"SILKS" - SOUVENIR POSTCARDS
BROUGHT BACK TO SKELTON FROM THE FIRST WORLD WAR.
|The following postcards were brought back to Skelton by the
four Mohun brothers of 9 Boosbeck Rd, Skelton Green.
See page 8 of this section for their story and page 1918 - 1919 for the
memorials to Alvin and Frank, who died in
The cards have been kindly sent by the niece of the brothers, Sheila
Bocking of Woodford Green, Essex.
Embroidered postcards from World War One are generally known as "WW1
Sometime in 1915 an enterprising French/Belgian female refugee sold her
embroidery work to a soldier and started an industry.
The "Silks" became so popular with the Allied soldiers that it is
estimated some 10 million could have been sold.
The themes usually show the patriotic feeling of the times coupled with
the usual greeting card sentiments.
French and Belgian women, often refugees, would work up to 8 hours to
produce a hand embroidered picture on a
strip of mesh and sell it for the equivalent of 10p in today's money.
Eventually Parisian entrepreneurs got hold of the idea and women worked
for a pittance producing them in mass.
Like the bottom card here, some of them had the central portion cut as
a flap so that a tiny printed greetings card could be inserted in a
Most cards do not have postage stamps as they were mailed home at no
charge to the sender in Military Mail pouches.
More often they were brought home on the winter furlough and most,
therefore, have no message on the back.
These cards became treasured souvenirs to the boys at the front and to
the folks back home.
The top two cards are not "Silks" and show the fashion started sometime
Lord Kitchener whose patriotic fervour persuaded thousands to
enlist in 1915.
The Belgian city of Louvain, which was cruelly sacked and
looted by the Germans in