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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Christmas 1914


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The Princess Mary Christmas Gift 1914 ( check out > http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/exhibits/gift01.htm ), also came with this Christmas card to my Grandfather, who may have been defending trenches between Bois Grenier and Le Maisnil near Ypres at the time ( 7th Division, 22nd Brigade, 2nd Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment).


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  • 3 weeks later...

"Christmas 1914 - business as usual and charitable appeals

Amid the welter of commercially motivated advertisements for Christmas gifts and seasonal treats, could be found others which, in their appeal for money to provide comforts and cheer to the men serving in the forces, reflected the desire of many ordinary people to mark this first Christmas of the war, as one of particular importance. The habit of charitable giving, nurtured in the traditions of Victorian philanthropy, was to find ample expression during the First World War in the thousands of appeal funds, which were set up to aid every conceivable cause. But perhaps the most memorable of these was the Christmas Gift Fund launched on 14 October 1914, by Princess Mary; a fund, which was to inspire the creation of one of the most enduring mementos of the First World War - the Princess Mary's Gift Box."

Was anything similarly arranged for 'every sailor afloat and every soldier at the front' for Christmas 1915, 1916 and 1917?



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Guest newworldmember

I have long believed that Princess Mary not only organized the Christmas gift fund but paid for the manufacturing of these brass boxes.

Your comment seems to suggest that the public responded to her appeal by submitting donations to fund the boxes.

If you can clear up my confusion on this, I'll be most grateful!

Cory Kilvert :)

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Hello Cory

"The third child and only daughter of King George V and Queen Mary, HRH The Princess Victoria Alexandra Alice Mary was just 17 when war broke out and the Fund to which she lent her name was the first great national cause with which she became associated.

Her original intention had been to pay, out of her private allowance, for a personal gift to each soldier and sailor. This was deemed impracticable and a proposal was made that she lend her name to a public fund, which would raise the necessary monies to provide the gift. From the outset the young Princess took a deep personal interest in the work of the Fund. She was present at the inaugural meeting held at the Ritz Hotel on 14 October and on the following day, Buckingham Palace released a letter, signed by the Princess, explaining the purpose of the Fund."

The Imperial War Museum version (via this link


"In November 1914, an advertisement was placed in the national press inviting monetary contributions to a 'Sailors & Soldiers Christmas Fund' which had been created by Princess Mary, the seventeen year old daughter of King George V and Queen Mary. The purpose was to provide everyone who would be wearing the King's uniform on Christmas Day 1914 with a 'gift from the nation'. "

From the article "The Princess Mary Christmas Gift 1914" by Paul Hinckley

(via this link http://members.lycos.co.uk/hinckley1/mary.html)


Merry Christmas and

a happy New Year


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i think that something was organised for those years as i have in my collection two certificates that were presented in 1915 by the "overseas club"whose patron was "his majesty the king".it is entitled"CHRISTMAS DAY GIFTS from the school children of the empire"

it also certifies that the recipient"has helped to bring happiness on christmas day to our brave sailors and soldiers,who are fighting for honour,freedom & justice".


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