Artefact of the month

The Malta Cigarette Box 1914

This beautiful silver box was commissioned by members of the 2nd Battalion Officers’ Mess to commemorate the meeting of the 1st and 2nd Battalions in Malta in March 1914. On St David’s Day 1914 the 1st Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers were stationed in Verdala Barracks, Malta. On 2 March the 2nd Battalion, homeward bound from India in HM Transport “DONGOLA”, arrived in the Grand Harbour at about 8am and disembarked the turnover to the 1st Battalion of 6 Sergeants and 327 rank and file.

It was the first time the two battalions had met since 1880 and by the kindness of His Excellency Sir Leslie Rundle, Governor and Commander-in-Chief, it was arranged that the ship should be detained until midnight so that the officers of both battalions could celebrate St David’s Dinner together.

Of the 39 Officers whose signatures appear on the cigar box, 13 lost their lives during the Great War, 7 of them by Oct 30th 1914.

Of the 23 Officers of the 1st Bn commemorated on the box, 6 had been killed in action or died of wounds and 12 had been wounded by the 30 October 1914.

H O S Cadogan, (Killed in Action 30 Oct 1914)
S Jones, (Killed in Action 16 May 1916)
E P Gabbett (Killed in Action 16 May 1915)
O De P Chance, (Killed in Action 19 Oct 1914)
W G Vyvyan, (Died of Wounds as a Prisoner of War 24 Oct 1914)
W M Kington, (Killed in Action 20 Oct 1914)
T Ackland-Allan, (Killed in Action 21 Oct 1914)
G P Snead-Cox, (Killed in Action 21 Oct 1914)
EN Jones-Vaughan, (Killed in Action 26 Oct 1914)
A Hay, (Killed in Action 8 RWF 3 Feb 1917)
J Childe-Freeman, (Died of heart attack age 25 leading an attack at Loos 25 Sep 1915)
L M Ormrod, (Died of Wounds 25 Aug 1917)
G O Thomas, (Killed in Action 25 Sep 1915)
J Harris-St John, (Wounded 19 Oct 1914)
E O Skaife, (Prisoner of War 20 Oct 1914)
R E Hindson, (Prisoner of War 20 Oct 1914)
M Gambier-Parry,
B C H Poole, (Prisoner of War 9 Nov 1914)
L l Alston. (Wounded 21 Oct 1914)
H R Hardie
E A Parker (Quarter Master),
W G Holmes,
J C Wynne-Edwards,
W Pery-Knox-Gore,
F E Soames,
C S Owen,
P C Maltby, (Future Air Vice Martial of the RAF)
P G J Mostyn, (Badly wounded in Mesopotamia with 8 RWF 17 Dec 1916)
O de L Williams, (Wounded 25 Sep 1915)
C G H Peppe, (Prisoner of War 20 Oct 1914)
E Wodehouse, (Wounded - Prisoner of War 23 Oct 1914)
H Phillips,
C E Fitzroy,
H Yates (Quarter Master),
H Home Davies,
J M J Evans, (Wounded 21 Oct 1914)
M Anwyl,
J H Courage, (Wounded - Prisoner of War 23 Oct 1914)
D M Barchard, (Wounded - Prisoner of War 23 Oct 1914)

The Malta Cigarette Box 1914 The Malta Cigarette Box 1914