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Remembered Today:

Princess Mary Tin


Guest KevinEndon

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Guest KevinEndon

Was the Princess Mary tin issued to soldiers just for the Christmas of 1914 or did the soldiers get issued with them for the Christmas 1915 or any other year of the war.

TIA

Kevin

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Kevin,

As I understand it only Christmas 1914 but men who were entitled but did not receive one e.g. Prisoners of War received one later.

Have you got one for display at your meeting?If not you can borrow mine for the evening.

George

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Guest KevinEndon

I have George but it is empty, at least the contents were enjoyed by someone, if you have a full one please do bring it along.

The reason I ask is because I have just been given my ggf's Christmas Tin and he didn't go out until 1915 so how did he get his hands on a tin. I am sure I have seen 1915 Christmas tin Christmas cards or Christmas cards the exact same as the 1914 ones only with the date change. Can anyone prove me right or is my mind playing tricks on me.

Kevin

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Snap Kevin,contents scoffed. :D

It's still got the Christmas Card and photo if that's any help.

I'll let others answer your question.

George

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Hello,

I think I read in a recent 'Stand To!' That all men who were in the services by Christmas 1914 were entitled to a Tin. It seems that many of them did not recieve them until the end of the war!

As an aside, there was an ex Army officer who ran a shop in Perth. He told me that he was based in Queens Barracks in Perth for a few years in the 1940's and that there were crates of these empty boxes in the place. In fact he had a few on his desk for pens and paperclips etc!

Regards,

Stewart

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I can tell you that the cigarettes in the tin are still quite smokable today - Turkish, I think (tho' I have no experience of them, just a gut [literally!] feeling).

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K1888

I saw a few tins in a Southampton military memorabilia shop not so long ago. One with two packets of ciggies was mine for 150 squid. Others appeared packed with the original assortment of bits,and at a similar price. I declined all offers.

Sotonmate

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Hello all,

A WW1 veteran friend once told me that when he was recovering from wounds in mid 1918, with a reserve Battalion of the Rifle Brigade at Shoeburyness, he was acting as Company Clerk. His desk was completely surrounded by empty Mary boxes, the contents long since snaffled. The distribution took quite a long time and the 1915 dated cards that are seen prove this. I have several of these. I'm sure there is someone here that will know when the cut off was but it was certainly way past 1914!

Regards

Tocemma

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per ardua per mare per terram

I've not seen any original sources that explain the end of issuing them, but I presume by Christmas 1915 there were too many in the forces and both production facilities and stocks of brass were requred for other purposes.

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The Princess Mary 1914 Tin was intended to be issued to all British and Commonwealth military for the Christmas holiday of 1914, hense the 1914 Christmas card. However, a consignement of brass intended for the manufacture of the tins was destroyed when the ship carrying it was torpedoed. That led to the 2nd issued with a 1915 New Years card (differing message and design though K1888). Entitled soldiers were still being issued their tins in the early 1920's, so great was the number involved. Some 2.1/2 million tins were issued.

There are also several manufacturers of the tin itself, which has resulted in approximatelly 8-differing lid designs. The differences are minor, but a decent collection can be built from them. I have five examples.

The contents were of three types.

1) Smokers = Lighter, Cigarettes and Tobacco, Pipe.

2) None-Smokers = Bullet pencil, Chocalate and/or Sweats.

3) Spices.. = Native levies, Muslim troops, etc;.

Also, there was a writing case issued with the tin. Each tin issued contained a print for one of several posed photographs of the Princess Mary, and a print of a photograph showing the King and Queen.

This subject has been discussed previously many times on the forum, so a search should bring up the relevant threads.

Seph

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The contents were of three types.

1) Smokers = Lighter, Cigarettes and Tobacco, Pipe.

2) None-Smokers = Bullet pencil, Chocalate and/or Sweats.

3) Spices.. = Native levies, Muslim troops, etc;.

Also, there was a writing case issued with the tin.

To expand upon Seph's post: the Bullet Pencil was initially conceived as a replacement for the lighter, once the Austrian-sourced ceric flints ran out. The Non-Smoker Officer's and Men gift comprised: the tin, a packet of acid tablets, the writing case, card and photograph.

Contents were dependent on availability and/ or role (there were 16 categories of recipient) at any given time; and alternatives for the pipe, lighter, pencil etc could be substituted.

These alternative contents included: chocolate, tobacco pouches, shaving brushes, combs, pencil cases, postcards, penknives, scissors, cigarette cases and purses.

Best wishes,

GT.

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Hello all,

Some of these have been shown in past posts but here goes anyway for interests sake.

Writing pouch, envelopes, pad and pencil. Bit scarce this one.

post-7141-1233602377.jpg

post-7141-1233602396.jpg

Queen Alexandra's gift tin. Not sure of the contents maybe fags...anyone know?

post-7141-1233602471.jpg

The lighter, missing the flint this one. As mentioned in earlier posts.

post-7141-1233602501.jpg

and the usual

post-7141-1233602650.jpg

post-7141-1233602673.jpg

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There was also a similar card sent to wounded in hospital. Same from the front, different wording on the reverse.

post-27638-1233607460.jpg

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Queen Alexandra's gift tin. Not sure of the contents maybe fags...anyone know?

post-7141-1233602471.jpg

I think the Queen Alexandra's Gift tin was for chocolate and given to Household Regiments only, e.g. Coldstream, Grenadier, Irish, Scots, Life Guards etc, thus very rare.

regards, Krithia

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Krithia,

Thanks for the information. I was never sure about that tin as it's quite small.

All,

For the record another Christmas 1914 tin, another scarce one. British Grocers Federation gift tin. Boiled sweets in this one apparently.

post-7141-1233695732.jpg

post-7141-1233695750.jpg

Regards

Tocemma

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  • 2 years later...
Guest Derek Eddlestone

QUOTE (tocemma @ Feb 2 2009, 07:24 PM) Queen Alexandra's gift tin. Not sure of the contents maybe fags...anyone know?

post-7141-1233602471.jpg

I think the Queen Alexandra's Gift tin was for chocolate and given to Household Regiments only, e.g. Coldstream, Grenadier, Irish, Scots, Life Guards etc, thus very rare.

regards, Krithia

Can't comment about the recipients but I have a tin here complete with the wrapper, the dividing card for the contents, the makers label which was banded around the contents and with all of the original cigarettes which are all stamped 'Alexandra'.

Derek.

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Hello Derek

A photo would be great. I'd like to see that.

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W Stewart Turner and Harry Simpson set up in business in Birmingham in 1912. In 1914 they began to make patriotic souvenirs in silver – badges, brooches. They were involved in ‘send a lucky horseshoe pendant to your boy in the trenches’. They were also commissioned in 1914 to make the dies for the chocolate boxes given by Princess Mary to the troops. For the design the Princess sat for Harry Simpson at Buckingham Palace.

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  • 9 years later...

Ive just bought a tin online that had glue where Princess Marys head should be and when I cleaned it off theres no head. The tin is very worn, is it possible the heads just worn off?? 

20201121_160140.jpg

20201121_160132.jpg

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keithmroberts

On my example I am as confident as I can be that the head is part of the upper sheet of metal in the lid, just looked to make sure. I do know that there were a few manufacturers, possibly from a thread on the GWF in the past, or maybe an article in Stand To.

 

Keith

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9 minutes ago, keithmroberts said:

On my example I am as confident as I can be that the head is part of the upper sheet of metal in the lid, just looked to make sure. I do know that there were a few manufacturers, possibly from a thread on the GWF in the past, or maybe an article in Stand To.

 

Keith

Sorry just tried to quote yours and reply - will try again. Do you think the Queen Mary head was embossed on an upper sheet of metal thats lifted off and got lost?

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keithmroberts

Not on my example. The whole lid is made of 2 sheets of metal. The lower sheet includes the hinge element of the lid, and the upper sheet was seemingly  pressed/clamped over the lower one. 

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