Tuesday, 4 February 2014

One More Shell For The Front

"One More Shell For The Front" by British artist 'G.A.S.'

"One More Shell For The Front" - back of the postcard written by Private Reg Simson whilst On Active Service in 1918.

This postcard was one of many artistic humoured cards whose meaning intentionally ran much deeper. Artist 'G.A.S.' popular with silhouette postcards during WW1, produced this card of a cheerful looking chicken wearing a soldier's cap. By all appearances, the artist has succeeded in providing a little humour but has also strongly emphasised the patriotic fervour to push out "one more" deadly weapon to support the allies fighting at the Front line.

Private Reginald Fowler Simson of Dannevirke wrote the above message from Sling Camp in England during the latter stages of the war in 1918. Reg addressed this postcard to his older brother Frank Luckins Simson (pictured) now back in his hometown Dannevirke. Frank was on active service in France when he was wounded in the head and legs in June 1916. He was declared no longer physically fit for war service and returned to New Zealand on the hospital ship Maheno in March 1917.
Reg mentions his older brothers Bertie Ambrose and Louie Harry Simson in the postcard message above. Bert was declared no longer physically fit for war service on account of suffering from neurasthenia (shell shock) in 1918, and returned home to New Zealand. Louie came through the war relatively unscathed and returned to New Zealand after the war ended.

Lance Corporal Sydney Simson of 1st Battalion Wellington Infantry Regiment was Reg's older brother. Reg, Bert, Frank and Louie never saw their brother Sydney again. He was killed in action in France on 16 September 1916, age 23 years.