2016-12-20

Dec. 20. Princess Mary Christmas Fund Gift Tin

Christmas tin with contents.
From The Great War Archive, University of Oxford
(www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit/gwa); © Lewis Trickey
The then Princess Mary (and others!) thought the war would be over by Christmas 1914, so wished to send a gift to all the currently serving forces. The money for the gift was raised by charity collection.

The tins contained either (for a smoker) cigarettes and pipe tobacco, or (for non-smokers) sweets. Other gifts included spices for Indian troops etc. With the main contents other items were also included, such as, e.g. a bullet pencil or pipe. Most tins included a Christmas card and photograph.

This example was shared by Lewis Trickey through The Great War Archive in 2008. It contains the bullet pencil, Christmas Card, photograph, and packet of opened cigarettes. The Gospel of St. John was not given as a gift by the Christmas fund, but was found in the tin.

See this and other contributions made by Lewis Trickey in The Great War Archive.
 
There are many similar examples in Europeana 1914-1918, e.g. Patrick Casey and Lillian Devitt Brayshaw.

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This post is part of our Advent calendar. New stories are published every day from Dec 1 until Christmas. 

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