THE ALLIES ALPHABET - RARE WW1 CHILDREN'S GAME 1914-1918
THE ALLIES ALPHABET is a rare example of juvenilia from the Great War of 1914-1918, the anniversary of which we commemorate this year, 2014. This brutal and cruel conflict dramatically changed our social structure and brought forward the opportunities of equality that we experience today. LIke many major events, it was commemorated in many forms, one of which was children's games.
This rare Allies Alphabet game is based on the alliance of England, France, Russia, Belgium and Japan against the German might. Like Georgian and Victorian games before them, this early 20th century game continues the idea of young children learning history, geography, philosophy, music etc., through education. In this game the child learns not only who the allies were, but what their national flag looks like and how their name is spelt. Alongside this, visual and dexterity skills were honed
I had to investigate when Japan became an ally. On August 23rd Japan declared war on Germany and prepared to assist the British in Expelling the Germans from the Far East.
The materials used for the box and letters are unstained plywood and paper. The box measures 11.75" x 6.5" (29.5 x 16.25 cms) and has a simple slide-top lid. Each letter measures 1.15 x 0.60" which are either plain, or stained red or blue. The flags measure 1.5 x 1.1"
The idea is very simple, but extremely effective. The letters are tipped out on to a table or surface and the slide-top lid is taken out, turned over and slid back into the box. This underside now being upper side reveals two parallel grooves into which the flags and letters can be placed The task is then of finding and forming the names of the allies and placing them in front of the correct flag.
Why the game is described as 'British Made' and yet the sheet and alphabet letters say 'England' is perhaps a faux-pas. However, that is how the U.K. is described.