Postcard signals that WW1 soldiers celebrated Xmas Day

Houghton Regis Christmas Day cartoon.
Houghton Regis Christmas Day cartoon.

Are we downhearted? Apparently not.

This cartoon, Xmas Day at Houghton Regis, was the illustration on a postcard available to be purchased by soldiers based in the village during the First World War.

Members of the Royal Signal Corps had a semi-permanent camp on The Green and the surrounding area.

The camp included a large hut where refreshments were served. But perhaps the scene inside was not usually quite so merry as this.

The postcard has been discovered by David Underwood, of Totternhoe, who has provided much of the World War One memorabilia currently on display at Priory House, Dunstable.

The postcard’s George V halfpenny stamp was postmarked on January 24 1916, and has a message from Houghton Regis to Mr Biles, of East Preston, Worthing, from his son George: “Hope to reach Midhurst tomorrow night. Will have to wire you Wednesday what time to expect us as I don’t know what arrangements have been made yet.”

> Yesteryear is compiled by John Buckledee, chairman of Dunstable and District Local History Society.