Birthday treasures

A superb selection of birthday cards from the 1917- 1921 period sent by Dr. Hawkins.

A superb selection of birthday cards from the 1917- 1921 period sent by Dr. Hawkins.

Among my treasures is an old album, almost falling to pieces, in which birthday cards sent to me in my childhood were faithfully stored.

The most unusual items are those sent to me when I was just one year old in 1917, together with many others received when I was two, three, four and five years old. As I was not sent to primary school until the age of five, I wonder how I was expected to appreciate such cards?

I have enclosed a small selection of reduced-size copies of such cards – mosdy from my pre-school period – together with the reverse side of one of them showing the postmark for February 41917 (the day before my first birthday). Many of the cards in the album cannot be dated as the postmarks are covered or partially off the card, but those included here illustrate the variety available at the time.

Birthday and Christmas cards of that period had the picture on one side and the address and message on the reverse, unlike the folded cards of today. Also the cost of sending such a card was then only a halfpenny, whereas nowadays it is almost 100 times as much!

Dr. E. Hawkins

‘A birthday wish sincere’ to a grandson, postmarked Yeovil, February 4 1917.

‘A birthday wish sincere’ to a grandson, postmarked Yeovil, February 4 1917.