Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Sepia Saturday - Love from Flanders Field

Each week Sepia Saturday provides an opportunity for genealogy bloggers to share their family history through photographs.

This week's prompt features a couple (in war time?)  enjoying a romantic moment.

As a child,  it was a great treat when I was allowed to look through a shoebox kept in a fireside cupboard at my grandfather's house.  It was full of old photographs of the family - Grandad (William Danson)  had eight brothers, one sister and five children).  Many  of the photographs were taken at the time of the First World War.   What especially caught my attention and fostered my interest in family history  were the embroidered postcards Grandad   had sent back to his family from Flanders  I have featured many of them in previous blog postings.    

William and Alice Danson - my grandparents , c.1916

But in the collection were some different cards that Grandad sent to his wife Alice.  I never knew my grandmother who died when I was a baby.  Grandad was a taciturn labourer, not given to flowery language, so the emotions expressed through these cards seemed out of character, but revealed his closeness to Alice. By contrast, the pencilled messages on the back were very prosaic. 

 Field Post Office - Feb 7th 1918.
Dear Alice, received your letter allright, I have landed back at the Batt and am in the pink. I have had a letter from Jennie [sister] and am glad they have word from Tom [brother]. Your loving husband, Billy XXX

 Field Post Office 29 April 1918
Dear Alice, just a line to let you know that I am in the pink and hope all at home is the same.  There is nothing that I want.  Will write again shortly.  Your loving Billy XXX
I don't  know when this card below, with the embroidered rose,   was sent, but  again it shows my grandparents' love - an appropriate theme for Christmas. 
 Inside verse
"O! Can you read the secret of my heart?
You surely must.  dear Wife
Snice of myself, you are the better part,
Companion for my life
The secret is Wherever you may be,
No power on earth can change my love for thee!

From your loving Billy XXX
To see how  other Sepia Saturday participants
have interpreted  this week's theme -  Click HERE
Copyright © 2012 · Susan Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved


  1. What a sweet and loving man! And how cute that he was always "in the pink."

  2. The picture of William and Alice radiates so much affection, splendid!

  3. Snap. Our blogs match this time.
    I'll bet Billy wasn't actually 'in the pink' - he was probably deep in mud and slush and scared silly, but didn't want to worry his wife.
    The cards are lovely.

  4. Love that first picture -- him in uniform with his riding crop; her in that skirt and white top -- VERY nice!

  5. That shine on Alice's shoes match those on Billy's boots. He must have shined them for her. He obviously had a shine for her.

  6. What a handsome couple! And I think Boobook is right.

  7. What lovely cards and such a loving legacy. It was so difficult for most men of that era to be both affectionate and manly. I really enjoyed seeing these.

  8. A beautiful photo and great sentimental cards. I just finished a book on WW1 POWs that described how many soldiers and their families devised coded messages for their letters and cards in order to get around the censors. The French postcard sellers certainly did a big business with the British soldiers.

  9. Lovely cards - perfect examples of the times. I too remember sorting through the old albums and boxes of family photographs and postcards - they have fascinated me for the last 60 years.

  10. Certainly reminiscent of a long gone era.

    "By your side, I forget my worries.
    By your side, all lifts me up."

  11. I love that photo of your grandparents. It reminds me of some photos I have from my Scottish side of the family.

    And the embroidered one is lovely.

  12. Forgive me, if you've mentioned this before, but I'm fairly new to your site. Did your grandfather return from Flanders?

    They are real treasures, these cards, and I too loved to go through a tin box of my father's with photos of his family. Now I'm the one in possession of them. Brings back memories that's for sure.

    1. Thank you, Kat for your comment and I am pleased you liked the cards. Yes my grandfather survived the First World War. He won the MIlitary Medal fighting at Givenchy on the Somme and took part in the Battle of Passchendaele, though he never talked about his experiences. He died in 1965.


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