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Greetings card

  • Place of origin:

    Britain (published)

  • Date:

    1918 (printed)
    1918 (published)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Spradbery, Walter E., born 1889 - died 1969 (illustrator)
    Royal Army Medical Corps (publisher)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Letterpress on card and colour offset on paper

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case GG, shelf 68, box G

During the First World War a ban on Christmas cards was mooted to save paper but the idea was rejected in the interests of maintaining morale. By the early 20th century postcards had become more popular than folder cards like this one as they were cheaper to post and most WWI Christmas cards were single sheets in postcard or visiting card format. This card issued at the end of the war by the Royal Army Medical Corps moves beyond the usual cheaply-produced propaganda or grim trenches humour and anticipates the era of peace and plenty expected in the wake of victory.

Physical description

Khaki-grey folder card in portrait format. On the front: Christmas greeting and insignia of the Royal Army Medical Corps printed in brown. Inside: tipped-on colour image printed on white paper depicting four RAMC personnel carrying a stretcher laden with Christmas fare and on which a fifth soldier sits raising a glass, behind him a flag with a red cross on a white ground inscribed "Bonne Santé" and intertwined with a laurel wreath, in the background visible beneath the stretcher a nocturnal scene of a battlefield with a ruined building (a church?), forms resembling crosses (bombed-out trees?), and an ambulance.

Place of Origin

Britain (published)


1918 (printed)
1918 (published)


Spradbery, Walter E., born 1889 - died 1969 (illustrator)
Royal Army Medical Corps (publisher)

Materials and Techniques

Letterpress on card and colour offset on paper

Marks and inscriptions

On the front lettered in brown

Lettered in black within the image


Height: 15 cm whole card, Width: 11.7 cm whole card (folded), Width: 23.4 cm whole card (open), Height: 11.4 cm image, Width: 9 cm image

Descriptive line

Greetings card, Christmas, letterpress and colour offset, illustrated by Walter E. Spradbery, published by Royal Army Medical Corps, Britain, World War I, 1918.

Subjects depicted

Soldiers; Laurel wreaths; War; Glasses; Goose; Victory; Battlefields; Fruit; Flags


Christmas; Greeting cards


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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