Guide to the Greeting Card Collection
The Greeting Card collection consists of approximately 2000 cards, both hand-drawn and commercially produced, sent to and from Australian service personnel engaged in conflicts dating from the South African War (1899-1902) to the Gulf War (1991) and peacekeeping operations.
The Greeting Card collection consists of both hand-drawn and commercially produced cards sent to and from Australian service personnel engaged in conflicts dating from the South African War (1899-1902) to the Gulf War (1991) and peacekeeping operations. Cards in the collection contain both official and personal greetings and range in type including: Greeting, Christmas, New Years, Mothers Day and Birthday cards. The collection includes many cards from VIP's including: Field Marshall Sir Thomas Albert Blamey, General Sir John Monash and Field Marshall Lord William Birdwood and cards from a variety of famous places such as Gallipoli, Flanders Field and Changi prisoner of war camp. SERIES 1: South Africa,1899-1902 (13 cards); SERIES 2: First World War,1914-1918 (852 cards); SERIES 3: Post First World War,1919-1938 (49 cards); SERIES 4: Second World War,1939-1945 (722 cards); SERIES 5: Post Second World War,1946-1965 (263 cards); SERIES 6: Korean War,1950-1953 (16 cards); SERIES 7: Vietnam War,1962-1972 (24 cards); SERIES 8: Gulf War (Middle East), 1990-1991 (1 card); SERIES 9: Peacekeeping,1947- Present Day (4 cards); SERIES 10: Album of cards collected by Violet May Walters,1939-1945 (65 cards); SERIES 11: Album of cards collected by Frederick Gallagher 'Black Jack' Galleghan,1939-1945 (144 cards); SERIES 12: Album of cards collected by Isoline Jeannette Cowley,1945-1950 (75 cards); SERIES 13: Cards collected by Major General Walter Coxen,1925-1933 (73 cards); SERIES 14: Assorted XMAS cards from Australian units,1917-1918 (35 cards).
The first commercial greeting card (a Christmas card) was produced in England in November 1843. The concept of using cards to send greetings and messages was slowly adopted through the late 1800s and then increasingly so that by the early 1900s the sending of Christmas cards was widely accepted. Greeting cards and the armed forces. Christmas 1913 - just prior to the First World War - marked the 70th anniversary of the first commercially produced Christmas card. At the time, there were over forty Christmas card publishers and wholesalers in London who employed many thousands of people to produce and distribute cards. As with the general public, the armed forces were also attracted to the card phenomenon and the use of specially designed and produced cards was commonplace for many units. The trend of using greeting cards has continued to this day, with soldiers sending and receiving both commercial, official and handmade cards to family and friends whilst on active service. The use of handmade cards was especially prevalent during the early conflicts and in prisoner of war camps due to the unavailability of commercial cards. The use of handmade cards is less common in the last few decades, mostly due to the proliferation of commercial card manufacturers.
Contact Senior Curator, Published & Digitised Collections, Australian War Memorial.
Open - Contact Senior Curator, Published & Digitised Collections, Australian War Memorial.
Selected additional and related material available at http://www.awm.gov.au/search/collections/ using the search terms described under 'subject _local'. Copies of many items from the Memorial's collections may also be purchased @ http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/sales/.
Birthday cards; Christmas cards; Mother's Day cards; New Years cards
Military service; Soldiers