King’s Shropshire Light Infantry Pal’s Matchbox Cover

Following the end of the First World War, old comrades began to set up annual reunions where they could meet up and discuss their experiences of the war, swap stories and enjoy the comradeship of their time in the forces. One of these old comrades associations was founded by those who had served in the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry and throughout the 1930s they met on an annual basis. Rather unusually, though, they also presented those who attended the reunion with a small commemorative gift each year. In 1935 this was an ashtray, but the year before it was a small brass matchbox cover:

The cover itself is a simple piece of stamped and folded brass, with a cut out for the striking surface of the matchbox to be accessed. These sort of simple pieces were cheaply and easily available from mail order catalogues. What makes it interesting however is the badge attached to the top:

Thie enamelled roundel features the regimental cap badge on a green background and the words ‘Pals 16th Reunion 22nd Nov 1934’. This suggests that the Pals had come together every year since the end of the war in 1918.

These commemorative items continued for a number of years, following the matchbox cover in 1934 and the ashtray in 1935 in 1937 the Pals were presented with a yellow glazed earthernware butter dish with the roundel applied as a transfer to the outside. I am assuming that the Second World War put a brake on the commemorations and it is unclear if the annual reunions continued after 1945.

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