WWI Princess Mary Silver Bullet Pencil
WWI Princess Mary Silver Bullet Pencil - Brass .303 cartridge casing with copper primer, monogrammed Princess Mary "M" with crown on the side, marked "K14" and "VII" on the base, fits a sterling silver bullet tip marked "STERLING SILVER" holding a 58 mm long pencil, 81 mm long x 13.3 mm wide at the base, light contact with minor tarnishing, extremely fine. Footnote: In November 1914, an advertisement was placed in the national press inviting monetary contributions to a "Sailors & Soldiers Christmas Fund", which had been created by Princess Mary, the seventeen year old daughter of King George V and Queen Mary. The purpose was to provide everyone wearing the King's uniform and serving overseas on Christmas 1914 with a gift from the nation. The response was truly overwhelming. It was decided to spend the money on an embossed brass box, based on a design by Adshead and Ramsey. The contents varied considerably: officers and men on active service, afloat or at the front received a box containing a pipe, lighter, one ounce of tobacco and twenty cigarettes; non-smokers and boys received a bullet pencil, as per the item presented here, in addition to a packet of sweets; Indian troops often got sweets and spices; while nurses were treated to chocolate. All boxes, irrespective of recipient, contained a Christmas card and a picture of HRH Princess Mary. Those which were not distributed until after Christmas were sent out with a card wishing the recipient a "victorious new year". When the fund finally closed in 1920, almost 200,000 British Pounds had been donated for the provision of more than two and a half million boxes with contents.