Tuesday 22 March 2016

Easter Joys Be Yours

Easter Joys be yours a postcard sent in time for Easter 1916. The sweet image and pretty sentiment belie the fact that the newspapers of the time were full of tragic stories about the war and the Easter Rising in Ireland. Easter Monday came later in 1916 falling as it did on April 24th. 

These are some of the headlines in British newspapers in April of that year;

Nightly German Navy airship raids on England.
Munitions factory explosion at Uplees near Faversham, Kent, kills 108 men.
Garrick Theatre Fire, Hereford: 8 young girls appearing in an amateur benefit evening performance for soldiers are killed when their costumes catch fire.
Easter Rising in Ireland:  Members of the Irish Republican Brotherhood proclaim an Irish Republic and the Irish Volunteers and Irish Citizen Army occupy the General Post Office and other buildings in Dublin before surrendering to the British Army.
German battle cruisers bombard Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth.
Gas attack at Hulluch in France: 47th Brigade, 16th (Irish) Division, decimated in one of the most heavily-concentrated gas attacks of the war.
Source; Wikipedia

Contrast the above with this letter also published in a British newspaper in April, 1916.

Dear Girls and Boys,

When you read this letter, your schools will have broken up for the Easter holidays, and you will be anticipating the pleasures of country walks in the bright spring sunshine, and finding the nests of our feathered friends. I do not think so many Easter eggs will be rolled on Monday as is the case in normal times, for I have heard of quite a number of children who are giving up this pleasure in order to send the eggs to our hospitals for the wounded soldiers.  Still, we can spend quite as jolly a time in the fields on Easter-Monday; and an orange is a fine substitute for an egg as a treat, although I should not recommend it being used as a ball. A ball made of indiarubber is the best fun, and, armed with these two and a little basket for our floral spoils, we can sally forth for our afternoon's enjoyment in almost any direction from Whitby, with the certainty of finding a pretty walk and plenty of flowers.

Source; Whitby Gazette April 20th, 1916

The news in 2016 is hardly better than it was in 1916, dominated as it is this morning with reports of a suspected bomb attack in Brussels.  My wish is that every person on earth could sally forth this Easter with the certainty of enjoying a pretty walk and plenty of flowers.

Image Richard Denman Hampson 

**Easter Joys Be Yours manufactured by M. M. Vienne of Austria an important publisher of artist signed cards covering a whole range of topics and styles. 


  1. Funny thing is I somehow prefer Easter to Christmas........... I think perhaps less commercialism.
    Have a good Easter.
    Julie xxxxxx

    1. I agree Julie, but the sad thing is it becomes more commercialised with every passing year. Happy Easter! xx

  2. My dear Barbara! I think I would have missed this post since I did not see it appear on my blog roll, but I came by way of your dear comment on my post; thank you for visting!

    Your vintage posts always remind me of the importance of history, whether documented in children's books or in journals of that day.....I have come to learn that history IS important. Teaching teens who don't seem to be interested in anything before their time has heightened this awareness, so I so appreciate anyone who can remember.....thank you.

    1. Hello Anita, you commented just a few moments after I published the post so it may not have had time to reach your blog roll. Thank you for coming over to say hello, it is always such a pleasure to hear from you.
      The news was awful a hundred years ago and sadly today doesn’t feel much different. I don’t understand why we don’t learn the lessons of the past and start treating each other with a little more understanding and kindness..
      Thank goodness for lovely folks like you to brighten the day.
      Happy Easter xxx


    I got a chocolate rabbit
    For an Easter treat,
    A great big chocolate rabbit
    Good enough to eat.

    So I ate his ears on Sunday,
    His nose I finished Monday.
    Tuesday I nibbled on his feet.
    I ate his tail on Wednesday
    Thursday I kept on,
    By Friday he was going,
    Saturday he was gone.

    Oh, I loved my chocolate rabbit
    From the moment that he came,
    And if I get another one,
    I'll love him just the same.

    Best start with summat a little light hearted!:).

    Something l find difficult to understand......
    And, it's on the news each and every day......
    After ALL these years...AND years..How people
    still can't live together, you would have thought,
    after ALL the grief and heartache, that 'man'...
    would have learned to love and help one another.
    But! No! That does'nt seem to happen, does it!!!
    Take the UK...(Please..someone please take it).
    It's run by Liars..Cheats..and Thieves...! No
    argument...It's been proved enough times! Anything
    done about it...Of course not...! Put bars up at
    the windows of the House of Commons...We'd know where
    most of the villains are then...! HeHe! Goodness me
    Willie, your going of on one...HeHe! Yes! And! Why!
    Not! "Friends..Romans..Countrymen...Lend me....."!

    "How does the Easter bunny communicate on the internet.."
    "By Hare Mail..!!!
    Buon Pasqua...Happy Easter! To us Sicilians it's a bigger feast day than Christmas! And..It ALL starts Friday!

    1. Hi Willie, I love the little poem thank you for sharing it.

      I don’t know about you, but I’m not feeling very light hearted this morning, news of yet another terrorist attack is sickening to say the least. When will it end?

      I really don’t want anyone to take the UK because I love it so. I spend a lot of time walking around the local area and at those times it is possible to forget all the evil in the world, but it very soon slaps me in the face again. This world of ours would be wonderful without people!

      You are not wrong about the government the trouble is I don’t think anyone else would do a better job. Money and power corrupt – fact!

      You might notice I deleted a comment it was only because I replied to Julie at KC’s court and somehow managed to attach the reply to your comment. Silly me. Have a wonderful Easter Willie.

    2. HeHe! Barbara...You feed me wonderful lines...! :).
      Yes! This world would be great place without people?
      Well!!! Yes! though perhaps just 'ME'..And! And! 100's
      No! 1,000's of pussy~cats!x Living in the Garden of Eden...!
      O.K. Dorset and the surrounding area then....!!! :0).

      Just watching the terror attack...Don't understand why Belgium is being the target! Half of my Sicilian family
      moved to La Louviere..26miles (42 kil) south of Brussels,
      some 50yrs ago, an uncle/aunt and seven cousins, all have
      grown up and married and had children, and settled there!
      Lot of Sicilians/Italians in the area. Moved there for
      work, all those years ago...! Used to go with my daughter
      during half term, for 10days when she was at school.
      I'll phone my cousin Lina to~night. Hope there all o.k.

    3. Ha Willie I thought you would be able to make something of that!
      OK, you, ME, cats and dogs, Dorset, Somerset and surrounding area!! As for the Garden of Eden, I have a feeling that was when it all started to go wrong. :-)

      I hope all is well with your family. xx

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  5. This is a very interesting post, but, unfortunately, what the French say is sadly true: the more things change, the more they remain the same.

    I'm afraid I feel as you do - not very lighthearted about the attack in Brussels (and a lot of the hate rhetoric that is spewing out in this country).

    Won't we ever learn?

    Still, I wish you a happy and peaceful Easter.

    1. Hi Alex,
      The hate rhetoric is abhorrent as are the attacks themselves. Let's hope sense prevails before another hundred years have to pass.
      Happy Easter, Barbara

  6. What a great post, Barbara! Thank you so much for sharing, and Happy Easter to you. :)

    1. Thank you Linda, have a happy and safe Easter. xx

  7. How lovely to read your thoughts on such a sad day, Barbara. I always remember my beloved Grandpa saying how British and German troops shook hands on Christmas Day at the beginning of World War One. What has happened to compassion? Wishing you a happy Easter filled with hopes of world peace. xxx

    1. My dad told me the same story when I was a child and since then I’ve read more about it. It touched me at the time, and it still does. Dad said one of the German soldiers began singing Silent Night (Stille Nacht), and the British joined in. I remember thinking how strange it was that men could shake hands, play a game of football and resume fighting the following day. Compassion is still alive just not in the hearts of everyone. Have a happy and safe Easter Marilyn. xx

  8. I love these old illustrations.

    It's such a shame that the world is going through such turbulant times at the moment, especially as trouble gets so close to home as we head into Easter. Here's hoping for a happy one.

    1. Hi Nikki-ann, I love them too. Have a lovely Easter weekend, stay safe. Barbara x

  9. This post shows that there is always light in dark times. No matter what we can always find a pretty walk and plenty of flowers. Happy Easter to you and yours. <3

    1. I agree, Darlene - that's just it. The darkness in the world makes the light shine stronger.

    2. Thank you Darlene and Sue, you are both so right!
      Happy Easter to you and your families. xxx

  10. Wishing you and your family, Barbara, and all your friends on the blog a wonderful Easter or as we say out here behind the Sauerkraut curtain, Frohe Ostern!

    1. Frohe Ostern Sue, have a wonderful Easter.

    2. Belated Frohe Ostern to you as well Sue.Now I am hungry for sauerkraut.

  11. And ... one more comment before I get down to some work here. One of the best-loved German children's books at Eastertime is 'Die Häschenschule' - 'The bunny school' - it was originally published in 1924. It's about a brother and sister rabbit, Hans and Gretchen, who go across the fields to the bunny school, with a rather stern schoolmaster.

    But they have to watch out for the crafty fox lurking in the bushes!

    I love the illustrations - here is a link to some of them:


    1. Hello Sue, thank you so much for the link the illustrations are just gorgeous.
      I’ve been sitting her trying to think who they reminded me of, and then it came to me – Harry Rountree –


      They are also a little reminiscent of the work done by A. J. Macgregor, who illustrated lots of the Ladybird books.
      Lovely to find a new illustrator (to me) thanks again. Barbara

  12. ... and thank you, too Barbara. I hadn't seen Harry Rountree before but I love the illustrations - especially those furry dormice or whatever they are. And as for A.J.Macgregor - I remember so many of those from my childhood but hadn't seen them for yonks!

    1. Hi Sue, Harry Rountree is one of my favourite illustrators. I wish I had hung on to some of the books I sold over the years, especially those with his illustrations as I can't afford to buy them again now! We live and learn :)

  13. I love the illustrations and the words in Die Hasenschule, (sorry no Umlaut). Our world is as upset as it was in WW1 and 2 although in a different time/place. Things have not necessarily changed for the better at all.

    1. Hi Anne Marie, I love them as well! You would hope things would move on in a hundred years, and in many ways they have, but there are still those who want to maim and kill. It's all very sad.

    2. I'm pleased that Die Hasenschule gave you a chance to practice your German, Anne Marie. Reading German children's books to my son was one way I learned the language.

    3. I've not done any German for about 4 years now Sue, I used to be in a good class and one term we read and reviewed 3 books based on the former East Germany. I bet I couldn't do it now.

  14. What a lovely post! I think the sentiments in the letter that was posted in the newspaper gave people hope. I think more of these kinds of reports would help lift people's spirits today. :)

    1. Thanks so much Stephanie. I think you are absolutely right re the letter. I wish there were more good news stories in the papers at the moment. Have a lovely Easter xx

    2. I agree totally, plus the postcard is gorgeous!

  15. Things definitely haven't changed for the better, but we do try to focus on the goodness in the world, such as nature's beauty and your gorgeous Easter images. x

    1. Hello Yvonne, how lovely to hear from you. I do pop over to your blog from time to time to see if there are any new posts but have not visited for a while but will do so when I’ve replied to your comment.
      You are right about focusing on the goodness in the world. There is so much to be thankful for and there are many kind and wonderful human beings so we mustn’t let the few bad ones get us down – but sometimes they do. Happy Easter to you and to Amber. xx

  16. Barbara, I'm so sorry I've been away so long. I was on vacation and then realized that your posts were no longer showing on my blog list. Not sure what's happening there! Anyway I will need to do some catching up. Thank you for this interesting post. Looking back in history it seems that tragedies and triumphs seem to go hand in hand.
    With the bad comes the good... the attack in Brussels must seem even more painful since you are so much closer geographically. Such a sad time for so many. But as you said, we must make the best of each day we have and I appreciate the lovely antique image of the chicks... Happy Easter to you and yours and I hope you have time to stroll through a beautiful garden! ~ Diane

    1. Hello Diane,
      Thank you so much for visiting, it’s odd you should say about my posts not showing in your blog list – yours are not showing in mine either – which is why I’ve not been over. Anita from Castles, Crowns & Cottages said the same thing so something somewhere must have changed – but I’ve no idea what.
      Brussels and Paris feel almost like our backyard. We’ve visited both places numerous times so the attacks do feel very close to home. It is all very, very sad.
      I don’t think we will be strolling through many gardens over Easter as it is going to be very wet, but as soon as the sun shines we will! Happy Easter and thanks again for coming over. Barbara x

    2. Hi again Barbara,
      Thank you for visiting my blog in return. I added your blog URL manually to my blog list and it is now showing on my sidebar list. Curious that both Castles and I are from Minnesota! I need to check my list to see if anyone else has gone missing! Our weather is much the same, today and most of Easter gloomy and raining. Hopefully we will have a break in the clouds, but way too early for flowers here yet!
      I believe sincere prayers and reflection are needed with the state of our world. So this Easter I'll pray for peace, comfort and healing and happiness and joy for all.
      Glad to be back in touch! ~ Diane

    3. Hi Diane, your blog just turned up in my sidebar list - I didn't do a thing, but I'm glad you’re back! Perhaps Anita’s blog will show up next.
      Prayer is a powerful thing so if you don’t mind I will join you.
      Have a Very Happy Easter, Barbara

  17. What a contrast and to think 100 years have passed since then. Thankfully, good people like you, always shine a little brighter to ease hard times. Enjoy a peaceful spring and Happy Easter, Barbara!

    1. What a lovely thing to say, thank you Marcia!
      Happy Easter and hugs, Barbara.

  18. Very warm(30+ degrees!)Easter greetings,my dear,lovely friend Barbara! Here in Tropical North Queensland,Easter has been celebrated in what always seems a cheerful way,if only for the glorious weather which brings out the joy which we all should be free to feel,no matter where we are,or what the weather is doing!! The main issue which the children here had to concern themselves with yesterday was stopping their bounty of chocolate eggs from melting!! Of course,for us adults, it is all a lot more serious; and the compassion which flows to your side of the world from mine,is immense and so filled with sadness at the latest atrocities. Seeing your postcard and letter images from a century ago,brought forth much enjoyment as I had to then go and enjoy my own collection of magical Easter Postcards from so very long ago! The Easter postcards are my favourite 'festival' ones from years past, with the chicks,bunnies and spring flowers which adorn most of them in such gloriously cheerful full colour!! I was taught from a very young age that Easter and the symbolism of the Egg,and the bunnies actually harks to far more ancient times,heralding the coming of Spring,the season of Fertility & renewed life!This is why personally,I find that the Christian Easter Festival is one of such importance and genuine hope and joy!They coincide with such glorious perfection.What a pity that all of mankind cannot see the peaceful message which the doves of Easter try so hard each and every year to convey!
    The commercialism of Easter here is something which this year truly horrified me more than ever.In January,with post-Christmas sales of excess goods barely begun,I noticed in the supermarkets,huge piles of Hot Cross Buns were already being made available for sale! To me the Hot Cross Bun is a VERY special treat to be enjoyed on Easter Sunday, when Christ has risen.They tend to lose all religious concept if made available 3 full months prior to the day they are meant for! In past years they have been called 'Red Cross buns' to raise funds for this charity,but not THIS year. I wonder why,when the Red Cross is in more need than ever before?!
    On a more cheerful note,I have so many Harry Rountree illustrations, plus,as well,I have masses by Ernest Aris who did the most gorgeous bunnies in the world(in MY humble opinion!!)and they bring such happiness to me EVERY day!
    May you & your readers all rejoice in the wonder of what Easter is truly all about,and may mankind one day see what WE all know in our hearts is the right way to live....in dignity and peace! My love,and smiles always,Jules in Oz xoxox

    1. Morning Julie, Good Friday was beautiful but very wet since then. Storm Katie blew through last night. We were lucky, but some places endured gales of up to 100 miles an hour. Our daughter in law put lots of pics of the girls online, so we could see their Easter egg hunt. It was a beautiful sunny day in Adelaide also. Both the girls have been suffering with some kind of sickness bug for a few days. Lilly is on the mend but Zoe still looks very washed out. She found her eggs in the garden but didn’t want to eat any, such a shame. I don’t know what to say about the latest goings-on in Europe. I have never, and will never understand why we can’t live peacefully together. As a child, I was told WW1 was the war to end all wars (so I never understood why there was a WW2!) It feels to me, as though we are still fighting a war with no end in sight. All we can do is hold on to the fact that there are more good people in the world than bad.

      Your postcard collection sounds wonderful Julie, maybe you could share some on Pinterest? Terry and I enjoyed our first hot cross buns of the year on Easter Sunday. I had intended to make some but in the end I ran out of time, so we got them from the local supermarket, and very good they were too! Red Cross buns sound like such a great idea! I wonder why it didn’t happen this year.
      You are right about Ernest Aris, I forget to mention him in my reply to Sue (Sue if you are reading this Ernest Aris created brilliant rabbits!)
      I agree we must all stay cheerful and remember what Easter is truly about. Love and smiles to you too Julie. xx

  19. What a lovely post and I love all the comments.

    Hope you had a good Easter!

  20. Me, too, Barbara. I hope we all sally forth in walks decorated with flowers, peace and joy. Admiring the pretty art in the Easter Day postcard then reading the tumultuous events afterwards, I can't help wondering how can such beauty co-exist with such terror? Yet this is the world we live in and we must try to make sure there's more beauty to rid the terrors. Your blog is important to me. So many beautiful things and sentiments here. I hope you and Terry have had a very pleasant Easter holiday. xoxo Claudine

    1. Thank you for your sweet Easter wishes Claudine. We enjoyed the long weekend, lots of walks and a little putting our feet up! There are spring flowers all along the lanes now, and the birds are singing their hearts out so it really does bring a sense of peace and joy. I hope your days are filled with flowers. xx


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Barbara xx