Audio Description – Embroidered First World War postcard

Click the play button to hear an audio description of the Embroidered First World War postcard

Hurstville Museum & Gallery has recently undertaken an audio descriptions project for a number of collection items to help increase the accessibility of the collection. This entry is part of the project.

Image 1: the Embroidered First World War postcard in Hurstville Museum & Gallery’s collection

This postcard has been very delicately worked in colourful silk to create a patriotic motif on a backdrop of cream-coloured fabric, which is framed by slightly yellowed cardboard. An embroidered red banner across the base, flanked by a Union Jack flag on either side, features the word ‘Remember’ in capital letters, sewn with golden thread. Above the banner is what looks like a woven basket of blue and gold thread, and nestled in the basket are a red flower, a blue flower and a white flower, each with a gold centre and surrounded by sprigs of green leaves. There are two flagpoles protruding diagonally from each side of the central flower arrangement; on the left the flags of Russia and France, on the right the flags of Britain and Italy. The contents of the basket in the upper half of the postcard is embroidered on a kind of veil with a piped hem, and the veil is partially detached from the card backing, affixed at its base where it joins the basket.

The postcard was sent by ambulance driver George Enoch V. Rogers in 1916 to his friend Grace White,who later married and became Grace Holmes. George was born in Port Adelaide in 1897, and enlisted for World War One on the 13th December 1915 at age 18. His service number was 4200. George was killed in combat. On the other side of the card, printed in blue, are the words “Forget me not”, and George has written in blue, “Your Affectionate G.E.V.R 1/8/16.” An envelope accompanies the card, on the back of which is handwritten in pencil:

France, 6 August 1/8/16

Received 19/9/16

Dearest Grace, I received your first letter. No F. today.

I cannot explain how pleased I was to hear from you. I also received your painting which I think is very nice and will keep it Grace to the end of days. Well Grace you wrote a lovely letter I hope you will keep it up. I am quite pleased to hear you are keeping quite well, I know I am welcome Grace and will surely come and see you when I return. I am on the old job Grace Motor ambulance driving. I am sorry you still think that what I said is impossible. I still think that it is not impossible and with a certain amount of luck will move it. I am glad you kissed that baby for me,  its just what I would have done and may of kissed more than the baby. Will close now Grace. Remember me to Mother and all at home. Will write a letter later Goodbye. I remain your ever affectionate Friend George E. V.

Silk postcards were a popular memento during the First World War. Postcard companies employed French women to produce silks on an assembly line basis beginning in their homes before being sent to factories for final cutting and assembly into postcards. Often these postcards were made with additional envelopes which could contain a smaller card with a sentimental message. Production of these cards declined substantially after the war, but an estimated 10,000,000 hand-made cards were produced from 1915 to 1919. 

Find out more about this item on e-hive, our collection database.

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