First World War Christmas Tin

Contributed by Melanie Henwood

First World War Christmas Tin

This is a little brass tin issued to soldiers by Princess Mary in Christmas 1914, originally containing chocolate & cigarettes, and a pencil in a bullet case. The card inside reads 'With best wishes for a victorious New Year, from the Princess Mary and friends at home.' This particular tin belonged to my Great Grandfather, Enoch Davis, a regular army man already aged 43 in WW1. These tins were paid for by public donation, and two and a half million were distributed. This was a sign of support for troops overseas, and it says a lot about the Britain of the time, the lid is embossed with heroic battle ships and spears and the names of countries engaged in the theatres of war. Simultaneously a morale booster and a piece of nationalist propaganda. I find it immensely moving that amidst all the carnage of trench warfare this tin was lovingly squirelled away in Enoch's kit to be proudly shown to his family. Unlike many of his peers Enoch survived, retiring as a Major in 1926 and dying aged 88; this is the only posession of his I have and I am always moved by it.

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  • 1 comment
  • 1. At 18:28 on 31 December 2010, Pam Lunn wrote:

    I was completely entranced by this series. I tried to post a picture of a tin like this, on this website, but had teachnical difficulties, so I'm delighted to see this one .I've just started a blog about 'My Own 100 Objects', inspired by Madeleine Bunting's article on this idea in The Guardian of 27 Dec 2010. I'm posting at the moment about my own tin, that was my grandfather's.

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