Postcard from World War One returned to family
April 20, 2011 by Mark
A postcard sent to a soldier during his stay in a Cambridgeshire hospital during World War One has been returned to the soldier’s family, 96 years after it was sent on 17th of April 1915.
The postcard was found by two carpenters, Jason Grant and Alan Payne, who were working on the village hall that played host to a hospital in the First World War in the Cambridgeshire town of Shepreth. The postcard was written by a Nellie Wolstencroft and addressed to her brother, Edward Wolstencroft. The discovery and subsequent return of the postcard to Edward Wolstencroft’s nephew was a pleasant surprise for the family of the soldier who was killed in the battle of the Somme in 1917.
Postcards were a popular communication tool that soldiers used to keep in touch with their families during World War One and were a primary channel of communication, unlike the postcard printing done in Cambridge today which is mainly used to produce souvenirs. The discovery of this postcard in the old village hall captured the imagination of local genealogists such as Chris East, who got involved by helping to locate the soldier’s nephew, Paul Wolstencroft.
The postcard was featured as part of a special exhibition in the town of Shepreth and was presented to Paul Wolstencroft by Flora Pearce, a local resident who was a nurse at this makeshift hospital in the War.
Local amateur history enthusiasts showed special interest in the exhibition, which could show a new appetite for postcard printing in Cambridge and the surrounding areas, as this could be used to reproduce replicas for people to buy as souvenirs.