Oldsville

Graham's Hobby Website

World War 1 Silks

Embroidered silk postcards sent home by family members of the armed forces in World War 1

Silk postcards were made in great numbers during World War 1. The embroidery was woven by women of France and Belgium on to strips of silk mesh, which were sent to factories for cutting and mounting on postcards. They were purchased by troops to send home to family and friends to mark holidays and birthdays, often including a small card with a printed message. The embroidered designs included seasonal motifs, patriotic messages, flags of allied countries and insignia of army regiments.

Silk sent to Oliver Smith in London by his brother Willoughby H. Smith

When he sent this silk postcard in late 1916, Willoughby was serving on the Western Front with the First Surrey Rifles (London Regiment).

"2/10/16...From Willoughby" marked on reverse in pencil


Silks sent to Elsie Cox by her future husband Ernest A. Smith

Ernest Smith and Elsie Cox were married in 1920. After they met in 1915 Ernest was serving abroad in the Royal Horse Artillery on the Western Front and in Mesopotamia for the remainder of the war. A set of silk postcards that he sent her indicates the romantic thread they managed to establish despite the war.

"To Elsie...From Ernest." marked on reverse in pencil


"To Elsie...From Ernest" marked on reverse in pencil


"To Elsie...From Ern" marked on reverse in pencil


"To Elsie...From Ern." marked on reverse in pencil,
also contains a card saying Loving Remembrance "from Ern"


"To Elsie... With Love From Ern." marked on reverse in pencil


"To Dear Elsie... With Love From Ern." marked on reverse in pencil


Marked on reverse in pencil: "Br. e.a. Smith No.49069 C. sub.
To Elsie... With Love From Ern. Wishing you and all at home a Merry Xmas."

Also contains a printed card saying "I'm thinking of you"


"To Elsie...With Love From Ern." marked on reverse in pencil,
Also contains a printed card saying "I love you"


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Silks Sent to Elsie Cox and her sister in London by their brother John Cox

Elsie Smith and her sister Amelia (Millie) had a brother named John P. Cox who served in France in the Great War: in the Royal Fusiliers, the Labour Corps and the Royal Engineers. The birthday and christmas silks that have survived are mainly to Elsie.

"Dear Elsie, Just a card to wish you many happy returns if I am not too late...Best love John"
marked on reverse in pencil


"To Dear Elsie wishing Her a Happy Xmas, from your young brother John"
marked on reverse in pencil


"To Dear Millie wishing Her a Happy Xmas, from your young brother John"
marked on reverse in pencil


"To Elsie with Best Love from her young Brother John"
marked on reverse in pencil


Contains a printed calendar with the message:
"All Good Wishes for a Happy Christmas and a Bright New Year",

signed "from John" in pencil. The calendar fixes the year as 1917.


"To Dear Elsie with Best Love from John"
marked on reverse in pencil


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