A child’s Christmas treat

This is a fascinating photograph I discovered in our collection.  It shows a temporary memorial, constructed from white-painted wood.  Although unfamiliar to us today because they have not survived, temporary memorials were relatively common immediately following the end of the First World War.  They were often erected in towns and cities to provide a focus for remembrance activities before a permanent stone memorial could be erected.

Black and white photo of temorary wooden First World War memorials

The other intriguing thing about this photograph is the annotation:

Comrades of the Great War
(Woolwich and District Branch)
Childrens’ Xmas Treat

A Child’s tribute to dear Daddy
Your tribute to the child

From this we can assume that the little boy to the left of the photo had lost his father in the war and the trip to visit the memorial had been organised as a Christmas treat by the local branch of the ‘Comrades of the Great War’, one of the forerunners of the Royal British Legion.  The last line is rather more enigmatic – ‘Your tribute to the child.’  Perhaps the postcard was sold to encourage donations for a permanent memorial? 

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