This silver (?)cigaretter box is inscribed: 'WDM from AG, Coronation Day 2 June 1953'
It was given to my father, William Dennis Mills, a junior British diplomat then serving in Moscow, by the British Ambassador to Moscow, Sir Alvary Gascoigne, as a token of thanks for his work in preparing for the Coronation Ball held at the Embassy in Moscow in 1953. My father did all the electrics and sound systems - which obviously couldn't be handled by Russian citizens in the prevailing circumstances. The Ball was an enormously grand affair, hosted by the Ambassador in all his finery, and attended (very unusually) by senior Soviet officials and leading members of the Bolshoi. I have photographs of this elegant moment in a largely drab posting, includng my mother in a wonderful olive ball gown. The box may not be valuable - I don't know - but it is a very personal link to a momentous day, and reminds me that my father (who died young) was very good at his job. It also reminds me that he smoked 60 cigarettes a day - not uncommon in 1953.