Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Writer – Robbie Cheadle – The York Chocolate Series Part Four – Chocolate in wartime First World War 1914 – 1918 –

It has been so interesting and informative to find out about The York Chocolate story and the treat everyone enjoys. Author Robbie Cheadle has been sharing  The York Chocolate story with us, following her recent trip to the UK..  You can find part three HERE

The York Chocolate Series Part Four – Chocolate in wartime First World War 1914 – 1918

At the start of the Great War, the city of York sent a gift of a tin of Rowntree’s chocolate to all of its residents serving in the forces. Each tin contained a solid block of Rowntree’s chocolate wrapped in paper. The tin was made of pressed steel and had a hinged lid. It was also printed with a design incorporating the flags of the Allied nations and had an inscription which read as follows:

The Lord Mayor of York, John Bowes Morrell and the Sheriff, Oscar F. Rowntree, send best wishes for a Happy Christmas and a bright New Year to all York men who are serving their King and Country. Christmas 1914.

The purpose of the gift was to give the soldiers a taste of home while they spent Christmas far away from their family and friends. The gift also included postcards, pencils and similarly practical gifts and was intended as a moral boaster as many people had expected the war to be over by Christmas 2014.

The gift was organised by the Lord Mayor, John Bowes Morrell and the Sherriff of York, Liberal politician Oscar Rowntree, a member of the family behind the Rowntree & Co chocolate factory. The gift was greatly appreciated by the York servicemen and over 250 “chocolate” thank you letters were written to the organisers.

During the Great War, Rowntree’s turned its large dining hall into a makeshift hospital with enough room for over two hundred injured servicemen. The Rowntree’s also set up the Friends Ambulance Unit which was used to assist the injured and also to deliver medical supplies. This service provided other pacifists with an alternative from serving in the forces.

Following the gift to York servicemen for Christmas 1914, there was a larger national campaign whereby the families of personnel serving in the war collected cocoa coupons in order to send tins of chocolate to their men fighting abroad. The campaign was so popular, that for Christmas 1915, every member of the military abroad received one of the King George Chocolate Tins.

During June 2018, a 103 year old tin, containing nine bars of chocolate of the original ten, 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.

©Robbie Cheadle 2019

One of the reviews for the book

Sir Chocolate is “round and fat” and his wife Lady Sweet is described as wearing ” a stripy skirt and top.” They live in Chocolate land, where they “sell confectionery in a shop.” Their story is told in verse, as they search for “the amazing bean with flavours of strawberries.”
Robbie and her son Michael Cheadle have created a children’s book that is a delight to read, and beautifully illustrated with Robbie’s exquisite baking and fondant creations. Both children and adults will love this book.

The recipes at the end include Jolly Gingerbread Boys and Sir Chocolate Brownies.
The illustrations will compel the readers to bake…

Read the reviews and buy the book:

And on Amazon UK:

A selection of other Sir Chocolate stories co-written with Michael Cheadle and other books by Robbie Cheadle

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

And on Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Robbie on Goodreads:

About Robbie Cheadle

Robbie, short for Roberta, is an author with five published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children aged 2 to 9 years old (co-authored with her son, Michael Cheadle), one published middle grade book in the Silly Willy series and one published preteen/young adult fictionalised biography about her mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk during World War II called While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with her mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton). All of Robbie’s children’s book are written under Robbie Cheadle and are published by TSL Publications. Robbie has recently branched into adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differential her children’s books from her adult writing, these will be published under Roberta Eaton Cheadle. Robbie has two short stories in the horror/supernatural genre included in Dark Visions, a collection of 34 short stories by 27 different authors and edited by award winning author, Dan Alatorre. These short stories are published under Robbie Cheadle.

I have been drawn to the horror and supernatural genres of books all my life. At the age of ten years old I embarked on reading Stephen King’s books including The Shining and Salem’s Lot. These books scared me so much I had to put them aside by 6P.M. in the evening in order to get a good night’s sleep but they also fascinated me. I subsequently worked my way through all of Stephen King’s earlier books as well as those of Dean R. Koontz.

I have read a large number of classics, in particular, I enjoy Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Charles Dickens and the works of the Bronte sisters.

I am hugely interested in the history of the United Kingdom as well as the mythology and tales of the paranormal that are abundant on this intriguing European island.

Connect to Robbie Cheadle

Website/Blog Roberta Writes:

My thanks to Robbie for sharing this series with us and please join us again next Monday for Part Five of York’s Chocolate Story..

74 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Writer – Robbie Cheadle – The York Chocolate Series Part Four – Chocolate in wartime First World War 1914 – 1918 –

  1. Excellent post, Robbie. I have to wonder why that tin of chocolate survived with so many uneaten pieces. Brings a story to mind of a soldier wanting to save the chocolate for his family. He eats one piece and saves the rest and then is missing in battle. The tin finds it’s way home in his personal gear. His young wife can’t bear to eat the chocolate and vows to share it with him when he returns. The chocolate is still waiting to be shared.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Robbie, I loved reading the history of the chocolate gift to the soldiers. I can’t help but think of the possible story behind the 103 years old tin with bars of chocolates in it.

    I’m in Portland and read several books to my granddaughter. 😍😊💖

    Liked by 3 people

  3. We all know that chocolate, with it’s body temperature melting point, is very comforting. Those tins must have been very welcome; if a tin was found with the chocolate still inside, how sad the soldier never got to eat it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Robbie is an inspiration for all of us. What a talented person. I am reading her poetry book and have commented on the book. She is amazing. Your fondants are excellent and who would not love to eat chocolates. Loved the story of the first world war. Thanks for the awesome share.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Weekly Round Up – First Class Jazz, Guests, Food,Books with a dash of Humour thrown in.. | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

  6. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Writer – Robbie Cheadle – The York Chocolate Series Part Five – Chocolate in wartime Second World War 1939 – 1945 | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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