It’s the first autumn going into the winter of the Great War in 1914.
A first year 18-year-old student at Goldsmiths’ College called Wilfrid sends a composite postcard with 13 different images to a Mrs Hinchliff in South Yorkshire.
We know not whether she was a guardian, family friend, or somebody more intimate.
She may have been Wilfrid’s mentor and former teacher who helped him believe in himself and encouraged him to pursue Higher Education and a career in teaching.
The tone begins formally “Dear Mrs Hinchliff […] This card gives you some idea of the College.’
Wilfrid’s postcard ends with ‘with best wishes, and kindest regards’ (and) ‘yours very sincerely.’
What is there to read in this early twentieth century equivalent of an email or instagram sent to a married woman with the address of a small colliery worked by about 30 miners, near Sheffield, which is then diverted by the Post Office to a hotel?
What would become of Wilfrid in the ghastly carnage of the First World War that gobbled up young volunteers and conscripts like him in what became industrialised slaughter?