“In good health”
On 4 October 1916, soldier Van Grunderbeek, fighting at the Yser front, received this picture from his family, which remained in Evere. His two children Angeline and Jozef appear surrounded by his wife Barbara and her family. At the back of the picture, the following reassuring words from Barbara: “Be at ease, our children are always in good health, as are the rest of us”. By the exchange of letters and small parcels, the families tried to communicate with their family members who were at the front.
From August 1914 until November 1918, the population was cut off from the Yser soldiers. To follow events taking place at the front was almost impossible. How to know the truth from the false, to believe what the censured newspapers, the German propaganda and the rumours said? Already in September 1914, Paul Max complained from not having news from the front, almost wanting to believe that hostilities had been suspended. He wrote bitterly: “And yet, without knowing it from official sources, people are killing each other every day”.