Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Sepia Saturday - Flying the Flag

Sepia Saturday gives bloggers an opportunity to share their family history and memories though photographs.  

This week's  prompt made me think immediately of my  seamstress mother.  But I wrote recently about her in Happiness is Stitching.  So instead I picked up on the theme of Flags and Patriotism .













Here are four  embroidered cards from the First World War, sent by my grandfather William Danson of Poulton-le=Fylde (left)  to his wife and family back home.    They are part of a larger collection which is one of my family history treasures. 
 
 



 During WW1 silk postcards and handkerchiefs were bought as souvenirs by soldiers who were serving on the Western Front. Local French and Belgian women embroidered the different motifs onto strips of silk mesh which were sent to factories for cutting and mounting on postcards. There were two kinds of cards, one was a piece of embroidered silk mounted onto a card and the other was two pieces of silk sewn and mounted to form a pocket to contain a message or a silk handkerchief. It is an example of an industry which appeared as a result of war and must have been a useful source of income for families in France and Belgium.

 
Naval officer, Lieutenant Anthony Fasson  (1913-1942) grew up near Bedrule in the Scottish Borders.    He was on board the destroyer HMS Petard in the Atlantic when it torpedoed a U-boat.  Lieutenant Fasson, with two colleagues, dived into the sea, boarded the stricken vessel and recovered top secret codebooks and a German Enigma coding machine from the captain’s cabin.  He was lost when the submarine sank, but the papers were saved, and once deciphered provided crucial intelligence for the Allies on U-boat movements. For his actions he was awarded the posthumous George Cross. This commemorative  plaque in Bedrule Church depicts the Union Jack and the Naval Ensign.

 
 
 
"The Times" newspaper of 16th September 1916 

 
The Union Jack Club, is a private members club for serving and former non-commissioned military personnel of Her Majesty's Armed Forces and their families. The idea came from a Red Cross nurse Ethel McCaul who had served in field hospitals during the South African War.  The Club offering accommodation, food  and recreation was opened by the King in 1907 and still operates today.

 
This colourful pariotic school certificate from the time of the First World War   is in  the archive collection at  the Heritage Hub in Hawick, and featured here with their kind permission. 
 


My Coronation Mug, handed to all children in 1953 to mark the crowning  of Queen Elizabeth !!. 

Flags attract me!  So when I am abroad, I always make a point of trying to capture an image of the country's flag,


Outside the Hotel de Ville in Paris



 The Austrian flag

 
 A wall mural depicting the distinctive blue and white lozenges of the Bavarian flag - a reminder of when Bavaria, ruled by the Wittelsbach family,  was a separate state of southern Germany, .  
  
 
 Click HERE to find out how other bloggers picked up on this week's theme
 

17 comments:

  1. Thanks for stopping by to see my posting. I really enjoyed seeing your pictures of the embroidered cards...what great remembrances of stitch-craft!

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  2. I never knew that about the embroidered postcards. Interesting.

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  3. I have one of those embroidered cards with an american flag.

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  4. The embroidered postcards are so different and lovely. Unfortunately, I doubt we could send them through the mail these days - at least here in the U.S. Everything is so regulated now - size, thickness & probably things likely to get caught & tangle up the works of automated machinery. What a shame.

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  5. Such lovely postcards. It must have given the French and Belgian women a lot of pride knowing they were helping to bring in money for their families in wartime.

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  6. The embroidered cards are so beautiful. I don't have anything like them in my collection - jealous!

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  7. I have never seen an embroidered postcard. Anthony Fasson GC must have been a very brave man.

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  8. Great story and pictures. My sister-in-law recently found postcards from WW1 in her grandmother's papers. We were so excited to find them. They are very beautiful but not embroidered like yours.

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  9. I never knew of embroidered postcards also, lovely post of bygone days.

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  10. A beautiful collection of cards. Imagine the time and work that went into making those cards!

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  11. You've amazed us all with those embroidered cards -- I've never seen one, either! Great post!

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  12. I've seen postcards like that. How wonderful all your photos are, and your flag, of course this all ties in just with sewing success!

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  13. I'm going to copy your idea of photographing the flags in countries I visit - if ever I get overseas again :)

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  14. What a beautiful collection of silk cards. I have never seen them before. Thank you for a really interesting post.

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  15. I enjoyed your post very much and the images of the cards. Thanks for sharing.

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  16. Thank you to everyone for such lovely comments. I was surprised to learn that the World War One embroidered cards were not very well known as I had thought. They can often be found on Ebay for as little as £5 and are valued more highly where they have messages - as some of my family ones have. However, they will remain very much in the family.

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  17. Nicely themed Sue. I've got a couple of those embroidered cards inherited from my grandparents.They're wonderful items to have and should be treasured.

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