Embroidered "Silk" of the Yorkshire Regiment Badge. |
Embroidered postcards from World War One are generally known as "WW1 Silks". Sometime in 1915 an enterprising French/Belgian female refugee sold her embroidery work to a soldier and started an industry. The "Silks" became so popular with the Allied soldiers that it is estimated some 10 million could have been sold. The themes usually show the patriotic feeling of the times coupled with the usual greeting card sentiments. French and Belgian women, often refugees, would work up to 8 hours to produce a hand embroidered picture on a strip of mesh and sell it for the equivalent of 10p in today's money. Eventually Parisian entrepreneurs got hold of the idea and women worked for a pittance producing them in mass. Most cards, like this one, do not have postage stamps as they were mailed home at no charge to the sender in Military Mail pouches. More often they were brought home on the winter furlough and most, therefore, have no message on the back. These cards became treasured souvenirs to the boys at the front and to the folks back home. This card was brought home and treasured by 33002 Pte Frank Boynton of Skelton in Cleveland. He survived the War after becoming a POW and being repatriated in 1918.
[Kindly contributed by his Great Nephew, Simon Douglas of Wallsend.]
The following embroidery was contributed by Stephanie Watson of Stockton on Tees. It was sent back from Palestine to his mother by Private
Lewis Carline, also of Stockton on Tees. |
He survived the War and lived until 1968. It is not certain in which Yorkshire Regiment Battalion he served. I could not find any that had been sent out to the Middle East.
It turns out from his medal card details that he had been in the Yorkshire Regiment with Battalion number 66718, probably as a machine gunner as he was later transferred to the Machine Gun Corps with Army number 153559.
[The Machine Gun Corps was not formed until October 1915 when the old Cavalry schooled Generals finally realised what a vital killing role the machine gun would play.]
Lewis Carline clearly thought of himself as being first and foremost a Yorkshire Regiment lad.
The photographs of the soldier in yet another Regiment [probably Army Service Corps] and the sailor are a mystery.