Lithographic Postcard with Hand Applied Photographic Print
The U.S.A. Studios - Photographer
This postcard is rather unusually formatted as it consists of a color lithographic image of World War One allied nations flags along with a hand-applied oval cut photographic print of an elderly gentleman. The old soldier is wearing his medal from a long-ago campaign.
Based on the flags depicted the postcard seems to date from the early World War One era. France, Russia, Great Britain, Belgium, and Japan are all represented by their respective national banners. My guess is that the postcard was produced during the patriotic fervor that took place during the war's early days and months. The presence of the Czarist flag of Russia and the absence of the flag of the United States dates the card to before 1917 - the year that marked Russia's exit from the war during the Bolshevik Revolution and the United States entry into the conflict. Interestingly, Italy’s flag is not shown either.
The oval cut photograph depicts an aged veteran wearing the Canada General Service Medal with a single clasp making him out to be a veteran of either one of the Fenian Raids that took place in Canada in 1866 and 1870 or Sir Garnet Wolseley's Red River Campaign also of 1870. The medal was belatedly issued in 1899 with three clasps being authorized, one for each of the above-mentioned actions. Just over 17,000 of the Canada General Service Medals were issued with about 15,000 of these going to local Canadian forces with the remaining going the British personnel serving in Canada at the time.
Given that this man had his portrait taken in Britain he was in all likelihood one of the relatively few British troops to receive the medal.