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Question on Christmas & other cigarette/Choc tins


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#1 Deleted_Tony C_*

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Posted 16 April 2005 - 07:24 PM

Hi,
I hope that this is in the right forum.

I cannot believe my luck, last weekend I managed to pick up a Princess/Queen Mary Christmas complete with original cigarettes, tobacco and pencil, at a car boot sale, for 45.00! To make the purchase even better, a Rowntrees tin was also included in the price!!

Having been thinking about this over the past week, a few questions have sprung to mind and wonder if anybody can answer the following

1. Were the Princess/Queen Mary Christmas tins were given to the soldiers on every Chritsmas during the conflict or just during 1914 and 1915?

2. Can anybody confirm the full contents of the Princess Mary tins?

3. Were the Rowntrees Tins and the Carribean Chocolate tins provided at Christmas or at any other particular time.

4. I have heard that Chocolate would have been given to those that didn't smoke, would this have been provided in the Princess Mary tins or in the Rowntrees/Carribean tin.

5. Was the gift given to everyone (in the Army, Navy and RFC) or just to those serving in France.

Many thanks, Tony

#2 redbarchetta

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Posted 16 April 2005 - 09:25 PM

Tony,
There have been several threads on the contents of the Mary tin, if you do a search, but to answer your other questions...
The Mary tin was only produced for Christmas 1914 / New Year 1915.
The Rowntrees tins were commercially produced, so were available whenever you had saved up sufficient coupons. They started out having 1915 on the front, underneath GV's portrait, but eventually dropped this so they could continue producing them outside of that year.
Not sure about the Caribbean tin, but most of the other similar 'gift for the troops' tins were produced at Christmas time.
Non-smoking troops got a canvas writing case with the M monogram and 'Christmas Fund 1914' printed on the front, along with the pencil and a bag of acid drops (anyone ever seen these acid drops ?). The Caribbean, Rowntrees etc tins were all entirely independant of the Mary tin.
Pretty well everyone got a variation of the tin, including nurses, widows or parents of casualties, POWs, internees, members of the French Mission, wounded men on leave, those serving in the UK, colonies, you name it, they got something (sometimes just the tin and the Christmas card).
Hope this helps, and a damn good buy for 45 !!
Jim

#3 MAW

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Posted 16 April 2005 - 11:32 PM

An example of Queen Mary's Christmas 1914 tin:

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#4 MAW

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Posted 16 April 2005 - 11:34 PM

The tobacco and cigarettes within the tin:

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#5 MAW

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Posted 16 April 2005 - 11:36 PM

........and a message card with bullet pencil.

Mark

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#6 Chris P

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Posted 17 April 2005 - 10:04 AM

Hi Tony, & all.
Just to add a bit more info......As many have said, the contents of the tins varied enormously. Anything from a tin with a card only, to the full works.
The original issue was determined to be : Tin, Xmas card & envelope, cigarettes, tobacco, pipe,rope lighter & photo of princess mary.
The rope lighter quickly became unavailable, & the bullet pencil was a substitute gift; All was issued in a card outer box, not all packed in the tin. (it wouldn't all fit)!
Other substitute gifts included scissors, pen knives, mirrors, photo frames, to name but a few;
The tins never came with chocolate. This just seems to be a myth that has grown up. The rowntrees tin came with chocolate, & some postcards with scenes of york. I have not seen one with more than that in.
Cadbury's also produced a gift tin,for wounded soldiers, & the british grocers federation, amongst others.
Chris P.

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#7 Chris P

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Posted 17 April 2005 - 10:10 AM

Cadbury's Tin;

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#8 Chris P

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Posted 17 April 2005 - 10:11 AM

Rowntrees tin.

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#9 6th Hauraki KIA KAHA

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Posted 17 April 2005 - 10:24 AM

Hi
Here is a set i picked up in a very old red velvet boxed frame set.
It also has a picture of the owner at the top between the King and Princess.
So were the pipes issued with the tins? the one in the fame has the markings solo 917.

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#10 Deleted_Tony C_*

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Posted 17 April 2005 - 11:18 AM

QUOTE (redbarchetta @ Apr 16 2005, 09:25 PM)
Tony,
There have been several threads on the contents of the Mary tin, if you do a search, but to answer your other questions...


I have tried a couple of times to search the site but it seems that my system locks when searching but will keep trying

QUOTE
and a damn good buy for 45 !!


Never a truer word spoken, I couldn't believe my luck having seen these on eBay for anything from 120.00 to over 300.00 per item although I must admit to a small amount of guilt at the time but then again...

I not sure if these are representative of the true price or just somebody getting carried away with the bidding, which can happen with auctions.

Thanks for the advice everyone

Tony

#11 Chris P

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Posted 17 April 2005 - 11:19 AM

Hi 6th....The pipes were issued with the tins. They are the hardest items to find, Several manufacturers were used to source the pipes. I have only ever seen three 'provenanced' sets with pipes.......You can guess , it would be easy to add any old pipe.........The other two have been the same as mine.......Yours is very unusual, & Ihave nothing to show this type was ever provided......but I can't doubt the authenticity of it!
Chris P.

#12 philary

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Posted 17 April 2005 - 11:03 PM

Hello

I found this very interesting article.

I hope the link works:

http://homepages.ihu.../~phil/mary.htm

Hilary

#13 6th Hauraki KIA KAHA

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Posted 18 April 2005 - 12:49 AM

Hi

Thanks for finding that link Hilary has made me feel allot better about my pipe with that information. e.g.

The pipes that were given all of different sizes and shapes, the manufacturers being unable to supply a standard size, the Fund therefore had to purchase from existing stocks. The total number bought was 710,069. smile.gif

#14 philary

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Posted 18 April 2005 - 07:29 AM

Hello

My pleasure, I am really quite envious of your find. My grandfather was given one, he served in the Royal Navy and I have it now. Naturally he used all the contents!

Here is another link I found

http://members.lycos...kley1/mary.html

Hope this one works too!

Enjoy your find

Hilary

#15 Phil_B

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Posted 18 April 2005 - 09:25 AM

I have had this set for many years and have never opened the box. They`re to L/Cpl M.P.Dick, 7 Seaforth H, KIA 25/9/15 at Loos. I`ve often wondered why his people would have included what I thought was a British round with an odd bullet. It now seems that it might actually be a pencil. What were the circumstances of the bullet pencil being made/given? Does this look like one? Bigger picture below. Phil B

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#16 Phil_B

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Posted 18 April 2005 - 09:26 AM

The bullet pencil? Any comments appreciated. Phil B

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#17 Andrew Upton

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Posted 18 April 2005 - 09:22 PM

m13pgb:

If you very carefully turn the pencil around, as the top of the cartridge case there should be the monogramme of the crowned M for Mary, and the silver "bullet" may or may not be stamped "sterling" or "sterling silver".

If you can, why not carefully open the bullet pencil and see if the pencil inside is still there? Why not see if there are any of the contents still in the tin itself?

#18 Phil_B

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Posted 18 April 2005 - 09:42 PM

Where did the bullet pencils come from?

#19 Andrew Upton

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Posted 18 April 2005 - 11:09 PM

The cartridge casings, as I understand it, are genuine but unused casings - hence the example I have in my collection is marked 14 (for 1914) and VII for mark 7 ammunition.

Stationers for the pencils???

No idea on the silver "bullets".

#20 philary

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Posted 19 April 2005 - 06:13 AM

Hello again

Another link to the IWM with their facts about the Princess Mary tins!

http://collections.i...navId=00g003001

Hilary

#21 Phil_B

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Posted 19 April 2005 - 09:04 AM

My cartridge looks to have been fired - there`s the imprint of the firing pin. Phil B

#22 Andrew Upton

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Posted 19 April 2005 - 10:06 AM

Silly me - I just dug my pencil out, and the catridge casing IS fired, and actually stamped P/I\L VII and 11 for 1911, not 14 as I originally remembered. The top of the casing also has the three marks where the bullet was originally crimped into place.

The "bullet" on mine is stamped "sterling silver", but I've seen examples with only "sterling", or not even marked at all.

Pencil is round, red, and about three inches end to point, but I suspect this may be a period replacement (although I hope it is original).

#23 Phil_B

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Posted 19 April 2005 - 12:20 PM

Does anyone know where the bullet pencils came from? sad.gif Phil B