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1918 Souvenir Handkerchief

Curated Submission
DIMENSIONS in centimetres
32.7 x 27
Materials & techniques
Lace, embroidery
Niagara Historical Society and Museum 989.066
During the First World War embroidered handkerchiefs and postcards became popular souvenirs for soldiers. Handkerchiefs such as this one were extremely popular, especially among Allied and Canadian soldiers serving on the Western Front. There are many examples of these handkerchiefs still in existence today.
This white and orange lace handkerchief features the embroidered inscription “1918 Souvenir de France.” Each numeral is coloured with an embroidered flag of the triple entente nations – Canada, Britain, France, Russia, the United States, and others. These handcrafted mementos were created by local women and sold to soldiers through regimental canteens. Beautifully embroidered, poignantly sentimental, and unabashedly patriotic, thousands of souvenirs like these were sent to loved ones by Canadian soldiers. Many of the handkerchiefs are dated 1918 to celebrate the end of the war. Part of the reason souvenir handkerchiefs were so popular, and so many still exist today, is that they were lightweight, making them an ideal souvenir to send home from the front.
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