This is a match box from the early 1970s Thomas O'Neill got from his grandfather who used to visit nearly every day. On the match box is written name Thomas. Thomas's brother Brian would also get a match box with his name on it. The rest of Thomas's two brothers and two sisters were already grown up.
Most days grandfather would give Thomas a matchbox with 20 c inside, often a big block of chocolate. Thomas kept one of those match boxes he used to get from his grandfather Jack Menzies. It was a toy and reward present for Thomas. "The matchbox with a coin (penny) in it was a trick thing where the coin would disappear when it was closed and then opened again" Thomas's oldest brother Michael O'Neill remembers.
Jack's older brother James went to South Africa in the Boer wars, and Jack, James and his brothers Stuart and Duncan joined the army in 1915, and went to Galipoli. Stuart and Duncan (below) were killed in action, James was wounded three times and ultimately was discharged with shell shock in 1919, Jack returned home and married his English bride Florence Williams whom he met in Southampton.(Pictured 1 penny in the match box.)
|Stuart (left) and Duncan (right)|