Tuesday, 12 January 2016


The Great War, later known as First World War/World War 1, was fought overseas. Around here local people would not have known what a forlorn and muddy bloodbath it was. Young men were urged to join up and fight; those who had moral objections were branded as cowards.

Nearest army training camp to Rhyl (during WW1 and WW2) was Kinmel Park Camp near Bodelwyddan. The above photo of the camp was taken by Rhyl photographer Rae Pickard presumably before, during or after WW1.

The camp looks a pleasant sort of place but conditions were not exactly comfortable if we are to believe the following:
Click on any picture to see a bigger version.

This half-joking card would have been for sale in various locations in UK with the name of the camp changed to suit - worth Tommy's penny for a good larf.

The card below is dated June 1916 and shows a group at the Red Cross Hospital (aka Men's Convalescent Home) in Bedford Street, Rhyl:

World War 1, World War One, First World War, The Great War

Here is the back of the card:

It is from Grace Brown (presumably a nurse) writing home. She says that the card cost 3d (three pennies) which probably went to Red Cross funds. 
"Dear Mama, What do you think of this? I think it has only just lately been taken because Frank is not on it - Can you find Stiff Neck, Scotty and Flying Boy - We have just had a very nice sergeant about sending stuff to Kinmel. Love Grace."

Here is a photo hand-dated 1917 of Rhyl County School Cadet Corps. The County School was forerunner of Rhyl Grammar School now Rhyl High:

World War 1, World War One, First World War, The Great War

And below is a rarity that was on sale last year on Internet - hence the seller's logo across the middle. It shows some Belgian refugees being welcomed to Rhyl in 1914:

World War 1, World War One, First World War, The Great War

As we saw recently in Syria, war displaces large numbers of people who uproot themselves and search for a safer place. Drought, famine, war, persecution, failing economies – the history of the world is the history of mass movements of refugees.

No doubt that is how we all came to be where we are.

This reference is added here for indexing purposes: Brown Attleborough Nuneaton.


SUN 1th FEB 2016 UPDATE: More bad press for Kinmel Park Camp, this time in the form of a sarcastic poem titled ‘A Little Bit of Heaven’ written by G.W.D. (M.T., A.S.C.)

SUN 13th AUG 2017 UPDATE: However grim the circumstances, there's always time for laughter. This card is designed by Reg Carter:

Funny postcard Reg Carter


Below: an Internet auction item in 2018 – a folding card!