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Princess Mary's Christmas Gift

60 second histories

This video covers:

A description of the brass box given to every serving soldier; it explains why and what the different boxes contained.

We were all so surprised to receive a gift from The Princess Mary’s Christmas fund, chuffed in fact. Every serving soldier at the front and every sailor afloat received one. The young Princess Mary gave money out of her own allowance and the folks at home raised more money, which makes it extra special. We got this brass box with a picture of Princess Mary on the lid, it has a patriotic motif around the edge and Christmas 1914 on it. Inside there’s a Christmas card from the Princess and a photograph of her. For the smokers, like me, there was twenty cigarettes and an ounce of tobacco, a pipe and a tinder lighter, I still have the pipe look. If you weren’t a smoker you had the same tin but with a packet of acid drop sweets, a writing set and a bullet pencil like this one. There were different gifts for the Indian troops too who had sweets and spices in their tin and the nurses, bless them, had chocolate and sweets in theirs, what a treat. I sent mine home for safe keeping.
20th Century
Trench Life
WW1 British infantry soldier
Key words: 
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