Princess Mary's Gift Fund 1914 Box, Class A smokers, in original cardboard box
Cardboard box and lid, brass box and lid, envelope, card, photo, pack of 20 cigarettes, packet of tobacco
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 & scabberd with 'IMPERIUM' BRITANNICUM' in center; 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). Standard foil wrapped packets of tobacco and cigarettes (complete packet of 20). Small plain white envelope contains black and white photo of Princess Mary and Christams Card with coloured writing and holly motif. The whole thing is kept in a plain brown cardboard box.
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. 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 (on packet)
 printed (on packet)
 printed (inside card)
 BELGIUM IMPERIUM BRITANNICUM JAPAN FRANCE RUSSIA SERVIA CHRISTMAS 1914 MONTE-NEGRO
 M M
 HER ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCESS MARY'S CHRISTMAS FUND 1914 TOBACCO
 HER ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCESS MARY'S CHRISTMAS FUND 1914 CIGARETTES
 With Best Wishes for a Happy Christmas and a Victorious New Year. from The Princess Mary and Friends from Home.