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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

ww1 valentine cards


jwp2007

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That story echoes one in our family. My Great Aunt was engaged and her man went off to The War (don't know more than that). He was killed overseas, and she was heartbroken. She never recovered, had a stroke when in her early 40s, and spent the next 40 or so years in a nursing home. So very sad. She was such a lovely old lady, and I would imagine her sweetheart would have been a dashing sort, and it's just a shame that spent so long in a home waiting to die, instead of living her dreams and hopes...

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It is a tragic tale and, as you say, must have been repeated thousands of times. It's a pity Will's surname was not mentioned as I'd love to know how, when and where he died.

Since I joined this forum I seem to be developing a thirst that, if a tale is not fully told, I am compelled to keep going back to that thread until my curiosity is sated.

Diane

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Just noticed the daily express is running this story as well, it has a picture of Will in AIF uniform and says he was killed in the first year of the war.

John.

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Saw the entry in the Express - wondered why the family wanted to sell them, especially as the auctioneers reckon they will go for £100. They will probably go for more after the publicity but it is not going to be a fortune.

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The story in the link above is a bit different to the one in the hard copy of the Daily Telegraph, which curiously states that Will "before the start of the war ... was based in France in the same regiment as her brother, Tom".

The article refers to two "handcrafted cards, one from 1913 and one from 1914" but includes an image of the back of a card from Will to Edith with, I think, a Uttoxeter postmark clearly dated De 27 1910. The card's imprint is difficult to decipher. I wonder if it's as "rare" as claimed in

this local newspaper article

which has images of several of the cards. A Google will take you to other articles in local newspapers.

Well done to the auctioneer (presumably) for getting a publicity puff in the national press.

Moonraker

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Posting for member GERAINT who had commented on the (now closed) 'Soldier Will' thread regarding spinstership ...

My great aunt did the same. Her fiance was killed in 1915, and she remained unmarried, dying in 1968. She had one photo and one letter off him, and a locket with a lock of his hair. They were all placed in her coffin and buried with her on her request. I've often pondered about this relationship; they were very young- late teens, from a chapel background, and therefore of a chaste relationship. Had he died of a work accident, or a common illness such as measles, I'm sure that she would have forged another relationship; but I think that the military implications of a Great War death struck the girls back home with a certain morbidity which was previously unseen, and made a great many of these young girls unmarried war widows. They were born in a Victorian culture of death and mourning, the weight of sacrifice and the manner of death, made it difficult for them to 'move on'.

Regarding the selling of these cards. The seller is probably four generations removed from the spinster gga/ggga? and I would find it difficult in justifying a close 'family relation' in that situation.

Just reread the original posting. The Valentines were 1913 and 1914 - ie pre war. The cards have no real world war connection.

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Des is in the process of re-posting my contribution to the duplicate thread.

I agree with Moonraker that none of it stacks up.

Tom's service papers are here:

http://naa12.naa.gov.au/scripts/Imagine.asp

He did not enlist until 13 March 1916 and arrived at the ABD at Etaples on 23 December 1916. He received gunshot wounds to his head and left thigh and eventually succumbed to gas gangrene in the leg wound.

The only way that I think that this story could have any credence is if Will emigrated to Australia with Tom before the war and then joined up with him at the same time.

Is anyone prepared to search the 37th Btn AIF casualties for a Will/William possibly with a Derby connection? :rolleyes:

Regards

Mel

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In light of Mel's post .. it might be worthwhile re-titling to draw in help from Aus. members who may have fast access to such material?

I.E. Valentine card - Australian soldier mystery?

with sub-title of course.

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Des

It mightbe easier if I just post Tom's CWGC details:

Name: DUNN, THOMAS

Initials: T

Nationality: Australian

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: Australian Infantry, A.I.F.

Unit Text: 37th Bn.

Age: 29

Date of Death: 27/10/1917

Service No: 2223

Additional information: Son of George and Susannah Dunn, of Church Broughton, Derby, England.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: VIII. I. 84.

Cemetery: BOULOGNE EASTERN CEMETERY

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I'm having a few issues with the AWM site atm, but I will keep looking nd see what I can find about this fella. I am intrigued too. I wish we knew Aunty's bloke's name ...

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Thomas Dunn

RankPrivate [Pte]Service Number2223Unit37th Battalion Australian InfantryServiceArmyConflict1914-1918Date of Death27 October 1917Cause of DeathDied of woundsCemetery or Memorial DetailsFRANCE 102 Boulogne Eastern CemeteryWar Grave Register NotesDUNN, Pte. Thomas, 2223. 37th Bn. Australian Inf. Died of wounds 27th Oct., 1917. Age 29. Son of George and Susannah Dunn, of Church Broughton, Derby, England. VIII. I. 84.SourceAWM145 Roll of Honour cards, 1914-1918 War, ArmyIt's playing up tonight. That's all I could get

Diane

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Thanks Mel. It rather completes things doesn't it. Sad that he got scabies, measles and 14 days of field punishment. All within one year!

Diane

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Thanks Mel. :)

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