Discover the Secrets of the
Daily Mail Official War Postcards

Tony Allen

ebook cover

sample pages

sample pages

The Daily Mail Official War Pictures are well known to collectors of British military picture postcards and too many people with an interest in the Great War 1914-1918. Nevertheless, although freely available and easy to find, it seems that up to now, very little information about these cards exists.

However, a 'guide' is now available with new information about this remarkable collection of Great War picture postcards. It consists of more than 80-pages (as a downloadable PDF file) and looks at the photographers, selection, publication and distribution of these popular WW1 picture postcards.  

Also known as The Daily Mail Battle Pictures the collection numbered 176 cards (in 22 series of 8 cards each) and was based on 105 photographs taken by members of the small band of official photographers that were located on the Western Front. Most of the cards depicted scenes and incidents from the Battle of the Somme 1916. (The 'battle' was not a continuous one, but rather a series of battles and actions that raged from July until November).

The cards were produced in three 'finishes' or formats, colour, silver-print and photogravure. Some of the images were in one format, some in two and a few in all three. .

In addition to a checklist of the complete collection of 176 cards, a special chart also appears in The Guide. It lists the 105 photographs in the collection, their title and the format(s) and card number in which each image appeared.

  The Guide comprises of...

  • More than 80 pages - which can be printed out and read as a physical book.

  • More than 160 images, including postcards, newspaper clippings, photographs, maps and other items.

  • A number of photographs depicting the official war photographers at work on the Somme.

  • Contemporary 'cuttings' from the Daily Mail newspaper which kept the public informed about the production and release of the cards.

  • Coloured maps showing the position of British and German troops on 1st July 1916 and later.

  • Illustrations of many of the cards in the collection.

  • Examples of several cards from the collection showing how easy it can be to misinterpret an image.

  • A list of the 176 cards in the collection and the series number in which each one appeared.

  • A chart showing the distribution of the 105 photographs on which the collection was based and the format(s) in which each photograph appeared, on any individual card.

  • Notes on the production and distribution of the collection.

  • Notes about the official war photographers.

  • A brief outline of the Battle of the Somme 1916 and witness accounts of the first day.

  • A brief look at fake photographs and one or two other topics.

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