Cyril Bartlett - the beginning of the Great War


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Context


By the end of 1914 there was stalemate on the Western front. The Germans occupied the entire length of their side. From the Swiss frontier northward through the Vosges and the Meuse and up to Armentieres, the French held the line for the Entente powers.

The Somme to Bethune and Flanders was held by the British and the Belgians held the tiny area around La Panne; the only part of their homeland not occupied by the Germans.

La Grande Guerre 1914-15 Hebuterne Postcard dated 5th August 1915:

This shows the ruin of a church and is entitled: Great War 1914-15, little realising that there were three more years of war ahead...
Dear Jess,
am going on alright. Hope you spent a happy Bank Holiday. Will write soon.
Much love,
Yours Ever,
xxx Cyril xxx
A Standardised Postcard

This, now rather yellowing, card is typical of postcards received at home from soldiers serving with British Expeditionary Force.
It must have been frustrating to have virtually no information of their whereabouts or wellbeing.



This card is among those with no message, which must have been enclosed with letters: A card with a painting of a woman

Letter from Ellen Bartlett (Cyril’s Mother), 33 Manchester Road, Reading, dated 24th December 1915:
My dear Jessie, Ellen Bartlett - Cyril's mother

I don’t know how to thank you enough for the sweet little table centre and band you so kindly sent me. How beautifully you have worked that little thing. You must have spent hours working it and for me. I shall value it always very much. The card is pretty too!

I hope that Christmas brings you much pleasure and happiness, it brings you my very best wishes that it will be so. I am very glad you have a nice long free time. Be sure you make the most of it.

We shall be very pleased to see you next Thursday, come as early as you can won’t you?

I expect Mirree is writing and will tell you all other news, anyhow I shall see you soon.

I have had no letter from Cyril since I saw you, only a Christmas card last Monday, but expect we shall hear soon. I wondered if you would like the little picture. Do you care for that kind of picture?

Again, wishing you a very happy Yuletide.

With love,

Yours very sincerely, E Bartlett

33 Manchester Road - Cyril's parents home in 1914 - taken 2011
Here we have a picture of 33 Manchester Road as it looked in September 2011 - standing outside it is the current owner Mr B P Chudal, originally from Nepal, who was generous with his time and kindly allowed us to take this picture for the site.

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