Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's!

Some WWI bonbons for you from the Ghosts of 1914...

 A snippet of a WWI-era song with a very sweet post-war fantasy:
I've had a battle all of my own,
I had to battle for love and for home,
Now a treaty's signed,
It's a funny kind,
Terms of peace are love and kisses,
And a "miss" is now a "missus."
I laid a siege
Right to her heart,
But I could not win alone.
My allies were the candy shops,
My ammunition chocolate drops;
Now I'll raise an army of my own...
--Roger Lewis and Ernie Erdman, "Now I'll Raise an Army of My Own"

And a box of Fry's chocolates given to British troops serving in Italy:

Fry's Chocolate tin for British troops in Italy. © IWM, Item EPH 9388

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's Eve

Hello dear readers,
In honor of tomorrow's romantic holiday, here are some charming WWI Valentines and related items from across the web. Sources are noted with each image:

"For a Soldier Laddie..." Postcard ca. 1917-18. ©

Sweetheart pin cushion, ca. 1914-18. © IWM, Item EPH  4231

 American postcard, for sale on Ebay © crowspostcards.

That's all for the moment! Stay tuned and may Valentine's Day this year be a day to celebrate love in your life, whether the love of significant others, friends, families, and/or pets.


Friday, February 1, 2013

A Field Service Postcard-Inspired Message

Field Service Postcard, British Army. © IWM, Item MH 34058.
Hello readers!
It's been too long since I last posted here at "Ghosts of 1914." I am back, briefly, today and will have more posts for you, especially as Valentine's Day approaches. Above is a delightful British Field Service postcard which, if I were to send it to you today, would indicate that all is "quite well" and a post would follow "at first opportunity."

Soldiers on the front sometimes used these cards to send brief, tightly-constrained, messages to families or loved ones. The cards made for efficient and easily censored or pre-censored communication, though their limitations on personal expression raise concern. Allyson Booth's excellent WWI critical work, Postcards from the Trenches, takes the Field Service postcard as an inspiration and point of study.

As the strict rules of the paper Field Service postcard do not apply to this fanciful electronic version, I'll add some more details on recent events, vicissitudes, and adventures...

In the last month or so, I became a Doctor of Philosophy when my dissertation was approved at Yale (yay!). It's a delicious though somewhat bittersweet milestone.

Being a devoted scholar and a close watcher of the current non-academic job market, I have decided to pursue yet more graduate work. This time, the focus is a bit more practical in nature: I'm studying computer science. My aim is to become a digital humanities scholar/programmer extraordinare, building software for cultural institutions and developing tools for teaching the humanities with technology. Wish me luck!

While I'm embarking on this new journey, it will be a pleasure to continue trawling the ether for the kind of Great War treasures I love to share with you. I'll be back within a week or two and until then, thank you for reading!