An advertising illustrator and artist by trade, Private Fergus Mackain enlisted in 1915, serving in France when the fighting was at its fiercest. Wounded on the Somme and taken out of front line duty in 1917, he turned to designing humorous postcards for soldiers to send home. These postcards reflected in light-hearted fashion the reality of life in the trenches. Mackains sketches capture the joys of the rum ration, the cacophony of the artillery barrage or being stuck in a shell hole knee deep in water. John Place, whose grandfather fought on the Somme and William Mackain-Bremner grandson of Ferguss cousin have collected all the extant postcards together with contextualizing commentary. Also included are reproductions of actual messages sent on the back of the postcards.