In October 1914 Princess Mary had the idea to send every man on the frontline and at sea a Christmas present. This is one of the gifts for a person who smoked. It consists of a brass embossed box, cigarettes, tobacco and a pipe. It would have also had a tinder lighter. Each gift came with a Christmas card and a photograph of the princess
Field service postcards had a selection of pre-printed messages which would be deleted as necessary. Their purpose was to give the soldier means to quickly send word home. The cards could be posted straight away as the limited responses meant they did not have to go through the censor.
A tank-shaped money box and a necklace with
glass beads. They were made by disabled servicemen after the First World War in order to provide them with an income. Items like this were often made from shell cases.
The poppy had become a symbol of remembrance during the war, remembering those who died during times of conflict. The first poppy appeal took place in 1921. The idea came from a French woman, Anna Guérin, and was taken up by Field Marshal Earl Haig’s British Legion and veterans’ organisations and continues today.
Memorial plaquette or ‘Dead Man’s Penny’ for Corporal Percival Ballinger of the Gloucestershire Regiment, who was killed at the Battle of Loos 13 October 1915. These bronze plaquettes were issued to the kin of every British and Empire serviceman who was killed. There are around 1,355,000 in total. They were issued with a letter and a commemorative scroll signed by George V.
A Ministry of Food certificate dated 14 December 1917. It registers Frederick Carrick as a meat retailer under the control of the Local Food Control Committee. These registrations were to stop the ever increasing prices for essential items, such as meat, and put them under more controlled restrictions.
Ration book 1918. Despite attempts to control prices and buying of certain items, there was still a huge food shortage and poorer communities suffered greatly. Compulsory rationing was eventually introduced at the beginning of 1918. Ration cards and book were provided and everyone had to register with a butcher and grocer.
National Registration Act required anyone between the ages of 15 to 65, not in the armed forces, to sign a register in August 1915. Each person was given on of these cards. The information was eventually used for conscription in 1916. When rationing was introduced in 1918 they were required as proof of identity in order to claim rations.
There were many hospitals in Cheltenham during the First World War. Aside from the permanent ones, eight temporary VAD Hospitals opened by the end of 1915. Unlike today, bandages would have been cleaned, sterilised and then re-used. These long strips would need to be wound up ready for use. If you were unlucky this would be done by hand, if not you may have a bandage winder to use which would do the job quicker.