Christmas 1914 – A Gift to the Troops

from King George V and Queen Mary

Christmas 1914 – A Gift to the Troops

A sepia coloured postcard portraying King George V and Queen Mary, with the inscription “With our best wishes for Christmas 1914. May God protect you and bring you home safe” on the reverse, was issued to all serving officers and troops, sailors and nurses working overseas. A similar card was given to wounded soldiers, with the additional wording: “May you soon be restored to health.”

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At the same time, all soldiers, sailors and nurses serving their country also received a card from Princess Mary, along with the gift of an embossed brass box inscribed Christmas 1914. The princess came up with the idea and had made an appeal to the country for funds. The contents of the box varied – for smokers it contained a pipe, tobacco and cigarettes, while non-smokers received acid drops and a pencil case and Indian troops had sugar candy and a tin of spices. Those sent to nurses contained chocolate.

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