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Postcard - Private Albert Edward Kemp, 'To My Mother', Embroidered, 2 Jun 1917 Image Reg. No: HT 13598

Alternative Name(s): Birthday Card

Embrodiered postcard written on the Western Front during World War I by Private Albert Edward Kemp to his mother. Albert writes: 'Dear Mother Wishing you mother many happy returns of your birthday hoping this to find you in best of health as it leave myself with fondest of love of safe return to you from your son Bert'.

According to the Australian War memorial, 'Embroidered silk postcards were first made in 1900 for the Paris Exposition with popularity peaking during the First World War. A thriving cottage industry began around 1915 and the cards were generally embroidered on strips of silk mesh by French women in their own homes. There could be as many as 25 cards on these strips. Once completed, they were sent to factories for cutting and mounting on postcards. Production ceased around 1923 and an estimated 10,000,000 handmade postcards were produced from 1915 to 1919. Designs included Australian themes, greetings, flags, Christmas, units and camps.'

Albert Edward Kemp was a 32-year-old butcher living in Caulfield and married to Annie Josephine, when he enlisted. He and Annie had a daughter, Ethel Mavis, and a baby son, George Percival. Albert enlisted at Royal Park on 4 October 1916, and was assigned to the 22nd Reinforcements, 6th Battalion - regimental number 6800. His battalion left Melbourne 25 October 1916 - just 21 days after he enlisted. He was shipped to France on 27 March and was taken on strength on 4 April. On 21 September 1917, Albert died in the trenches in Glencorse Wood, Belgium. His body was never found. He is commemorated at 29 The Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium.
Embrodiered postcard with coloured floral pattern and embroidered inscription of front, and inscribed in hand-writing on reverse.
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 90 mm (Height), 140 mm (Width)

More information

Tagged with: birthdays, death mourning, domestic life, wars conflicts, world war i 1914-1918, making history - kemp mourning collection
Themes this item is part of: Albert Edward Kemp Mourning Collection, Albert Edward Kemp, AIF (1884-1917), 6th Battalion Diary Extract, September 1917, Public Life & Institutions Collection
On Display at: Melbourne Museum
Primary Classification: MILITARY HISTORY
Secondary Classification: Personal Effects
Tertiary Classification: correspondence
Inscriptions: Text, embroidered: To my Mother.
Text, reverse: CARTE POSTALE/POST CARD POSTKAART/Dear Mother/CORRESPONDANCE/Wishing you mother many/happy returns of your/birthday hoping this to/find you in best of health/as it leave myself with fond/est of love of safe return/to you from your son Bert.
Format: Postcard: Colour
Author: Private Albert Kemp - 6th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force (AIF), Europe, 2 Jun 1917
References: Information on silk postcards from http://www.awm.gov.au, accessed 4/4/08.
  1. [Book], Garrie Hutchinson, Remember Them; a Guide to Victoria's Wartime Heritage, Hardie Grant Books, Melbourne, 2009, 30-2 Pages

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