Some might still possess the death pennies, or memorial plaques, or fathers, uncles or grandfathers sent by a grateful government, or the terrible message that told of a brother ‘missing believed killed’. Not all the items held by families are sad reminders of the past. The Princess Mary Gift Fund box, sent to the men at the front for Christmas 1914, for example, contained such luxuries as chocolate and tobacco, and brought great pleasure to the men in the trenches.
Items of uniforms, photographs, and, most poignant and personal of all, the letters written from the front, present the human side of an inhuman war, in a deeply moving snapshot of the past. The full-color photographs of each 100 items are accompanied by detailed explanations of the object and the people and events which make them so special – not just to the families concerned, but to all those who hold such artifacts in cupboards, on mantelpieces or shelves, or in display cases. The memory of the men and women they represent lives on through the items they have left behind.