Century-old Cadbury chocolate to be auctioned in the UK

Nine 103-year-old bars are to go under the hammer next week

Century-old Cadbury chocolate to be auctioned in the UK

Chocolate bars in the Bullimore collection | Image: © CJM Asset Management

Cadbury chocolate bars dating back to World War I are being sold at auction.

Nine 103-year-old bars are to go under the hammer in an auction next week in the UK.

They were discovered among the mementos of British soldier Richard Bullimore, who fought in the war.

The Colonies Gift Tins, which were sent to troops serving in the trenches in France, were found to have almost all of its chocolate still inside.

Just one bar had been eaten.

The solider also received a Princess Mary tobacco gift box containing cigarettes, tobacco and matches.

Almost all of the contents of that are still there, with just three cigarettes missing.

Image: © CJM Asset Management

Bullimore went on to win the Distinguished Conduct Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal.

Paul Cooper of Eddisons CJM auctioneers said: "The colonies chocolate was sent to troops in that first winter of the war.

"Trinidad, Grenada and St Lucia provided the cocoa. Cadburys made the chocolate bars.

"The tin was made by Barringer Wallis & Manners of Mansfield, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of decorative tinware.

"Even the container is rare but to find the chocolate still inside is just unreal."

Image: © CJM Asset Management

On the bars themselves, he said: "The chocolate actually looks in pretty good shape, although I have to admit that I wouldn’t be tempted to give it a go, even if the experts say that actually chocolate seldom becomes really dangerous over time, but it does lose its flavour and texture.

"I think they probably did not have century-old bars of the stuff in mind".

Bullimore was sent home in 1916 because of head wounds from shrapnel.

The Bullimore collection | Image: © CJM Asset Management

He eventually recovered and in 1919 he went back to the Leicestershire Constabulary, which he had actually joined just a matter of weeks before the outbreak of the war.

He died in January 1967.

The entire Bullimore collection - including chocolate, medals and other material - is to be sold as a single lot when it goes under the hammer next Tuesday.