They were usually sent in an effects bag, a plain cotton bag provided by the military. Sometimes the contents were listed on the outside. Today these brief lists provide a stark reminder of how little was left of a young life.
One of five siblings, Arthur Elderton enlisted on 14 June 1915 and fought in France with the 1st Canterbury Regiment.
He was badly wounded in the stomach by a shell at Armentières and died in hospital at Bailleul 2 days later. Arthur’s mother Charlotte Elderton kept every item connected with her son and her collection of treasured mementoes provides a glimpse of a mother’s grief.