Princess Mary Tin

A little token of love and sympathy from home

These metal tins engraved with an outline of Princess Mary and the inscription "Christmas 1914" were filled with chocolates, sweets, cigarettes, tobacco, a picture of Princess Mary and a copy of King George V's greeting to the troops which stated 'May God protect you and bring you safely home'.

Princess Mary’s original intention had been to pay, out of her private allowance, for a small personal gift to each soldier and sailor in time for Christmas 1914. This was deemed impracticable and instead a proposal was made that she lend her name to a public fund, which would raise the necessary funds to pay for the gifts. From the very beginning the Princess took a deep personal interest in the work of the Fund and in a letter release by Buckingham Palace, signed by the Princess, she explained the purpose of the Fund as follows:

“I want you now to help me to send a Christmas present from the whole of the nation to every sailor afloat and every soldier at the front. I am sure that we should all be happier to feel that we had helped to send our little token of love and sympathy on Christmas morning, something that would be useful and of permanent value, and the making of which may be the means of providing employment in trades adversely affected by the war. Could there be anything more likely to hearten them in their struggle than a present received straight from home on Christmas Day? Please will you help me?”



Did you know?

Non-smokers received tins containing bullet-shaped pens instead of tobacco or cigarettes.