One of my auction purchases a couple of years ago (I need to work more quickly at selling my stock!) was a collection of around 130 real photo postcards from WWI. Although quite a few show ruined towns, they are more individual than the great numbers of Official War postcards in printed format produced at the time. They seem to have been bought by an artillery soldier in the Allied Forces at the time but none of them are postally used. Lots of them have descriptive text about the picture often with a note to “keep for me until I return home”.
It is a pretty gruesome collection in parts with shattered trenches and soldiers around Ypres, Neuve-Chapelle, Estaires, Bourlon, Hendecourt Arras etc. Several of the cards sold immediately I put them up for sale on my delcampe auction shop, and the nice thing also is that several are returning to buyers living in the places pictured on the card. One sent recently is going back to Bourlon, Pas de Calais near Cambrai in France, although seeing the devastation depicted on the card you do wonder at how these places were rebuilt from almost complete destruction.
Another interesting group are twelve aerial view cards of various trenches/towns showing the route of each. It includes a trio of cards showing Fleury-Verdun from the air taken 1914, 1916 and 1918 with the destruction of the town progressing over each card.
Some of the cards are real reminders of the horror of this conflict and important historically. Others show WWI tanks and planes and victorious allied troops in Cologne (I believe this soldier was one of these troops).
I am back from holiday and all my current listings are now back on line once more for you to buy – whether the above or a further 1600 other items on Delcampe.co.uk or in my ebay store. Several of the cards have sold in the few days since I have been back but there are plenty of other great cards still available. I am currently agonizing over a good offer for the gruesome card of the German sailor with the Zouaves skull! Pop in and have a look at my delcampe store!