Behind the Album


I present the content of this album here as a record of a specific kind of ephemera, the then hugely popular and cheap form of communication, the Postcard. I make no excuses for the variable quality of the images, they are representative of what was available at the time. The photography may be pedestrian sometimes, some of the paintings pretty poor, but they give a flavour of the age, and most importantly the written sides give an insight into one mans service in the “War to end all Wars”.

When I was a child and used to visit my maternal grandparents in Beverley, E. Yorks, there were two books on their shelves that I would always look at. One was “The World of Wonder”, an encyclopaedia of inventions published in the early thirties, and the other a First World War post card album. I guess I especially liked the obscene plaster sculptures of ‘Quo Vadis’ and the saucy nude ladies.

Sometimes we would read out aloud the backs of the cards and my grandparents would be mildly embarrassed. Either this was because of his youthful protestations of love or that some of the cards were from “other women”. My grandfather was fairly tight lipped about the latter as I recall, and my grandmother slightly disapproving. Who knows what they were not saying to an inquisitive pre-teenager. Of course, how sad neither of them are around now to be gently quizzed about things. My Grandfather died in 1970. When my grandmother died in 1981 I inherited the Album, my cousin Jonathan the “World of Wonder”. Below is one of the last photographs of them both, taken at my parent's house in Fulham in 1969.
Read the next page about my grandparents.
Jess and Per