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1914-18 War • Telegram Boy • Telegram Girl

G.P.O • Telegram Boy T8 and Telegram Girl T4
• Even jobs such as Telegram boys were undertaken by girls for the first time.
Telegram boyAlthough they were often too young to join the Army (but not too young for the Royal Navy) boys of working age were seen as better employed in other areas of work.
The Telegram boy on the left is wearing a GPO kepi hat with the gilt cap badge and his number T8 on the high collar. He wears the essential GPO telegram pouch attached to an army dress belt.

Unheard of before the Great War the GPO was obliged to use girls for the job but the tight fitting single breasted tunic worn by Telegram Boys was unsuitable for the female figure.
Telegram Girls are often difficult to spot in Photographs. They were often given very little in the way of a uniform. You will usually see an ill fitting single or double breasted coat and little else except perhaps plaited cord "bandsman" style epaulettes.
The essential belt and telegram pouch may be worn and always the letter T on the lapels usually with a number. I suggest the low numbers usually seen indicate a small postal district with only one or two telegram delivery girls.

After delivering a telegram they were instructed to wait in case the recipient wanted to reply. If so they would need to accept payment.
When he was a small boy at the end of the Great War my father delivered telegrams. He said that telegrams with bad news bore a special mark on the envelope to indicate that he was not to wait.

Photo above left by J.Chappel, Graphic Studio, Twickenham

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