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The Caroline Skeel Archives Reading Room

The Gift Fund was inaugurated by Princess Mary in October 1914 to provide a gift for every serviceman at the front or at sea ('Class A') for the first Christmas of the War.

The majority of gifts were for smokers and contained tobacco, cigarettes, a pipe and lighter. For non-smokers writing paper and a pencil were provided. For Indian troops candy and spices were given instead of or in combination with cigarettes.

After Christmas 1914 the scheme was extended. A simpler gift was given out to all other servicemen ('Classes B & C') which consisted of a bullet pencil and a New Year card.

Remembering the First World War: Front Line

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