Princess Mary's Gift Fund 1914 Box, Class A smokers

Catalogue number
  • EPH 1992
Department
Exhibits
Display status
IWM London
Materials
  • Contents: metal
  • Cards: card
  • Cigarettes: paper
  • Cigarettes: tobacco
  • Box: brass
  • Photo: Photograph
Dimensions
  • whole: length 130mm, width 87mm, height 27mm.
Alternative names
  • full name: Princess Mary's Gift Fund 1914 Box, Class A smokers
  • simple name: COM
Category
souvenirs and ephemera

© IWM (EPH 1992)

Purchase & License
Label

Princess Mary's Gift Fund box (and contents) associated with the First World War service of the donor's father who served with the British Army in Egypt.

Physical description

Ornate brass box with contents including packet of tobacco and packet of cigarettes, a portrait photograph of Princess Mary, Christmas cards from Princess Mary and King George and Queen Mary.

History note

The donor's father served in Egypt during the First World War. The Gift Fund, inaugurated by Princess Mary in October 1914, sought to provide a gift to every serviceman at the front or at sea ('Class A') for the first Christmas of the War. The majority of gifts were for smokers and contained tobacco, cigarettes, a pipe and lighter. For non-smokers writing paper and a pencil were provided. For Indian troops candy and spices were given instead of or in combination with cigarettes. After Christmas 1914 a surplus of funds enabled the scheme to be extended. A simpler gift was given out to all other servicemen ('Classes B & C') consisting of a bullet pencil and a New Year card. For a detailed history of the Gift Box Scheme see: 'A gift for Christmas: the story of Princess Mary's Gift Fund, 1914', by Diana Condell (IWM Review No. 4 1989).

Associated people and organisations
Associated places
Associated themes

IWM Non Commercial Licence

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