The Old and the Bold

Christmas 1915

One thing that comes across from reading various accounts of the troops in East Africa was the importance of keeping in touch with family at home.  This was never more so than at Christmas when the distance and separation from family was felt all the more, Christmas cards home were one way of keeping touch at that time of year and this page shows a number of examples from 1915.  The first is a more traditional postcard style of card designed by Oscar Lindsey, the battalion’s Orderly Room Sergeant.  The card was printed in volume by the ‘Leader’ newspaper in Nairobi and made available to the battalion members.  The second and third examples show the ingenuity of the soldier by making the most of what resources were available to him, in these cases pieces of khaki drill.

Image Source Unknown

Images by kind permission of the Legion of Frontiersmen (Countess Mountbatten's Own)


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First published in;

The Daily Record and Mail, Thursday, 30th December, 1915

Private James Dawson Munro, of the 25th Royal Fusiliers Frontiersmen, Bomb Section, British East African Force, and residing at 3 Leyden Street, Maryhill, has sent home this striking Christmas card to his little baby, Nan.  On the one side of a piece of khaki drill is this drawing, and on the other the verses:-

“’Tis only a piece of khaki from the leg of my trousers torn, dirty and battered, frayed and tattered, and ripped by many a thorn;

useless and old, like the wearer, worn-out, torn and scarred, so the only use I can find for it is a soldier’s Christmas card.”