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121-year-old chocolate bar having royal connections is found in an attic

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Manish Saini
Manish works as a Journalist and writer at Revyuh.com. He has studied Political Science and graduated from Delhi University. He is a Political engineer, fascinated by politics, and traditional businesses. He is also attached to many NGO's in the country and helping poor children to get the basic education. Email: Manish (at) revyuh (dot) com

A chocolate bar that was given to a soldier as a morale-booster to British troops during the Second Boer War has been found in the attic of a National Trust property in the UK after 121 years.

The candy, still in its original wrapping, was found at Oxburgh Hall in Norfolk. The bar was stored in the case of a military helmet that had belonged to the eighth baronet, Sir Henry Edward Paston-Bedingfeld, who served in the armed conflict.

“Although it no longer looks appetising and is well past its use-by date – you wouldn’t want it as your Easter treat – it is still complete and a remarkable find,” said Anna Forrest, representing the National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty in the UK.

“We can only assume that the 8th Baronet kept the chocolate with the helmet as a memento of his time in the Boer War.”

The chocolate in question was commissioned by Queen Victoria in 1900. More than 100,000 cans like the one found each containing half a pound of pure chocolate were produced to be sent to the soldiers.

The Second Boer War, also called the Anglo-Boer War, was a conflict between the British Empire and the founders of two independent Boer republics in northeast South Africa. Started in 1899, the conflict lasted three years.

Each of the English soldiers on the battlefront was sent a tin with chocolate, which had the inscription South Africa 1900 and the phrase I wish you a happy New Year, written in the monarch’s handwriting.

Because it was a gift from the queen herself, many soldiers decided to keep their chocolate cans. Some even sent them home to be properly stored.

While some cans survive, few can be traced. In addition, those that still contain chocolate in their interior more than 120 years later are very rare.

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