I recently added a page to this blog detailing why I love postcards. One of the main reasons I love postcards is they provide a great source of history – family, social, and global.
I inherited my great-grandfather’s postcard collection. I love the stories they tell and events they commemorate, particularly his World War 1 service.
He collected a few postcards that I assume were given out in Buxton, England to Canadian soldiers returning home at the end of the war:
My great-grandfather must have passed through Buxton as he had collected quite a few postcards from Buxton as well as these field postcards. Field postcards were given free to those in the military to send to family and friends at home (read more about field postcards history).
I found a short film from the period of Canadian soldiers stationed in Buxton holding a sports competition and the Christmas menu for
The Empire Hotel was used by the Canadian military during World War 1 as a hospital and then discharge centre. The building was short-lived as a hotel and fell into ruin after the wars and was subsequently demolished (read more about Empire Hotel’s history).
Here’s a postcard-like note that was given by the chaplain of the discharge depot to returning soldiers:
“The Chaplain of the Depot, Captain Bruce Hunter, wishes to extend to all men proceeding to Canada “Bon Voyage” and a happy return to the land of their birth.
The future of Canada, her Parliaments, Social Standards and National Ideals will be determined very largely by returned men. Therefore let each man assume a personal responsibility in the Reconstruction Period, and, by a Consistent Life, Square Deal and Lofty Pursuit, do a second “Bit” for God, home and Country.
May Happiness, Contentment and Optimism be yours always.”
I’m not sure how long my grandfather stayed in Buxton before returning home to Clinton, Ontario. But if he was there over the holidays, the Christmas menu he and other soldiers would have had is posted online.