24 Nov

WW1 postcards sent home from Egypt.

Throughout the course of the research conducted into the book Murphy’s War we gathered many illustrated WW1 vintage postcards sent to family and friends from soldiers abroad. At the time during WW1, the postcards such as the ones seen below had an everyday role as the most common form of communication between the men serving abroad and their family or loved ones back home. Along with letters, postcards were the main means of communicating from abroad as well as one of the cheapest.

WW1 Postcard - Souvenir of Eygpt - Long Live the Allies

ww1 postcard from Egypt - Native Lemonade Shop

ww1 postcard from Egypt - Damanhour Overview (Vue Generale)

These postcards are drawn from a number of the WW1 theatres of war, however they mainly originate in Egypt where the men of the A.I.F had time to convalese and communicate with family. The soldiers endured great periods of separation from their wives, girlfriends and sweethearts. During the long periods of convalescence in places like Egypt, they would have had a lot of idle time to think about their lives back in Australia, and if they made it home, would they still be waiting for them back home. These Australian men, many who had never been given the opportunity to travel before, came face to face with a very different culture and the postcards they sent home to Australia bear witness to that.

WW1 Postcards - Natives Praying

WW1 Postcard from Egypt - Femme Arabe  au promenade

Many of the postcards have been carefully preserved in albums by descendants over many years. The largest collection in our archive is comprised of two albums kept by Mary Couzner. Jack Couzner was one communicant but the Foott brothers also communicated with her. However Jack Foott was the main communicant.
WW1 postcards Eygpt - Bullock at Water wheel

WW1 Postcard - Ambulant native shaver

WW1 postcard - Sakyeh

These postcards from the main theatres of WW1 took many weeks to get to Australia via ship. Writing from the front was heavily censored. Soldiers could not mention where they were, dates or anything substantial at all. Many of the postcards in our archive were pasted so securely into albums that they could not be detached therefore any messages on them are unable to be read.

WW1 postcard Cairo

ww1 vintage postcard - Arabian Shop in Suez

Postcard from WW1 - 
The lighthouse of Alexandria - after the bombardment

Postcard from Egypt WW1 - climbing The Great Pyramid

Postcards amongst the soldiers memorabilia varied in their content. Some were scenic cards while others were patriotic. Postcards for special occasions were highly decorative. Many were sentimental especially the cards containing artistic works beautifully embroidered in silk.

WW1 Postcard - Rue au quartier arabe

Native House Cairo

WW1 postcard - Cairo Water Carriers

Portable pavilion for native marriage procession