Pricess Mary’s Gift Box 1914
The Christmas of 1914 was a unique period in WWIwith many thinking that the war would soon be over and that the troops would be coming home. There was widespread sympathy for the troops away from home and a fund was set up by Princess Mary, the daughter of King George to raise money to send everyone wearing the Kings uniform a Christmas present.
- It was decided to give the gift in a brass box.
- The brass was sent from the US who had not yet joined the war and then filled with a variety of gifts.
- Officers, men on active service afloat and on the front line each received a pipe, 1 oz of tobacco and 20 cigarettes.
- Those who did not smoke, got a pencil and some sweets.
- Indian troops received sweets and spices and nurses received chocolate.
When the fund closed in 1920, £200,000 had been raised and 2.5 million tins distributed.
This tin is part of the Intriguing military collection, that includes, cap badges, buttons, medals and other fascinating memorabilia that in themselves enrich the story of our family history.
- When money could be spent on other things and metal was scarce, who would have made the decision to send the gifts in brass boxes and what is the connection between the gift boxes and the ship the ‘Lusitania‘?