Guide to the Australian Postcard Collection, 1914-1918
Postcards printed in Australia or overseas about Australia or Australians. The collection includes patriotic, scenic, humorous and sentimental postcards.
SERIES 1: Gallipoli. Description: This collection is primarily made up of photographs taken at Gallipoli during the Gallipoli Campaign, and sent during or after the campaign. For soldier on Gallipoli, paper and postcards were often scarce and postcard substitutes were made with whatever paper or cardboard the soldiers could find. There are three examples of these home made postcards in the collection.; SERIES 2: Australian Camps. Description: This collection contains photographs of a number of Australian camps, both in Australia and overseas. The collection also includes souvenir postcards sent from military camps. Some include poems relating to camp life.; SERIES 3: Australian Hospitals. Description: Photographs of military hospitals, hospital staff and recuperating military personnel. For postcards of Hospital Ships, please see Series 15 ""Australian Naval Postcards"".; SERIES 4: Australian Patriotic Cards, 1914-1919 . Description: This collection contains postcards exalting Australia's virtues and triumphs. The postcards use nationalistic sentiment and images for example the Australian Red and Blue Ensigns, Australian flora and fauna. Whilst many of the postcards having a feeling of intense national pride, they do not forget that Australia is part of the Commonwealth and many postcards have the Union Jack as well as or instead of the Australian Ensigns (often in more prominent positions). The collection also includes some recruitment propaganda postcards which attempted to shame or cajole men into enlisting into the Services. SERIES 5: Australians in Egypt, 1915-1918 . Description: This collection is primarily made up of cartoons of the Australian Imperial Forces in Egypt. Many of the postcards are racist by today's standards, but reflect attitudes of the time. Re-occurring images in the cartoons are of soldiers being harassed by boot polish boys and market sellers, and of soldiers ""seeing the sights"" and trying to ride donkeys or camels. (See also Series 11 ""Cartoons / Humorous"" and Series 21 ""Tom Cross Cartoons"" ). SERIES 6: Australian Fundraising, 1915 - 1919. Description: This collection includes souvenir postcards from charitable and comforts organisations, as well as postcards which advertise services or facilities of these organisations. It also includes postcards which were used to raise funds for or advertise special fund raising days.; SERIES 7: Sentimental Greetings, 1914-1919 . Description: Sentimental and romantic postcards sent to and from Australian military personnel. Most postcards have verses, usually wishing the recipient a safe return, or bemoaning their absence. Popular images on these cards includes Australian flora and fauna, Australian Red or Blue Ensigns and the Union Jack, roses, forget me nots and pansies, and the map of Australia (usually without Tasmania). The concepts of distance and remembrance are common in these postcards.; SERIES 8: Australian Flying Corps, 1915-1918 . Description: Postcards produced by or for the Australian Flying Corps (A.F.C.), or Australian Squadrons of the Royal Flying Corps (R.F.C.). Most of the postcards were produced for the A.F.C. in the Middle East.; SERIES 9: Christmas & New Year, 1914-1919 . Description: Australian theme Christmas and New Year postcards sent to and from Australian military personnel. Prominent images used in these postcards include the Australian Blue Ensign, Australian Red Ensign and Australian flora and fauna.; SERIES 10: Prisoners of War, 1915-1919. Description: Postcards sent to and from prisoners of war, including Red Cross parcel acknowledgment cards and cards of events in Prisoner of war camps. There are postcards of both Allied and German prisoners of war.; SERIES 11: Cartoons / Humorous, 1914-1919 . Description: A collection of cartoons about Australian soldiers in the Middle East, in London and in Australia. There is also a small collection of May Gibbs postcards, including postcards of the gumnut babies.; SERIES 12: Sports, 1915-1919 . Description: Postcards of sports teams, trophies and sporting competitions.; SERIES 13: Entertainment, 1915-1919 . Description: During the First World War a number of Army entertainment troupes were created, such as the ""Kangaroos"". This collection includes photographs of some of the troupes, as well as the less official entertainment which took place on board ships (such as the crossing of the Equator ceremonies).; SERIES 14: Message Cards. Description: A collection of plain message cards, including field postcards (on which little could be written other than the sender's name and the address of the recipient. There are also acknowledgment cards for the receipt of comfort parcels for soldiers in the field and for prisoners of war.; SERIES 15: Australian Naval Postcards, 1914-1919. Description: Postcards of Australian Naval vessels, including troopships, hospital ships and battleships. The collection is primarily made up of black and white photographs of the vessels.; SERIES 16: ""Our Boys at the Front"", 1916-1918. Description: A series of official war photographs of Australian service personnel in France and Belgium, which the Australian Comforts Fund turned into postcard to sell for fund raising purposes.; SERIES 17: Victory Parades, 1918-1919 . Description: Photographs of Victory parades and celebrations for 1918 and 1919, mostly in London.; SERIES 18: Memorials and Cemeteries, 1915 - 1940 . Description: Photographs and sketches of personal and public Memorials. During the First World War soldiers who died overseas on active service were not brought home for burial (Excluding Major General Bridges, who was brought back to Australia and buried at Duntroon, A.C.T.) Many families who were unable to hold funerals for their sons, and who had little chance of visiting their tombs overseas often made memorials to them in Churches, parks, or added their names to the family tombstones in their local cemeteries. After the War many local and national memorials were made and this collection contains photographs of some of these memorials. SERIES 19: General Australian Postcards. Description: This postcard collection is a mixture of non military postcards from the First World War and military postcards which do not fall within the other series. It includes postcards of chalk cut outs in the Wiltshire downs, many studio photographs of First World War soldiers (the bulk of which are unidentified).; SERIES 20: Scenic Postcards. Description: Postcards of Australian scenery, towns and buildings, primarily tourist postcards collected during the First world War.; SERIES 21: Tom Cross Cartoons. Description: Postcards drawn by Tom Cross. Tom Cross was born in the village of Ruddington in Nottinghamshire in 1883. His family emigrated to Australia in 1891. Before the First World War, Tom worked in a studio and studied art at Ipswich, Queensland. Before the war, Tom drew witty cartoons, and he continued to do so through his training and military career. Many were reproduced as postcards and sent throughout the country.; SERIES 22: Artillery and Tanks . Description: Postcards of artillery and tanks from the First World War. Many of the photographs are of captured German weapons.; SERIES 23: Herbert Garside Naval Postcard Collection. Description: Postcards collected by Herbert Garside, who served on board the H.M.A.S. Australia during the First World War. The collection contains some photographs of the H.M.A.S. Australia, and other Australian vessels. However the bulk of the collection is made up of British vessels from the Royal Navy. The ships are organised alphabetically, by country.; SERIES 24: Florence 'Poppy' Garrard's 'Love and War' Postcard Collection. Description: Postcards designed from paintings by Poppy Garrard, during the First World War. The collection contains six numbered colour images which depict key events in the story of two sweethearts parted by the war.; SERIES 25: Private James Bennett Postcard Collection. Description: Postcards collected by James Bennett (Private, 2595, 4th Light Horse Regiment) during the First World War. The collection contains 62 postcards which depict various scenes in Egypt, Ireland and Australia, and several images of soldiers and other persons. Some of the postcards have written messages.
This collection contributes to the understanding of the use of postcards as souvenirs, propaganda, and a communication medium during the First Wrold War.
Contact Senior Curator, Published & Digitised Collections, Australian War Memorial.
Open - Contact Senior Curator, Published & Digitised Collections, Australian War Memorial.
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First World War; Postcards; Souvenirs