Christmas card from Henry Braithwaite

maker unknownc 1917

Shrine of Remembrance

Shrine of Remembrance
Melbourne, Australia

Henry Braithwaite enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) 2nd Field Artillery Brigade on the 19th August 1914 and served as a Farrier Sergeant in the Middle East and on the Western Front with responsibility for tending and shoeing the unit's horses. Braithwaite was wounded on several occasions and spent his Christmas in 1917 recovering from the effects of poison gas at a hospital in England.

This Australian-themed card features an image of a bi-plane and kangaroo on the front and opens to reveal a colour image of silver wattle on the inside. The wattle had become Australia's official floral emblem in 1912 when it was incorporated into the Australian Coat of Arms. The romantic image of a bi-plane belies the fact that air travel between Europe and Australia would not be accomplished for another two years with passenger flights not becoming a commercial reality until 1935.

Given the vast distance separating Australian service men and women in Europe from their loved ones back home, Australian flora and fauna featured commonly on personal items from this period to remind serving personnel of their lives in Australia.


  • Title: Christmas card from Henry Braithwaite
  • Creator: maker unknown
  • Date: 1916/1917
  • Date Created: c 1917
  • Physical Dimensions: 14.0 x 10.2 cm (closed) 14.0 x 20.4 cm (open)
  • Provenance: Donated 2014
  • Type: Card
  • External Link: Shrine of Remembrance
  • Medium: printed card, gold embossing, photo-offset lithograph and cotton ribbon

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