Picture Postcards from the Great War

Sets and Series of ww1 Postcards

During the 1914-18 war numerous sets and series of picture postcards were released by publishers and some have already been mentioned on other pages here. This page, illustrates more of them.

War Bonds Campaign Postcards

Tank Banks and War Bonds

During the Great War, tanks were employed not only on the battlefield but also on the Home Front to help raise money for the war effort. One method the government used to raise revenue, was by persuading the public to invest in war bonds and savings certificates. The first bonds appeared in November 1914, but by 1917 interest in them had begun to flag and a new way had to be found to sell them, which would appeal to investors ‑ both large and small. In the autumn of 1917, the National War Savings Committee launched a huge advertising campaign. It included poster and press announcements, encouraging people to "INVEST IN NATIONAL WAR BONDS" and reminded them that "Your welfare is bound up with the welfare of your country and that by saving and lending now...you can ensure both." A scheme was set up by Horatio Bottomley, the editor of John Bull, who organized a 'boon week', during which numerous major advertisers "prepared special War Bond copy, and many other businesses mentioned the Bonds in their normal advertisements."  

On 23rd November 1917, The Times announced the start of a new publicity campaign. It said "In London next week people will be able to buy their bonds at the most novel bank ever established in this country. A real tank of the latest type has been sent to the National War Savings Committee and is to be stationed in Trafalgar‑square for the inspection of the public. People who wish to buy bonds may go inside the Tank and there get Bonds with the special imprint, "British Tanks W.S.A."

On Saturday, as The Times had promised, tank number 130 and named Nelson appeared in the Square. The paper said, "Everybody has been thrilled by the wonderful attack of the tanks which pieced the Hindenburg Line before Cambrai. That was a soldiers victory. The Trafalgar‑square tank ‑ a real tank, with guns and armour all complete ‑ is to head a civilian offensive."

 

ww1 War bond slogans

The government needed as much publicity as it could get for its War Bonds Campaign and in late 1917 the Post Office agreed to help by authorizing the use of the first ever machine cancelled slogan postmark on letters and postcards. The 'boxed' slogan said, "BUY NATIONAL WAR BONDS NOW."

Then a second one appeared with the words "BUY NATIONAL WAR BONDS." which ran concurrently with the first.

In 1918, a third slogan was introduced which invited the public to "FEED THE GUNS WITH WAR BONDS." It replaced the first two and was still in use when the war ended. The slogan postmarks were produced at main sorting offices by a 'Krag' continuous impression machine.

 

In Trafalgar Square, a large part of it was transformed into a display and war bond advertising centre. Huge posters around Nelson's column invited people to "COME AND BUY WAR BONDS AT THE TANK"; hoardings around the fountains displayed pictures by Bert Thomas, of 'Arf a mo , Kaiser' fame; and grouped round the tank was a collection of war trophies, including a "1907 gun converted into a anti‑tank gun, a howitzer and trench mortars, a Belgian field gun siege mounting and a Russian howitzer ‑ both of which had been captured by the Germans and then re‑captured by the British." Also in the collection was a shell-damaged Allied motor ambulance, (which it seems had been there before.) "a Turkish field and mountain guns and a German dispensary, and a travelling kitchen and other interesting souvenirs." There was no charge to view the attractions.

 
The Tank Bank ww1 postcards
Above are two similar postcards showing the Tank Bank in Trafalgar Square. The drawing on the card  on the left was obviously based on the photographic image on the right, althoiugh the tank is now facing in the opposite direction. Printed on the back of the second card are the words "Valentines Series ... a guarantee of BRITISH MANUFACTURE."
Bonds and certificates were dispensed from the tank by two women who sat at a table and as money and documents changed hands through a 'magic window', subscribers were allowed a peek at the interior. The general comment was one of astonishment "at the cramped accommodation for the crew, and people certainly got a good idea of the discomfort", said The Times "which apart from the dangers of his duties, is the lot of the soldier who goes into action on board one of these amazing landships."  At the end of the first day over £8,000 had been taken in subscriptions.
ww1 tank bank

Valentine's issued a printed photographic card  (right) of the tank. It was captioned "BUYING WAR BONDS AT THE TANK." On the card on the left can be seen the posters at the base of the column encouraging the public to buy war bonds. Also visible is part of the mock-up shell damaged French village - complete with windmill. There are also a number of captured German guns.

On the second day of the War Bonds campaign the Tank Bank raised £25,000. By 10'oclock on the third day, a large crowd had already gathered and business was 'brisk'. The Times discovered that over 90 per cent of applicants had not invested in war bonds before, including "a soldier with his two little children, each carrying a bag of halfpennies and farthings."

At midday, the band of the Coldstream Guards marched into the square, followed by 430 clerical workers from Martin's Tobacco Stores. Mr Martin gave each of his workers a war savings certificate which was stamped by the ladies in the tank.

While the people continued to buy their bonds, dignitaries and VIPs delivered speeches. Professor Freeman, for instance, reminded the crowd that they "lived in an Empire which took centuries to build up", and "they were not going to allow the Huns to destroy it. It was the duty of every one who had a farthing to spare to put it into war bonds", he said.

By nightfall on 'Day 4' of the campaign, takings amounted to almost £69,000 and an official from the War Savings Committee said, "The appeal has gone home to the people. The tank has captured the hearts of the public. From practically every one of the home counties people have come to purchase a War Bond or Certificate bearing the Tank stamp."

The fifth day of the campaign was the best day yet with over £156,000 subscribed by people from all walks of life, said The Times, and gave some examples. A woman
"tendered a cheque for £7,000 worth of bonds", a man bought four separate £1,000 bonds and four Irish men each paid £100.
The subscriptions continued and "hearty cheers were raised" when an American sailor invested £25, an old man walked up to the window and asked for certificates to the value of £100. "This is all I can do to help", he said, "but I do it willingly in memory of four boys of mine who have given all they could ‑ their lives".

At noon, George Robey brought a large party of theatrical performers into the square who all bought bonds at the tank, while Miss Madge Titheradge recited 'The Song of England' from the top of it. By the end of the day £156,560 had been taken. It had been an excellent day

Ten young women were among the early subscribers on Saturday morning. Each one "had lost her lover in the war" and brought her savings to buy a war bond "to help other girls to get sweethearts back quickly". The girls subscriptions were among the £48,000 taken that day, making a total for the week of £271,440. The aim now, said the campaign organizers, was to make one million pounds by the end of the second and final week of the campaign.

On the left is a real photographic card of Nelson which is captioned "National War Bond Tank (Trafalgar Square 1917) Copyright No.1." The card on the right is a printed photographic example of Nelson and his crew. The crowds look on. The printer and publisher are not named.
On Monday 3rd December the War Bond rally continued. Music was again provided by the Coldstream Guards and "hawkers were reaping a harvest by the sale of models of the Tanks mounted as brooches at 2d. apiece" and "picture post‑cards and other souvenirs of this new method of raising funds for the war" were selling fast and at the end of the day over £70,000 had been invested

Tuesday morning, the second day of the second week of the tank's visit, was one of heavy fog, and the "raw cold weather" was thought to be responsible for the drop in takings ‑ just under £62,000. The Times however, said the tank was not there for "large subscriptions ... it is there to catch the small investor, and that is doing beyond all expectations", and anyway, investors of large amounts were now being catered for in a rather novel way. Nelson had a new mate called Julian, tank number 113, also known as the 'Wandering Tank', whose job it was to go around the City collecting subscriptions of at least £50,000 from various institutions and businesses. Several cards depicting the tank and its crew  appeared and one is shown below.

This card by an unnamed publisher, has printed details on the back of it which revealed that, "JULIAN (H.M. TANK, 113), has a notable record as a money‑getter. Setting out in Nov. 1917, when he took toll of the great London commercial and insurance corporations, he has gathered some FORTY MILLION POUNDS during his provincial tours. 'Julian' has everywhere been the centre of the most remarkable enthusiasm".
Julian's first port of call was the Prudential Assurance Company at Holbom Bars, where he picked up £628,000. Within days, a short set of printed photographic cards appeared which recorded the tanks journey to the Pru.
Two cards that show Julian on his way to collect a large sum of money from the prudential. The card on the left depicts the tank led by a banner which says "THE PRUDENTIAL BELIEVE IN WAR BONDS WE ARE ON OUR WAY TO COLLECT THE INTEREST OF £25,000,000 WAR STOCK TO INVEST IN NATIONAL WAR BONDS" The card on the right shows the arrival of Julian at the Pru amid a large crowd of onlookers. The banner above the entrance to the Pru reads, "THE PRUDENTIAL IS INVESTING ALL THE DIVIDEND ON ITS £25,351,928 WAR STOCK IN NATIONAL WAR BONDS. THE TANK WILL FETCH IT TODAY."

The following day, Nelson, the tank in the Square, collected over £860,000 from the sale of war bonds. On Thursday the sum was even better. £900,000 was raised. On Friday the figure dropped to £427,700, and Miss Brackenbury, a "well‑known worker in women's movements", tried to rally the crowd by saying, "the tank on which [I am] standing seemed to be typical of the British character ‑ rather slow to move, somewhat heavy, but sure. The German thought the British character had lost that particular trait, but they had been disappointed" she said. Saturday, the last day of the War Bond Campaign, saw a squadron of warplanes and an airship drop leaflets on the crowds urging them to buy bonds and certificates. At the end of the day £782,256 had been taken in subscriptions. At 7.30 in the evening Nelson closed for business and amid cheering crowds departed for St Pancras Station where a special train waited to take him and his crew to Sheffield.

The two week war bond campaign had been a huge success. Many celebrities and VIPs had given speeches from the top of Nelson and thousands of people had invested money for the first time. Following the London campaign other tanks were employed to sell bonds in other towns. Julian for instance, went to Liverpool, tank 119 was sent to Cardiff, and Egbert (141) sold war bonds in Portsmouth and then went to Bristol for a week. Within weeks, eight cities had been visited by the tanks, with more to follow.

A Set of Postcards Issued to Support the War Bond Campaign

Postcard publisher A.M. Davis and Company of London, in conjunction with the National War Savings Committee's Campaigns, released a set of cards titled the "WAR BOND CAMPAIGN POST CARD." They were numbered 1 ‑ 12 and carried the legend "War Bonds are Victory Bonds." Each card carried a coloured drawing or painting based on material 'Supplied by the Ministry of Information'. The first depicted a 'TRACTOR WITH SIEGE GUN'; the second card depicted 'THE IRRESISTABLE TANKS'; the third was captioned 'A SIEGE GUN ON RAILWAY MOUNTING'; the fourth card depicted a narrow gauge railway 'PAVING THE WAY FOR THE GUNS'; the fifth showed a 'HEAVY GUN UNDER CAMOUFLAGE'; the sixth showed an 'AIRSHIP ON CONVOY DUTY'; the seventh was captioned 'ANTI‑AIRCRAFT GUN IN ACTION'; number eight 'FOOD FOR THE GUNS"; the ninth card depicted 'WHIPPET TANKS IN ACTION'; the tenth was captioned 'MOVING UP A SIX‑INCH GUN'; number eleven depicted 'BRITISH FLYING BOATS'; and the final card showed a '60 POUNDER MOVING UP IN SUPPORT'.

Set of war bond postcards ww1
The back of a war bond postcard which may have been hand-stamped at the Trafalgar Square tank in 1917.
At least three of the War Bond pictures appear to have been copied from official photographs taken during the 1916 Somme offensive. The images also appeared in the well‑known Daily Mail series of 176 cards. War Bond card number 3, was similar to Mail card 97, titled "ONE OF OUR MONSTER GUNS." War Bond number 5 was similar to card number 19 in the Mail series, titled "FIRING A HEAVY HOWITZER IN FRANCE", and War Bond card 6 carried an almost identical image as the photograph on Mail card 104, which was title "ANTI‑AIRCRAFT GUNNERS SPOTTING A HUN PLANE."

Tank Banks 1918

In January 1918 more tanks visited more locations. For instance, tank number 119 Old Bill, appeared in Birmingham and raised £6,250,239. A 'Tank Week' in Manchester raised £4,450,000 and another in Glasgow brought in £14,171,760. Huge sums of money were raised for the war effort in this way, each town competing to raise the most. Postcards showing tanks were often sold to the public during tank weeks. In York for instance, between 11th ‑ 18th February 1918, cards were sold which carried a`SANDBRIDE' logo on the back and on the front, a picture of an un‑named and un‑numbered tank set against a non‑descriptive background. It seems that identical cards like the one just described were sold by the tanks at each location they visited. A card from the York visit is shown below.
This card ‑ a souvenir from a Tank Bank visit to York ‑ has this written in pencil on the reverse "York. Feb 11th to 18th 1918. Raised one & half millions. Piece of cloth (green) from Arras."
On the last day of the York tank week, another began in Blackpool, when Julian opened for business. A 'SANDBRIDE' postcard printed by 'Goodall ... Blackpool & Bolton', depicted "BLACKPOOL'S TANK BANK 'JULIAN' FEB. 18 ‑ 23 1918." Another tank card printed by Goodall, carried the same picture , but the caption was different ‑ "OUR TANK BANK ‑ A 'SAFE' INVESTMENT."
In 1918, a Mickey Doolan composed the verse displayed on the card on the left to publicise Egberts 'Tank Bank Week' in Eastbourne. The card on the right depicting the tank and its crew - shows it covered in graffiti.
In March 1918, the tanks returned to London. The previous year there had been just two, Nelson the static tank in Trafalgar Square and Julian, the wandering tank. Six machines visited London in 1918, they were Egbert, who went to Trafalger Square, Nelson who had a pitch near the Royal Exchange and Julian, Old Bill, Drake and Iron Rations, who were employed as Wandering Tanks.
In the last year of the war, Tank Bank Weeks continued to be held in towns and cities throughout the United Kingdom and postcards played their part in raising funds. A card below top left captioned "SOUVENIR of the tank's visit to Scunthorpe, July 26th & 27th 1918", carried a picture of "ONE OF OUR TANKS". It had being "PASSED BY [THE] CENSOR", and featured an un‑named tank traveling along a crowded street, while a special constable kept the crowd under control.

There were at least three versions of the card at top left and in each one, the tank and the crowds were still there but the captions had disappeared to be replaced with the simple phrase ‑ "A BRITISH TANK". In addition, on each of the three cards the special constable had been replaced by another figure. On the top right card was a drawing of a soldier in khaki, at bottom left a drawing of a Scottish soldier replaced the special constable, and at bottom right a cut‑out photograph of a uniformed soldier wearing a tin helmet replaced the policeman. It seems that the original 'Scunthorpe' card was 'doctored', simply to make it more suitable for sale at other locations. 

Tanks played a huge part in raising funds for the war effort and their value on the Home Front was just as important to the Government as their presence on the battlefield was to the military. And picture postcards told the story.

"Out for Victory" Postcards

This set of Ministry of Information inspired propaganda cards was illustrated by Leonard Raven-Hill. The cards are numbered and there are thought to have been eighteen in the full set.
Leonard Raven-Hill, the illustrator of these cards, was born in Bath in 1867 and from an early age was interested in art. He studied in London before moving to Paris for a time. In 1901, he joined the illustrated magazine Punch and became its political cartoonist. Raven-Hill illustrated some of the cards in the series - shown later on this page - of Punch cartoon postcards, which were published during the Great War by Jarrold and Sons.

The Daily Mail War Postcards

The Daily Mail Official War Pictures are well known to collectors of British military picture postcards and too many people with an interest in the Great War 1914-1918.

Also known as The Daily Mail Battle Pictures, the collection numbered 176 cards (in 22 series of 8 cards each) and was based on 105 photographs taken by members of the small band of official photographers that were located on the Western Front. Most of the cards depicted scenes and incidents from the Battle of the Somme 1916. (The 'battle' was not a continuous one, but rather a series of battles and actions that raged from July until November).

The cards were produced in three 'finishes' or formats, colour, silver-print and photogravure. Some of the images were in one format, some in two and a few in all three.

Since they first appeared in 1916, the cards have been briefly mentioned in several books and publications about the Battle of the Somme 1916 and the Great War in general. A guide book, presented as an eBook - The Daily Mail Official War Postcards -  is an attempt to show how studying a 'set' of picture postcards produced during the 1914-1918 conflict, often gives rise to fascinating and complex questions, which make collecting them both challenging and more interesting.
The Daily Mail cards are still reasonably priced (£1 - £5 each) and easy to find, except maybe some of those in the later series 20-22, which sometimes attract the higher price.

World War Series

There are thought to have been 60 cards in this sepia coloured printed-photographic series, which was divided into five sets of 12 - starting at A1 through to E12.
The name of the publisher is not shown on the reverse of the cards. However, it has been suggested that it may have been Yallop of Yarmouth. Most of the pictures appear to have been taken in 1914/15 and many of them depict British and Belgian soldiers and images of fleeing refugees. The captions are in English and French.

Artist-drawn Photographic Quality Postcards

Below are several cards from a set of unknown number. The images first appeared in the Sphere - a popular English illustrated magazine. The captions are in French and on the reverse of the cards in red ink is printed "Vise. Paris. (No au verso). - L'At. d'Art. Phot. - Bs-Colombes"

Although artist drawn, the cards have an almost photographic quality about them and probably inspired a soldier to write this on the back of the first one. "Dear Wife, These P.C. are some of the best Photos agoing so please look after same. Do you see the Germans in their Greay (sic) helmets. Look at the curs, that have caused so much pain to us all and have you that shell case I brought home for you. I believe you left it at home, I intended that as a keepsake. Yours Ted."

The card on the right, a coloured version of the one above it, was marked "Copyright of the Sphere." It was number Z3 in the LVG Series. The caption was in French and English and the latter version said, "THE WAR - THE CARE OF THE WOUNDED WAR HORSE."

Reproduction of German Invasion Posters 1914/15

In August 1914, as the invading German Army marched through Belgium, it was obsessed with the idea of franc-tiers attacking its troops and supply columns and therefore took hostages to prevent resistance and retaliation by the civilian population. In an attempt to subdue the Belgium public, posters outlining the consequences of resistance and others telling of subsequent death sentences being carried out for a variety of reasons, were widely circulated and displayed in prominent places in Belgian villages, towns and cities.

The eight cards shown below were printed and published by the firm of Dobson, Molle & Co., Ltd.
of London and Edinburgh. The original German posters were the property of Ian Malcolm who gave permission for Dobson and Molle to reproduce them in miniature. On the right-hand side of each card was a coloured facsimile of a German poster and on the left - an English translation of it. The cards are not numbered and did not travel through the post.
German posters ww1 cards
The yellow poster is a German appeal to Belgians not to attack German troops about to invade their country. If they did - the consequences would be dire. This was probably one of the first posters to be pasted up by the German Army as it marched into Belgium. The blue proclamation poster was signed on 12th October 1915, by General Von Bissing, the Military Governor of Brussels. Included in a list thereon of people commended to death, was the name of Edith Cavell. The poster said that "The sentences passed on...Edith Cavell have already being fully executed." General Von Bissing had brought "these facts to the knowledge of the public that they may serve as a warning." The orange poster named four Belgium citizens who had been convicted of espionage and shot the same day. Listed among their crimes was the allegation that they had helped an English aviator escape to France. "so that he was able to return to the enemy's lines."  The executions were brought to the attention of the public via the poster, "so that they may serve as a warning."
Four German posters
The pink poster was signed by "The General Commanding, Saint-Die, 28th August 1914." and warned that anyone firing on German troops would immediately be shot and his house burnt to the ground. The death penalty also applied to anyone breaking a night-time curfew, gathering in the street, communicating with the enemy and attempting to leave the town. Orange (1) The proclamation stated that "Inhabitants of both sexes are strictly forbidden to leave their houses so far as this is not absolutely necessary for making short rounds, in order to buy their provisions or water their cattle. Whoever attempts to leave the place, by night or day, upon any pretext whatsoever, will be shot. Potatoes can only be dug with the Commandant's consent, and under military supervision..." Green The mayor of Luneville asked that citizens, "Under the sanction of the most severe penalty's, to abstain from making any signals to areoplanes or other details of the French Army." The immediate steps to enforce this command would force Colonel Lidl to order a seizure of  "a considerable number of hostages from the working class as well as from the middle class." Orange (2) On 3rd September 1914, General Fasbender made an announcement that citizens of Luneville had attacked a German column, Red Cross ambulances and a military hospital .As a punishment the town had three days to pay an indemnity of 650,000 francs to the German military authorities. If it did not, the mayor and others were to be taken hostage and houses searched and money and goods restrained. Anyone who resisted or tried to leave the town would be shot.

 Postcards Depicting Scenes of Alleged German Atrocities

This set of cards, depicting reprisals and actions against civilians, could be seen as comments on the previous images of cards of German posters. There are scenes of civilians been driven from their houses, people used as human-shields, houses pillaged and destroyed, wounded soldier been bayoneted and civilians lined up against a wall and shot.
German atrocities on postcards

The only clue to the printer and publisher of these cards is this, "Phot. Belge, r Ma Campagne. 30. Brux.", which is printed on the reverse of some of them. The cards are not numbered and it is uncertain how many there were in the set

Find the "General"

Three examples from a set of novelty cards, which hide within each picture, the profile of a well-known war leader. The number of cards in the set is uncertain.
Find the general ww1 cards
When the card on the left is rotated 190 degrees - the profile of General French is revealed. Lord Roberts and Sir Edward Grey remain hidden. Or do they?

London in War time

This set of 12 cards - each depicting a different location in London with searchlight beams lighting up the night sky in a search for Zeppelins - were published by the Anglo-Eastern Publishing Co, Ltd.
London night searchlights ww1 cards
The artist appears not to have added his name or initials to the pictures. Other scenes in the set included Trafalgar Square, Tower Bridge, Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, St. Pauls and other famous locations across the Capital.

"St Clair" Series

These cards were described on the envelope in which they were sold as "Artistic and up-to-date."  Probably released in 1915 - by the printers and publishers Dobson, Molle & Co, Ltd, of Edinburgh, London, Glasgow, Liverpool and Belfast - the eight cards sold for 6d. the set.
St Clair set of ww1 postcards
Some of the cards use popular song titles as captions. One refers to the Scrap of Paper and yet another uses a popular saying as a title.

 "It's Better to be in Khaki"

It was 'better to be in khaki' was the theme of this set of cards. Dressed in khaki - you would draw the attention of the ladies when you returned home and would also be treated like a hero.
Join the amry postcards
The number of cards in this set is unknown. Perhaps six, or maybe ten or twelve and probably released in 1914/15. But, however many were in the set, the message was clear - join the colours and be a man!

Celesque Series

This colourful set of six comic cards with a brown border were extremely popular with soldiers and were on sale both before and during the war. The cards were often sent from training camps and the writer would frequently agree with the 'incident' portrayed in the picture. They were published by The Photochrom Co., Ltd., of London and Tunbridge Wells.
Set of comic postcards
"THE LAST POST" postmark September 1913. Message reads, "Dear Nora, I was over your way yesterday, We had a champion time, got lost...called at your house but didn't see you." "The MORNING WASH"  21st August 1913. Message reads, "Dear Dick, Going down alright still easy, got 2 more recruits in tent. Had to org duties up to now this week have had no time to go out up till now...Charles till Friday. " "AN UNINVITED GUEST"  Postmark Buxton, 20th January 1915, Card sent to "Gunner W. Taylor, A. Sub-section, Notts R.H.A., Norfolk." Message reads, "Silly ass! I didn't mean to be sarcastic. What about the raid! Did you see anything of it? ...Much love, Tommie." The cards "REVEILLE" and "LIGHTS OUT" were not mailed. The "HARMONY" card was not mailed either, but a message on the back reads, "Dear Mary, Just a few of the B hoy's. Of course I am not among them. With best, from Charles."

"On Active Service" by Air, Land and Sea

Published by the Photochrom Co., Ltd, in two sets of 24 each, these popular cards with their distinctive orange border were numbered from 1 to 48. The images were produced in various shades of brown and grey.
War picture postcards
The 48 pictures in this set range from Allied troops landing in France, to armoured vehicles, warplanes, British infantry, battle ships, Allied leaders, French and British cavalry, German prisoners and more. Most of the pictures appear to have been taken in 1914/15.

"Punch" Cartoons

Published by Jarrold and Sons of London, this series of 60 cards were "Reproduced by Special Permission [of] the Proprietors of 'Punch."' A number of different artists work was displayed on the cards - most of it was anti-Kaiser and slighted Germany - but some of the cards praised England and the Allies.
Punch postcards ww1
The illustrated magazine Punch, was first published in 1841 and its satirical and witty cartoons soon enjoyed a international audience. In 1914, Jarrold released its first set of 12 cards of Punch war cartoons - followed by a further four sets.

Illustrated Programme - Blinded Soldiers' Children Fund

The Blinded Soldiers' Children Fund was established by Arthur Pearson of St. Dunstan's Hostel for blinded soldiers. The Government paid a weekly allowance for children born before or within nine months of a blinded soldiers discharge. However, there was no allowance paid for children born later. In October 1917, Pearson said, "There is, it seems to me, something infinitely pathetic about the idea of those children whom their fathers will never see. They will be known only by the sound of their voices and their characters as they develope." Pearson said that he was to start a fund to provide an allowance of 5/- a week for each of those children not provided for by the state and thought that the sum required would be at least £250.000.

Picture postcards were recruited to swell the coffers of the Blinded Soldiers 'Children Fund and a number of cards were released known as the Illustrated Programme. On the front was a 'war picture' and on the reverse a named cinema or theatre and a list of its forthcoming attractions. Each card carried a serial number and the message "keep this card. It may be worth £1." (A lottery?) In the stamp 'box' it said "In Aid of Blinded Soldiers' Children Fund."
Illustrated programme cards
Illustrated programme ww1 cards

YMCA - "The Hut Fund Series" - 312 Cards

Postcards played a part in raising revenue for the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) war work and the commonest of these were from a series of 312, "ISSUED BY THE Y.M.C.A. HUT FUND". They were sold to raise funds "To provide comforts, shelter and recreation for our soldiers". And to make it harder to collect them - the publiusher decided not to number them.  The Red Triangle logo was usually placed at the top left hand corner of each card. But sometimes in the centre instead.
The cards were sold at YMCA gatherings and in a variety of shops and other businesses. Some retailers printed their details on the back. The pictures were in both vertical and horizontal formats. Some had a border, some not. The quality of the printing ranged from poor to excellent and there were numerous styles of captions in white.

YMCA ww1 Hut Fund cards
The design on the back of these cards was as varied as the picture on the front. The card at top left was similar to those in the afore- mentioned Illustrated Programme cards - with details of forthcoming attractions at the New Princess Picture Palace in Belfast, including a Chaplin film and one featuring the popular Pearl White. On the top left hand corner was a serial number - did it represent a potential lucky number for the buyer of the card - in a 'lottery' or 'draw' ?

The centre card was sponsored by FRANK ALLEN Esq. Managing Director of "MOSS EMPIRES, Ltd."

Theo Wallis & Co. Ltd.,Draper and complete house furnishers of Holborn Circus E.C.1 benefited from the publicity displayed on the lower card.

As previously mentioned, there was little uniformity in the design and layout of this long series of YMCA cards and unlike the Daily Mail collection of 176 numbered cards, the 312 Hut Fund cards were not numbered. Buyers were encouraged to "Collect the full series of 312 cards, they form an historical collection."
YMCA ww1 postcards
The pictures in this long series of YMCA printed-photographic cards were varied, with captions like, "ANTI-AIRCRAFT GUNS ON THE BELGIAN FRONT IN FLANDERS", "FRENCH SOLDIERS, HAVING RECEIVED FIRST AID, LABELLED WALKING CASES", "BRITISH CONVOY ON THE SOMME",  "CANADIAN OFFICERS AT ST.  CLOUD HOSPITAL", "BRITISH TROOPS WHO DROVE THE HUNS OUT OF LESBOEUFS", and the tragic "FUNERAL OF SOLDIER KILLED WHILST TAKING TEA TO THE TRENCHES."
Did the YMCA have its own cameramen on the Western Front? It had its own photographic department and apparently some of the pictures in the ‘Hut Fund Series’ are not seen anywhere else. Arthur Yapp - the YMCA war time leader - had a keen interest in photography, so its quite possible the association took some of the photos itself, for this long series of YMCA postcards.

The Camp Silhouette Series

During the Great War, the Photochrom Company of London, issued several sets of Silhouette type postcards. The largest and perhaps most popular of these was a humorous set titled "Camp Silhouettes". There were 36 cards in the original set which was reprinted several times, with new images added and several of the cards had their numbers changed.
Silhouette ww1 postcards
These cards were popular with recruits in the numerous early war training camps dotted the length of the UK in 1914/15. They were illustrated by G.E. Shepheard, and depicted the excitement as the recruits were introduced to various aspects of military life. As the war progressed their place would be taken by conscripts.

A Set of Artist-drawn Tank postcards

In 1917, the Illustrated London News published some pictures of tanks in action on the Somme and one was particularly impressive. it appeared on 6th January 1917 and was drawn by R. Canton Woodville "from information received from an eye-witness." It was captioned "BRITISH TROOPS AND A TANK, ASSAULTING GERMAN TRENCHES AT BEAUMONT HAMEL." Readers were told, that "in the foreground one German throwing a grenade, may be seen wearing the special sniper's helmet, with a front-piece to protect the forehead." (The card is seen below at top right.) A number of the Illustrated London News tank pictures, were published as postcards by the "Delta Fine Art Co., 64 Fore Street, London.

Several pictures by Edgar Holloway depicting tanks in action on the Somme, also appeared in the Delta Fine Art series. The first was titled "BRITISH TANK CROSSING A GERMAN TRENCH", the second "RESCUED BY A BRITISH TANK." The latter can be seen at right - 3rd down. Holloway did the original painting in colour from which this image came. Both
tank crewmen are seen wearing brown leather 'helmets' ‑ designed to protect them against the effects of metal 'splash' which often occurred inside a tank when it was hit by small‑arms fire. Some men did not like wearing them, as the shape was similar to that of a German steel helmet and it was not unknown for crews to be fired on by their own comrades.

There were 18 cards in this series divided into three sets of six cards each. Various artists were involved.

ww1 Tank postcards

In December 1916, three pictures by Frederic de Haenan appeared in the Illustrated under the general title 'TANKS IN ACTION'. The same pictures, drawn by Haenan from "details received" were also released as sepia coloured postcards and two are shown above.

"A TANK GOING THROUGH A GERMAN BARRAGE." In December 1916, the above picture top left by Frederic der Haenan, appeared in The Illustrated London News. It depicted a tank "going through the German barrage on its way to the 'Sugar Factory'  Those who were watching it were alternately catching breathes as salvo after salvo of crumps seemed to burst clean on the top of it. But nothing seemed to hurt it, and it was still going strong when it vanished from our sight in the haze and the smoke of bursting shells." said an eye-witness.

"A CROWD OF GERMANS HOLDING UP THEIR HANDS TO SURRENDER." The card on the right - 2nd down carries a picture by Frederic de Haenan. It depicts a scene from 25th September 1916, when a tank about to cross a seemingly deserted German trench, stopped, and "suddenly a little crowd of men seemed to sprlng from nowhere, all with their hands up. The demoralized Boches remained where they were as though petrified, and did not move until our infantry took charge of them."

The variety and complexity of postcards from the Great War 1914-1918 that are still available today is huge. They range from sets of just two cards, to the extraordinary number of 312 published by the YMCA. The field is vast.                                                                   
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