Princess Mary's Gift Fund 1914 Box, Classes B & C
- Catalogue number
- EPH 2027
- Display status
- IWM London
- Pencil: wood
- Interior Cards: paper
- Pencil Casing: silver
- Tin, Pencil Casing: copper alloy
- whole: Height 30 mm, Length 128 mm, Width 84 mm
- Alternative names
- full name: Princess Mary's Gift Fund 1914 Box, Classes B & C
- simple name: COM
- souvenirs and ephemera
Box, bullet pencil, photo, card. Brass box with hinged lid. Lid is decorated with embossed detail: in the centre Princess Mary's head in profile surrounded by a wreath and with 'M' each side; in each corner the name of an ally (clockwise from top left) 'BELGIUM' 'JAPAN' 'MONTE-NEGRO' and 'SERVIA'; along top edge an image of a bayonet & scabbard with 'IMPERIUM' BRITANNICUM' in centre; along bottom edge a plaque bearing 'CHRISTMAS 1914' with the bow of a Dreadnought each side; on both side edges is an image of 3 crossed flags with a disc in front bearing 'FRANCE' (left) and 'RUSSIA' (right). Bullet pencil made from expended .303 cartridge case, retained in box by cardboard holder. B/W photo of Princess Mary and the inside of Christmas Card with coloured writing and holly motif.
The Gift Fund was inaugurated by Princess Mary in October 1914 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 an 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') which consisted of a bullet pencil and a New Year card. This example inexplicably contains a 'Class B & C' gift with a 'Class A' Christmas Card. See DEAF fact sheet or "A gift for Christmas: the story of Princess Mary's Gift Fund, 1914" by Diana Condell (IWM Review No.4 1989).
 embossed (around edges of lid -see desc)  embossed (either side of head)  printed (inside card)  written (on small slip of paper)
 BELGIUM IMPERIUM BRITANNICUM JAPAN FRANCE RUSSIA SERVIA CHRISTMAS 1914 MONTE-NEGRO  M M  With Best Wishes for a Happy Christmas and a Victorious New Year. from The Princess Mary and friends at Home.  Property of Gerald Hallam Cooke Feby 27th/16
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