Across the nation this week we have paused to remember those fallen in military service. Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday are our chance to give thanks and pay respects to those in the Armed Forces.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme and as such, the Royal British Legion have brought out beautiful poppy lapel pin, each with unique historic ties. Each pin also comes with a certificate commemorating the life of an individual soldier who fell during the Battle of the Somme from the 2nd to the 141st day.
These beautiful poppies got us thinking about our own historic tributes to those who serve our armed forces. During the First World War Tom Smith released a series of items which document wartime efforts. Take a look below at the images all collected in ‘Tom Smith’s Christmas Crackers: An Illustrated History’ by Peter Kimpton.
These bright red Tom Smith Red Cross Crackers honour the British Red Cross nurses and their work with injured soldiers. The crackers themselves have quite an unusual design in comparison to our modern ones – they have a frilled edge which was very popular in the early 20th century.
Rationing from the war affected a very many trades and families alike. The poster below shows a reference to a shortage of Children’s toys for Christmas. It’s hard to imagine a shortage like that as we enter November in 2016 with everything available at the click of a mouse and parents able to buy a wealth of toys and games in every town centre. Ever the entrepreneur, Tom Smith was able to still supply the famous crackers however, as they were all still British made and included a very many novelties as well as the traditional mottoes.
These British Navy Crackers were designed in 1917 as a tribute to the maritime war effort. They cost 36 shillings per dozen boxes which would be roughly around £24 per box in today’s money.
All of our thoughts are with those who serve at home and abroad as well as with our veterans who gave so much. We will remember them.