Sombre birthday greeting after years of slaughter

Portsmouth war memorial on the postcard sent to Dolly Merriott in 1922
Portsmouth war memorial on the postcard sent to Dolly Merriott in 1922
The new trackbed for the Horndean Light Railway looking south across the bridge over Southwick Hill Road, Cosham, about 1903.

NOSTALGIA: Ready and waiting, the shiny new tracks climbing Portsdown Hill

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Back in the summer I published a picture of the war memorial off Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, shortly after it was unveiled on October 19, 1921, by Field Marshal, the Duke of Connaught.

It was built by public subscription and contained the names of thousands of men from the town killed in the First World War.

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That picture prompted 81-year-old Joyce Tynan to raid her archives for the postcard on the right.

Joyce, from Southsea, remembered the card sent by her grandmother to her mother Dolly on her 21st birthday in May 1922, seven months after the unveiling.

The memorial contains the names of two of Dolly’s brothers, Arthur and Charlie Merriott.

As you can see, Joyce’s grandma used an unusual phrase in her greetings: ‘I hope you will be spared to enjoy many more to come.’

Surely this was an indication of the times after the mass slaughter of the so-called Great War and the flu pandemic which followed.