1914-1918: Postcards from The Great War

A lot of soldiers sent their loved one postcards from the trenches during the Great War.
Europeana has collected them and they give a good illustration of how soldiers used to miss their loved ones; no matter which side they were fighting on.

Some were hand-drawn, others were punched in the cities and villages they would come across. Some where absolute propaganda, some mocked the war, and other ones were meant to give a false illustration that the war “actually great fun, and loved ones shouldn’t worry because we’re are having a blast out here!”

There’s is one picture in this capsule that especially draws attention: the one of the French soldier, made up out of several postcards.

When Michael Hannon sent these fascinating postcards home to his mother in Dublin– she never knew what she was going to receive.
In isolation, each missive from France appears to show a line of music, indicating a different military bugle call, such as First Call, Dinner Call and Lights Out. But put together, this set of 10 postcards forms one large picture of a French soldier.

6 Responses

  1. Anna

    What is a ‘Great World War’, pray? Just ‘Great’ not great enough?
    In other news, this site has gone to the dogs and I think it unfair to blame the new (also not great) interface alone.

  2. Cedrick

    I think the internet has gone to the dogs with no life commenters like you. Appreciate the pics, good work. Also love the new interface!

  3. Avatar of Europeana 1914-1918
    Europeana 1914-1918

    I am sorry that the term “Great” has offended you. Please note that the word “Great” in this context is referring to “unusually or comparatively large in size or dimensions” like for instance: “A great fire destroyed nearly half the city”. The term also points out that this war was “unusual or considerable in degree, power, intensity, etc” as in: “great pain”. As for the capital; I just wanted to point out that the capsule on this page is filled with postcards from WW1 (also called: “Great War”, which is spelled with a capital.)

    I think the interface on this website works great by the way…

    ReplyReport user
  4. Adam Carlo

    So how would that first postcard be translated?

    “The thick Bertha”
    “Three good calibers”

    If there is some kind of sexual innunedo here I’m not getting it. ;-)


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