WW1 The Princess Mary Gift Fund box
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About this item
The Princess Mary Gift Fund box is an embossed brass box that originally contained a variety of items such as tobacco and chocolate. It was intended as a Christmas present to those serving at Christmas in 1914 and was paid for by a public fund backed by Princess Mary.
It was Princess Mary's express wish that 'every sailor afloat and every soldier at the front' should have the present. The gifts were devised in October 1914 and intended for distribution to all who were serving overseas or at sea, in time for Christmas 1914; afterwards, with the fund in surplus and many feeling they had been ‘left out’, distribution was extended more widely – to all who were serving, whether at home or abroad, and to prisoners of war and the next of kin of 1914 casualties. This widened eligibility to an estimated figure of 2,620,019.
A Princess Mary Gift Fund Box was a treasured possession of many veteran soldiers of the First World War, even when the original contents – usually cigarettes and rolling tobacco – had long been used. The embossed brass box was air-tight and made a useful container for money, tobacco, papers, and photographs so was often carried through subsequent service.
A great many men carefully repacked their presents and sent them home to their wives and families.
Durham, United Kingdom
On our website, you will find that I offer a wide range of fantastic antiques, collectibles, and Militaria. from the Boer War, WW1, WW2, Malayan Emergency, Korea, and Cold War. To Northern Ireland. We have a good range of WW1 Medals, Web Equipment, and some. intriguing Military Medal MM Sets, each...