WW1 soldier’s 103-year-old chocolate found

103-year-old chocolateImage copyrightCJM Auctioneers
Image caption Cadbury made the chocolate bars and Barringer Wallis & Manners, from Nottinghamshire, created the tin

Nine 103-year-old chocolate bars have been discovered in a tin which belonged to a World War One hero.

It was found among a collection of items belonging to Leicestershire Regiment soldier Richard Bullimore.

Troops serving in France during the first Christmas of the war were given the Colonies Gift Tins, made in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire.

WW1 soldier’s 103-year-old chocolate found
WW1 soldier’s 103-year-old chocolate found

Just one of the 10 bars had been eaten and the tin is being sold at an antiques auction on Tuesday.

Image copyrightCJM Auctioneers
Image caption Cpl Richard Bullimore joined Leicestershire Police after his service with the regiment

Paul Cooper, of Scunthorpe-based auctioneers Eddisons CJM, said: “Even the tin is rare but to find the chocolate still inside is just unreal.

“Richard also received a Princess Mary tobacco gift box containing cigarettes, tobacco and matches and almost all of the contents of that are still there too. Just three cigarettes are missing.”

Image copyrightCJM Auctioneers
Image caption The cigarettes will be sold along with the chocolate

The entire collection, including chocolate, cigarettes, medals, citations, letters and other material, is to be sold as a single lot and is expected to make more than £2,000.

Cpl Bullimore was awarded a number of medals for his service, including the Distinguished Conduct Medal for conspicuous gallantry during a clash in no man’s land in the Ypres Salient in July 1915.

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By then he was a corporal and led the night-time reconnaissance patrol of five men.

Image copyrightCJM Auctioneers
Image caption The entire Bullimore collection is expected to make more than £2,000

Despite being outnumbered by more than three to one, his patrol attacked with grenades, causing a number of enemy casualties.

They later withdrew and Cpl Bullimore carried one of his own wounded men back to the trenches.

In October 1916, he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, by then he was home because of shrapnel head wounds.

He recovered and in 1919 joined Leicestershire Police, where he rose to the rank of superintendent. He died in January 1967.

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