Amongst my junk shop finds many years ago was this quartet of well thumbed WW1 unposted post cards by an unknown supplier – The Military Miss. Prepared to ‘Face Powder’, the Pride of the Army!
Simply and crudely produced, this bit of WW1 / Edwardian ‘Eye Candy’ may look odd to us today. I’ve never quite understood the strange Edwardian ‘smiles’ other than to suggest you still have your own teeth.
It has a typical music hall double entrendre feel … Giving the Glad Eye! “Come an ‘Ave One” dates from the days when Rev William Studdart Kennedy gave out cigarettes to the troops as ‘Woodbine Willie’ or Queen Mary included smokes in her Christmas Box in 1914. It’s a little joke to send, cleaner than many postcards soldiers would have carried (no doubt edited out when their possions were returned to families after their death).
I would love to know more about this ‘Military Miss’ series if anyone wishes to leave me infromation via our comments page.
It also embodies a certain style of music hall recruitment and patriotism but does it understimate the vast amount that women achieved supporting or opposing the war?
Other examples exist “The Military Miss – To captivate the Enemy” recently sold on Ebay; going rate is about £5 per postcard.
The series can also be seen on Pinterest occasionally such as BKduncan’s site https://www.pinterest.com/bduncan0467/women-in-the-great-war/
1916 would see Conscription imposed in Britain followed by Tribunals and ‘Combing out’ in later war years, removing more men from reserved occupations to fight.
War correspondent Kate Adie explored this wide variety of tasks and representations of women in WW1 in both Corsets to Camouflage (about women soldiers) and also her interesting recent WW1 book and BBC TV series Fighting On The Home Front: The Legacy of Women In World War One, published by Hodder & Stoughton. Both books are well worth reading and both are now available in paperback.
Happy Christmas to all our readers from The World War Zoo Gardens project at Newquay Zoo!
Posted by Mark Norris, World War Zoo gardens project, Newquay Zoo, Christmas 2015