A British Cavalryman using his greatcoat for comfort on the frost covered grass somewhere near the front-line, whilst opening his Princess Mary Gift Tin, Christmas 1914.
British troops serving on the Western Front in 1914 received Princess Mary boxes from the Royal Family. These were metal cases stamped with an outline of the princess and filled with chocolates, sweets, cigarettes and tobacco. Great efforts were made to distribute the gifts in time for Christmas, and huge demands were made on an already stretched postal service.
More than 355,000 boxes were successfully delivered before 25 December. The boxes also included a picture card of Queen Mary and a copy of King George V’s greeting to the troops which stated ‘May God protect you and bring you safely home’.
(Source – National Army Museum NAM. 2007-03-7-134)