Princess Mary's Christmas Gift
1914 Audio tour
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Princess Mary was a member of the British Royal Family and was known for her active charity work during the First World War. In October 1914, just two months after the outbreak of the war, Princess Mary launched a charity campaign to fund Christmas gifts to every member of the armed forces. Throughout the weeks prior to Christmas the press released multiple advertisements seeking donations from the public. This generated a very positive response resulting in over £150,000 to be raised - today’s value of that investment would be approximately £11 million! This created over 2.5 million gift boxes that were to be sent out over the next 6 years.
Princess Mary’s story initially intrigued me with its compassionate and meaningful message. In a time of conflict, she created something of value to show the true appreciation of servicemen and women’s work during the First World War. Her determination continued throughout her life as she took an active role in promoting the Girl Guide, VAD’s and the Land Girls movements. She then went on to train as a nurse at Great Ormond Street Hospital. She truly was a magnificent woman.
Audio recording by Eliza Girling (Volunteer), Manchester.
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