Christmas wishes

Princess Mary's Christmas Tin - Christmas 1914 (detail)

Princess Mary’s Christmas Tin – Christmas 1914 (detail)

The holiday season is well and truly upon us and in searching our collection for Christmas related items I came upon this tin. These small brass boxes were issued to all those wearing the Kings’ uniform, fighting in World War I, during Christmas 1914.

Princess Mary's Christmas Tin - Christmas 1914. Collection of Petone Settlers Museum - Te Whare Whakaaro o Pito-one.

Princess Mary’s Christmas Tin – Christmas 1914. Collection of Petone Settlers Museum – Te Whare Whakaaro o Pito-one.

From Princess Mary, the tins contained cigarettes, tobacco, pens or chocolate, depending on who was receiving the box and follow on from a tradition begun by Queen Victoria at the turn of the century.

 

We also have a small collection of beautifully embroidered postcards, made in France, which soldiers sent home to loved ones in New Zealand.

Embroidered WWI postcard, c. 1917. Collection of Petone Settlers Museum - Te Whare Whakaaro o Pito-one.

Embroidered WWI postcard, c. 1917. Collection of Petone Settlers Museum – Te Whare Whakaaro o Pito-one.

Received on 20 December 1917, Christmas wishes were sent to ‘My Dearest Florrie’, from ‘Your loving Roy’.

 

It is quite sobering thinking of those who received these gifts a century ago and the conditions many were enduring at the time. It certainly makes me feel grateful for the good company, food, and gifts I will be enjoying this Christmas.

 

Jo Wehrly, Collection Manager

 

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