Her Royal Highness The Princess Mary, was the daughter of King George V and his wife Queen Mary. When Britain and Germany went to war in August 1914, Princess Mary was 17-years-old and, as Christmas drew near, she decided it would be a nice idea to send all serving soldiers and sailors a gift that Christmas. On the 4th November 1914 she launched an appeal to raise funds, asking that remittances should be sent to her directly at Buckingham Palace, London. Thus was born the appeal for that staple of British militaria fairs, the Princess Mary tin; an appeal which subsequently raised over £194,000 and saw over 2.6m tins (and gifts) issued to soldiers and sailors.
There were some men though who did not receive Princess Mary's gift that Christmas 1914 and these were men who had been captured and were prisoners of war. After the cessation of hostilities, the Princess Mary, through Sir Ernest Goodhart, wrote to all regiments requesting they submit the names of those men who had been captured on or before 25th December 1914 so that these men could also be sent - somewhat belatedly - the Princess's gift.
Correspondence from Sir Ernest Goodhart's office and the lists of men that were sent to him, survive today in an Imperial War Museum collection and it is the transcriptions of those lists that are published here. The information supplied by regiments varies in detail and in some cases repeats information supplied by prisoners of war care committees or similar. It is a valuable source of information, often giving a man's date of capture, his home address, next of kin address, other information and notes.
Do note that these regimental lists should not be regarded as complete rolls. For instance, repatriated prisoners of war do not, for the most part appear here, and records from some regiments have also been lost. Nevertheless, there are still over 21,000 names recorded here, the vast majority of these men being career soldiers from the original British Expeditionary Force.
Fold3, UK, Princess Mary’s Gift Box POW list, 1914 ( : accessed September 23, 2023), database and images,
- Publication Title
- UK, Princess Mary’s Gift Box POW list, 1914
- Total Records
- Content Source
- British Army Ancestors
- Published on Fold3
- 28 Jun 2023
- Last Updated
- 28 Jun 2023
- Princess Mary’s Gift Box POW list, 1914. An index of names.