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Matlock & Matlock Bath : The War Memorials
Commemorating Matlock's and Matlock Bath's War Casualties
 
              
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About the Five Memorials
Matlock Memorial shortly after the unveiling
Unveiling Matlock Bath's Memorial
Remembrance Day,
about 1930
"The Matlock Guide":
Matlock Bath War Memorial
Peace Day, 19 July 1919
Scarthin War Memorial, unveiling programme
Commemorative Souvenirs
Surnames Index
Names on Matlock's War Memorial, WW1, A - J
Names on Matlock's War Memorial, WW1, K - W
Matlock's WW1 Casualties Not on the Memorial
Names on Matlock's War Memorial, WW2
Names on Matlock Bath's War Memorial
Names on Scarthin War Memorial
Names on Starkholmes War Memorial
Before & during WW1
Matlock's National Reservists & Call-up Card
A Christmas Card from the King & Queen in 1914

More on site records or information
A Christmas Card from the King and Queen in 1914 ...
Christmas card given to the troops, 1914
The 1914 Christmas post card


At Christmas time in 1914 British soldiers received this card from the King and Queen. The King, George V, was looking straight into the camera lens, creating the impression he was speaking directly to his army. It is a powerful image and the card, with a simple but warm message on the reverse (below), was greatly appreciated by the men.

At around the same time they also received a gift from Princess Mary who, in mid October, had appealed to the nation for funds[1]. Even children contributed, sending money to the fund instead of receiving Christmas presents[2]. My grandfather, writing home from France on 18 January 1915, refers to his gift and asks his wife if she has received it, as he had forwarded it to her for safe keeping. He was billeted with an elderly couple in a farm labourer's cottage at the time; the snow was almost knee-deep and his horses were outside in freezing conditions[3].


On the back
The 1914 Christmas postcard, back, with the Royal message





... and one from the Duke and 3 Mayors in 1915


Received Christmas 1915
Derbyshire's soldiers received this card for Christmas in 1915.


On the back of the card:
Back of the 1915 card
The 1915 card was printed by Bemrose of Derby.


Inside
From the Duke of Devonshire
A message from the Duke of Devonshire



From the Mayors of Derby and Chesterfield
Messages from the Mayors of Derby and Chesterfield were in the centre.


From the Mayor of Ilkeston
The final official message was, somewhat inexplicably, from the Mayor of Ilkeston.
It has never been clear why a Matlock man should have received a card designed for an Ilkeston soldier.


Christmas cards in the collection of, provided by and © Ann Andrews Intended for personal use only


References:

[1] "The Times" 2 Nov, 1914 : Princess Mary's Fund. Christmas Gifts For The Soldiers And Sailors.
On 15 October 1914 Princess Mary had appealed for funds "to provide a Christmas gift for every soldier and sailor on active service" ... The King headed the list with £100". The article also said that by Christmas time 600,000 men would be eligible for the gift. "The gift will take the form of an embossed brass tobacco or cigarette box, on the lid of which will be a portrait of the Princess, with tobacco or cigarettes, a pipe and a tinder lighter". The Indian troops and none smokers were to receive a box of sweets and making the boxes was being done in areas where work had been scarce.

[2] "The Times", 11 Nov, 1914

[3] Letter from John Clay, 18 January 1915, Ann Andrews collection. Various newspapers, including "The Times", had suggested sending the boxes home before Christmas, as keepsakes for the families.