.

All of which meant that the romantic card, “The Canadians are coming,” with its picture of a nurse in the arms of a soldier had with a stroke of a pen become “The Manchesters are ‘holding their own’ at Hayward’s Heath.”

Both cards were made by the same company and sold in the same area.

Our Canadian one was posted on September 12 1915 at to a young woman who lived at Norbury Park Farm in Surrey at 9.15.

The farm is still there and with a bit of detective work we may be able to uncover more about the young woman who received the card and along the way whether the Canadians were in the area the postcard was sent from.

We shall see.

Pictures; from the collection of Davis Harrop

*More of "Our Belles" from Tuck & Sons in 1908 and a bit of commercial sharp practice,

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