Australian War Contingent Association gift tin with contents : Lance Corporal G F Hamilton, 1 Battalion AIF

Accession Number REL/18441
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Foodstuffs, Paper, Tin
Maker Australian War Contingent Association
J. S. Fry & Sons, Ltd.
Place made United Kingdom
Date made c 1915
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Australian War Contingent Association gift tin with original chocolate contents, postcard and label. The rectangular gift tin is made of lacquered tin-plate and has a hinged lid printed in black with the Australian coat of arms in the centre and '1915.' on either side. Beneath this are the words 'TO THE AUSTRALIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE FROM THE AUSTRALIAN WAR CONTINGENT ASSOCIATION, LONDON. "A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ONE AND ALL."'. The tin contains its original contents of Fry's chocolate. The chocolate is broken and crumbling and there are remnants of the lead foil wrapping on some pieces. The yellow, orange and black paper label reads 'FRY'S ROYAL CHOCOLATE 300 GRANDS PRIX, GOLD MEDALS, ETC. Makers to H.M. THE KING, H.M. THE QUEEN and H.M. QUEEN ALEXANDRA.' In the top left corner of the label is the British royal coat of arms, and in the right is Queen Alexandra's coat of arms. 'BY APPOINTMENT' is printed below each coat of arms. With the gift tin is a novelty postcard from J. S. Fry & Sons, Ltd. It features a series of red, blue, white, yellow and black circles which represent the colours of the allied forces, Belgium, England, France and Russia. Gently rotating the card produces an optical effect where the circles appear to revolve.

History / Summary

The Australian War Contingent Association in London produced gift tins such as this which were distributed to Australian soldiers to celebrate Christmas and the New Year. This particular tin was given to 108 Lance Corporal George Fullard Hamilton who sent it home to his mother, Harriet. Hamilton was born in Cambewarra, NSW in 1891. A 22 year old electrical mechanic, he enlisted as a private with A Company, 1 Battalion on 17 August 1914 and embarked from Sydney on 18 October aboard HMAT Afric. After three months training in Egypt, Hamilton was promoted to lance corporal and proceeded to Gallipoli where his battalion took part in the second and third waves of the ANZAC landings on 25 April. In the fighting that followed the landing he received a gun shot wound to his right thigh and was evacuated to a hospital in Egypt, rejoining his battalion at Gallipoli on 21 May. Hamilton was killed in the early hours of the morning of 5 June while taking part in an attack launched from Steele’s Post on German Officers’ Trench. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Lone Pine Memorial, Turkey.