A sentimental postcard sent from a St Andrews University student just a year into World War One has found a place in an archive comemmorating the experiences of children during the war.
The Army Children of the First World War project has been established by The Army Children Archive (TACA) as part of the First World War Centenary Partnership, led by Imperial War Museums (IWM).
Two online galleries of images have been created - ‘The Army Children of the First World War: Faces and Families’, which features photographic portraits of army children and their families from between 1914 and 1918, and ‘The Army Children of the First World War: a Sentimental View’, which displays a selection of WWI postcards and items featuring army children, and children generally.
The St Andrews postcard is a blue-framed illstration of a boy, dressed as a British soldier, and a girl embracing, with the words “We don’t want words, we want deeds”, under which someone has written “Haw-haw”.
It was posted on June 1, 1915, of the message on the back reads: “Thanks for your letter. Will answer when I have time – but am most awfully busy at present, what with Degree Exams & Essays & Tennis & Golf. So glad & jealous (!!!) about your drawing. I. K. S.”
It was addressed to a Miss G. Summerhayes at Wycombe Abbey school in High Wycombe.
Diane Lees, director-general of IWM, said: “We are all connected to the First World War, either through our own family history, the heritage of our local communities, or because of its long-term impact on society and the world we live in today.
“TACA, through its The Army Children of the First World War project, is enabling people to understand the impact of the Great War on society today.”
Commenting on the items on show, Diane said: “Many of these images were intended to tug at the heartstrings; others, to arouse patriotic feelings; another category reflects, through the prism of childhood, national preoccupations during the Great War.”
Viewers to the online gallery are invited to fill any information gaps and, if possible, to identify any of the ‘forgotten’ faces.
Go to tacadrum.blogspot.co.uk to find out more.