The Royal New South Wales Lancers

1915 Christmas Toffees


It is the Festive Season of 1915/16, the second Festive Season of WW1. Gallipoli has already been evacuated, large numbers of wounded Australian soldiers have been sent to England for treatment and re-deployed Australian Army units are starting to appear, headed for the Western Front.

The British Royal Family has a tradition of giving tins of chocolates to British and Imperial soldiers on active service at Christmas. The Australian War Contingent Association, London picks up on this tradition and gives Australian soldiers of the Australian Expeditionary Force a tin of toffees.

There are many WW1 tins of chocolates and toffees around in the world today. However, not so many that still have their original contents inside. It took the Museum many years to realise that the tin of toffees in its collection still had the original toffees inside.

We don't recommend anyone try eating 105 years old toffee - it's well past its "use by" date. However, as you look at it during a visit to the Museum, it does give pause for thought that this tin was a present to an Australian soldier, far from home and caught up in one of the bloodiest wars in human history. Strong chance he didn't survive to eat his toffee.

Ian Hawthorn, 2020

New South Wales Lancers Memorial Museum Incorporated ABN 94 630 140 881; Linden House, Lancer Barracks, 2 Smith Street, PARRAMATTA, AUSTRALIA
Postal Address: PO Box 7287, PENRITH SOUTH NSW 2750, AUSTRALIA; Telephone: +61 (0)405 482 814 Email:
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