standard Princess Mary's Fund gift box, without contents save for the greeting card
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).