Home:  Miscellaneous: WW1 PRINCESS MARY GIFT TIN, 1914


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In November 1914, an advertisement was placed in the national press inviting monetary contributions to a 'Sailors & Soldiers Christmas Fund' which had been created by Princess Mary, the seventeen year old daughter of King George V and Queen Mary. The purpose was to provide everyone wearing the King's uniform and serving overseas on Christmas Day 1914 with a 'gift from the nation'.

The response was truly overwhelming, and it was decided to spend the money on an embossed brass box, based on a design by Messrs Adshead and Ramsey. The contents varied considerably, officers and men on active service afloat or at the front received a box containing a combination of pipe, lighter, 1 oz of tobacco and twenty cigarettes in distinctive yellow monogrammed wrappers. Non-smokers and boys received a bullet pencil and a packet of sweets instead. Indian troops often got sweets and spices, and nurses were treated to chocolate.
Many of these items were despatched separately from the tins themselves, as once the standard issue of tobacco and cigarettes was placed in the tin there was little room for much else apart from the greeting card.

Your comments:

  • I too have my grandfathers gift tin,it contains the original contents apart from one cigarette. Apparently he was killed not long after smoking it. I also have his medals.
    .......... phil taylor, higham ferrers, northamptonshire,england, 11th of November 2012

  • I was given a tin like this by my grandfather when I was about 14yrs old. It's now a bit battered and contains no objects but it still remains one of my proudest possessions and I hope that one of my 3 sons will inherit it from me.
    .......... Garret Leslie Harney, Bromley Kent England, 20th of August 2010

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