Beamish Advent Calendar. Day 18.
Toy Tommy Gun
War time austerity meant that many Christmas presents had to be made rather than bought. This wooden Tommy Gun toy is a beautiful example of a home-made toy. As many children did during this time the young owner of this toy used to play soldiers with his friends, the older boys would always play the part of British soldiers leaving the girls and younger boys to be German soldiers. However the lucky young owner of this Tommy gun with its authentic sounding hand crank was elevated to the ranks of Allied Forces due solely to his amazing toy gun.
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Collections Advent Calendar Day 17, 1915 & 1916 Christmas Certificates - Christmas can be a lonely time for those in the Armed Forces serving abroad, especially for the men in the trenches in World War One. A charity called the Overseas Club decided to supply men on the front line with Christmas gifts to raise their spirits. In 1915, the charity sent out an appeal to schoolchildren, asking them to raise money so that gift boxes could be purchased and sent to servicemen. The money raised was used by the charity to fill the boxes with small, useful presents to make soldiers’ lives more comfortable, such as socks, chocolates and cigarettes. Children who raised over a certain amount of money received a certificate praising their efforts, such as the ones here. Today, Christmas boxes are still sent to troops serving in overseas conflicts.