A tin of WWI Cadbury chocolate will cross the block at Eddisons CJM auctioneers in Lincolnshire, UK on June 5 with an estimate of more than £2,000 ($2,676).
The box originally belonged to British soldier Richard Bullimore, who fought in France from 1914-1916. Originally a member of the Royal Leicestershire Regiment, he retired in 1909 and joined the police. Once the war broke out he re-enlisted. He was wounded by shrapnel and brought home in 1916, where he made a full recovery.
It’s a Colonies Gift Tin, made for British troops for Christmas 1914. The front reads: “THE GIFT OF THE COLONIES OF TRINIDAD.GRENADA & ST. LUCIA TO HIS MAJESTY’S NAVAL & MILITARY FORCES/ THIS CHOCOLATE IS MADE FROM COCOA GROWN IN TRINIDAD GRENADA & ST. LUCIA”.
Auctioneer Paul Cooper said: “The colonies chocolate was sent to troops in that first winter of the war. Trinidad, Grenada and St Lucia provided the cocoa.
“Cadbury’s made the chocolate bars and the tin was made by Barringer Wallis and Manners of Mansfield, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of decorative tinware. Even the tin is rare but to find the chocolate still inside is just unreal.
“The chocolate actually looks in surprisingly good shape, although I have to admit that I wouldn’t be tempted to give it a go, even if the experts say that chocolate seldom becomes dangerous over time – it just loses its flavour and texture.
“That said, they probably did not have century-old bars of the stuff in mind!”
That Corporal Bullimore did not eat his chocolate while on the front lines was not unusual. Many other soldiers also kept hold of their tins for the duration of the war, often regarding them as good luck charms.
The sale will also feature an unsmoked box of tobacco and cigarettes, marked as a gift from Princess Mary.