It was Princess Mary's express wish that 'every sailor afloat and every soldier at the front' should have the present. The gifts were devised in October 1914 and intended for distribution to all who were serving overseas or at sea, in time for Christmas 1914; afterwards, with the fund in surplus and many feeling they had been ‘left out’, distribution was extended more widely – to all who were serving, whether at home or abroad, and to prisoners of war and the next of kin of 1914 casualties. This widened eligibility to an estimated figure of 2,620,019.
The Ornate Brass Box is complete with its original contents, including a packet of tobacco and packet of cigarettes, a portrait photograph of Princess Mary, a Christmas Card from Princess Mary with its envelope and a Souvenir de Glorieuse Memoire Christmas greetings Card.
All contents are in very good condition, the packets unopened, the completely free from damage.