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What was happening in Rouen in WW1

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What was happening in Rouen in WW1

Postby Follie » Sun Dec 01, 2013 1:03 pm

I have someone in my family tree who was in the Cycling Corps in WW1 and I have a post card from Rouen which has been passed down in the family. The Soldiers name was John Golding and he sent this post card to his mother for her birthday. It was obviously posted in an envelope as there is no post mark or stamp on it. The front is very fine lace and flags embroidered on the top and the words Souvenir of Rouen on the bottom. I wondered what went on at Rouen, was it a place of battle or was it a sort of army barracks? In the message on the back of the card it doesn't mention anything about where he is or what is going on - just good wishes to his mother for her birthday.
Hope someone can enlighten me. (Also a bit more info on the cycling Corps)
Many thanks
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Re: What was happening in Rouen in WW1

Postby brunes08 » Sun Dec 01, 2013 2:30 pm

Re the Cycling Corps - type 1WW Cycling Corps into Google. Several sites come up which may be of help.

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Re: What was happening in Rouen in WW1

Postby Sylcec » Sun Dec 01, 2013 10:25 pm

Try here to start:

Hopefully there is a date on the postcard which sounds absolutely delightful - can you upload a picture of it for us? I expect that his corps was billeted in Rouen at the time the postcard was written, but you will need to consult the relevant war diary for the time frame to get the facts.
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Re: What was happening in Rouen in WW1

Postby Jacqueline Cox » Thu Dec 19, 2013 8:45 am

My grandfather was performing in a Pierrot entertainment which looks amateur on 26Jan 1916. He was the Queens Westminster Rifles. There were abt. 7 in the group photo. A chalked board at their feet says "The Rouen Follies. It is possible that he was ill as there were many military hospitals there and he was invalided out in March that year.
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Re: What was happening in Rouen in WW1

Postby phsvm » Thu Dec 26, 2013 5:19 pm

I have a very large collection of WW1 silk postcards, similar to the one you mention as having been passed down through the family. I too have one saying 'Souvenir of Rouen' and is an embroidery of 6 flags. Whilst I would not advocate you selling this card as it has family connections it is probably worth about £10 which, when you consider how much a solider was paid during the war, is astounding.

These were popular items for soldiers to purchase to send home to loved ones. The cards were made by the local women who embroidered large sheets of them - all with the same design - and then the sheets were sent off for cutting and mounting into cardboard frames. Designs included flowers; sentiments - "To my love", "From your soldier boy", "Happy Birthday" etc - regimental badges; flags and dates. It has been estimated that there were over 10000 different designs!

Yes, they were sent home in envelopes and consequently the cards themselves do not show a posting date unless the writer happened to date the card. John Golding would not have been permitted to say where he was or what he was doing. Had he given any indication of this the censor would have obliterated it with black ink before sending the card on.

I love these cards and find them very poignant, especially as so many were sent by men and boys who never returned. They are a reminder that these young men were like the rest of us, just ordinary human beings with families and friends waiting for them at home.
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