George Muston

Post Cards

 

This webpage contains a series of Post Cards that my Grandfather George Muston sent to Nellie Smith during his time overseas during WW1 from June 1916 until he returned on April 3rd 1919 on HMAT A11 Ascanius.

These letters are not full of information about the war as the censors had to read each one. The more interesting ones would have been the ones he received from Nellie but he burnt them after reading twice as he describes here. Nellie also burnt a lot of his letters in the backyard after he died. My mother described finding her out there crying as she threw them into the incinerator. Interestingly she left one for us to find and it is well worth a read. It was from his cousin Sadie in Canada. Link here.

The first card that George sent to Nellie was sent from Freemantle dated 12th June 1916, the day before he sailed to England on the Wandilla (below). He left Melbourne on June 6th 1916. His brother Alf sailed from Melbourne on the HMAT A34 Persic on the 3rd of June 1916.

Below is a photo of the troop ship HMAT A62 Wandilla at the docks in Melbourne on the day it sailed with lots of soldiers in the foreground, George was likely among them.

Service records can be found here: https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ListingReports/ItemsListing.aspx

We need people to transcribe these cards and send the text to me in a text file. Can you help ?

 

In the top corner of this first card you can see a dressmakers pin where he pinned the Green and Gold Ribbon mentioned. The background image on this webpage is a photograph that I took in 2015 at the Tincourte Cemetary in France where Alf Muston is buried.

At the bottom of this webpage there are 3 cards George sent from Villers-Bretonneux which is on the Somme, a place of the famous (and tragic) battles of this war. Obviously George was there, (may be Alf also) in fact we can see the exact spot on the bridge where his mate was killed just 10 yards from George. I think this was the mate shown in the photo with George on this page. There is a lot of info here: Villers-Bretonneux

This link shows some Aussie soldiers with a machine gun at this battle in April 1918. George describes that he was there in the springtime and as he was a Lewis machine gun operator he was likley nearby when this photo was taken. I have his hand-written notes on how to pull it apart and put it together.

 

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Below is a photo of George taken Dec 1916 in the UK. At right is an envelope where theyhad to place all letters so the censor could read them

 

 

Some of the cards are vertical, others horizontal. Where they will fit, the fronts and backs are beside each other, otherwise underneath. Below is the first card we have from active service in France. Cards are in date order and sometimes are a series of up to 7 cards at once. The writing side is shown before the face. Most of these are letters to Nellie.

This card was posted in the same mail to his sister Jessie.

 

In the letter below it appears that Nellie has met Georges brother Tom and his wife (to be ?) Ruby (Rube). This is the first time they have met as George had not introduced her while he was at home..

We know very little about Tom and Ruby

 

 

Below is a card sent to his sister Jessie. It mentions 'cousin Ada' but there are 3 of them. Later he mentions going to his Ada's 25 wedding anniversary celebrations so this narrows it down as there is only one of them old enough to be married 25 years. Interestingly this Ada is the daughter of his Aunt Mary Muston and Thomas Dunkley who was born in 1868. Mary is the oldest of his fathers siblings. It appears that George was in contact with all of his fathers family in the UK and reportedly later met his Canadian cousin Jim in an English Pub. His uncle James owned a pub in Woobucks Green.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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No date on this card from Edinburgh

 

Villers-Bretonneux cards below: The X mentioned appears to be in black on the RHS of the bridge where there is what looks like a pile of dirt.

END. Created July 3rd 2018 from cards scanned from the album put together by my Mother Rose after the death of Nellie.