York Castle Museum - Wartime Christmas

Wartime Christmas

The museum has a superb collection of Christmas cards sent during the First World War.

They show that black humour and upbeat verses were often used to keep spirits up during very dark times. Initially the Government banned the sending of cards for security reasons, but it was soon realised that they acted as a morale booster for the troops and those at home.

Many make mention of the proud regiment the soldier is a member of, or where in the world he is fighting at the time. There are even examples from Prisoner of War camps. We also have a selection of embroidered silk cards. These were very popular in France where they were made by locals and sold to the troops to send home.

The cards all contain handwritten messages, sometimes only a name, sometimes much more, all giving a glimpse into what it was like living through the war years.

Please note: York Castle Museum is home to an extensive and varied collection of items and artefacts. Whilst we make every effort to display a broad spectrum of our collections it is not always possible for all our collections to be on display at once. Please check the latest exhibitions to find out what collections are currently on display or contact us on  01904 687687.