This colourful patriotic certificate was issued to schoolchildren during the First World War, often at Christmas, as here, or a variation of it on Empire Day
This was the first time that the whole nation had been mobilised to play a part in the war effort, and here young Mary Denham, mother of David Lothian, was commended for helping " to send some comforts and happiness to the Brave Men who are Fighting to uphold the Freedom of our Glorious Empire".
VAD nurses outside the Manse, Earlston. Can anyone identify the nurses?
The Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) referred to a voluntary unit providing field nursing services, mainly in hospitals. It was founded in 1909 with the help of the Red Cross and Order of St. John. By the summer of 1914 there were over 2,500 Voluntary Aid Detachments in Britain and members eagerly offered their service to the war effort.
However the Red Cross was reluctant to allow civilian women a role in overseas hospitals and military authorities would not accept VADs at the front line. Most volunteers were of the middle and upper classes and unaccustomed to hardship and traditional hospital discipline, but for many this was an opportunity for freedom from their restricted home environment.
VADs carried out duties that were less technical, but no less important, than trained nurses. They organised and managed local auxiliary hospitals throughout Britain, caring for the large number of sick and wounded soldiers. As the war went on, the growing shortage of trained nurses opened the door for VADs to work overseas.
Well known VAD's included crime writer Agatha Christie, who said "It was one of the most rewarding professions that anyone can follow”. Vera Brittain was most famous for writing "Testament of Youth: an autobiographical study of the years 1900–1925". She became a VAD in 1915 and was posted to France in 1917, writing a vivid, moving and poignant account of her experiences.
This little item has perforated edges like a stamp, but no information has been traced on it. The tiny printing at the bottom says "Society of Poster Art". From the start of the war, there was a great upsurge in charitable activities, with many charities founded that exist today. A National Relief Fund was set up, galvanising local communities into action. Much of the fund raising was for "Comforts" for the troops - knitting hats, scarves and gloves, sending books and food parcels abroad etc. Posters and postcards were also sold with patriotic messages as here.
During the First World War, Earlston remembered its serving soldiers at Christmas time, with a series of cards sent over the war years.
In the 1911 census, Earlston's population stood at 1749, with 801 male and 948 females. The First World War saw forty-eight men losing their lives in the conflict - their names recorded on the War Memorial, unveiled on Sunday 13th November 1921. In a service of dedication in the square, it was unveiled by Mrs Hope, wife of Colonel Hope of Cowdenknowes, who was chairman of the War Memorial Committee,
Earlston War Memorial, 2017
The Auld Earlston Group would be pleased to hear from anyone with war memorabilia. Items will be scanned, copied and returned to you.
Contact: Tel. 01896 848240. E-mail email@example.com