Tuesday, March 03, 2015

A Dozen Dollops Of History 8 : Maudie's Better For The Rest

My eighth found dollop of history (50 pence from the second hand shop) features a 1917 vintage postcard from Dover.

Most vintage postcards date from the first decade of the twentieth century - the age of the postcard collecting boom when hundreds of thousands of cards were sent, received, and carefully added to postcard albums. Many cards were still sent during the next two decades, but by then the collecting hobby had subsided and consequently far fewer of them have survived. My eighth chance purchase at an antique fair is one of these later cards having been posted in 1917. Having said that, the photograph of Pier Head Dover must be from fifteen or twenty years earlier, depicting a calmer, more peaceful Edwardian era. By the time this card was sent, the pier had been taken over by the Admiralty and heavily fortified. 

The message on the card reads as follows:

31 August 1917
My Dear Maudie,
Thanks so much for the PC. So pleased to hear you are enjoying a much needed rest. I have not managed to write to you as we have had a friend staying with us for a week and we have been out and about so much. Hope to hear your mother and self are much the better for the change.
From CF

CF paints a peaceful enough scene. Friends have been to stay and they have been out and about. Maudie and her mother have also had a bit of a rest and, it would appear from the amended and forwarded address, they had been moving around Scotland. The card was posted on the 1st but wasn't redirected until the 4th of September so we can assume that Maudie didn't receive it until the 5th at the earliest. By that time there had been one of the heaviest night air raids of the First World War over Kent and over 150 people had been killed in the bombing. With luck, poor Maudie and her mother were safe and sound in Scotland, otherwise they wouldn't have been any better for the rest.


  1. Your history notation is poignant. It started me thinking less of our history is good; more is disturbing, bad, barbaric.

  2. I love the way you can piece together the story. I used to collect post cards but I am no longer interested and don't know what to do with them....any ideas. I don't think I have any vintage ones though. Maybe dating back to the 30's.

  3. Yes, I find this with writing biography. You can see the most ordinary words on a page but when you put them in the context of "time", it can make all the difference.

  4. Those night bombing raids had a very frightening quality on the public that has been overshadowed by the later bombing of WW2. In 1914-18 airplanes were still such a startling novelty and the Zeppelin airships even more so, that having invisible enemy bombs destroying buildings and killing civilians must have been a monstrous and barbaric experience. Tragically the 21st century pilot-less drones have brought this horrific idea back to the misfortune of humanity.


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