Naval History

'World's Oldest' Christmas Pudding Celebrates 120th Birthday

The dessert was sent to British personnel serving on the front line in the Boer War during Christmas 1899.

A Christmas pudding which was sent to Royal Navy personnel in the Boer War has celebrated its 120th birthday.

The dessert is believed to be the oldest of its kind in the world and was discovered in a cupboard at a house in Poole, Dorset in 2011.

It is understood to be the last in a batch of 1,000 sent to British personnel who were involved in land-based operations in southern Africa during Christmas 1899.

Made by Peek, Frean & Co, it was commissioned by Navy philanthropist, Agnes 'Aggie' Weston.

Her endeavours of kindness to sailors at the time earned her the accolade of becoming the first woman to be given a full ceremonial Royal Navy funeral.

A message in the tin container reads: "For the Naval Brigade, In the Front, With Miss Weston's Best Christmas & New Year, 1900, Wishes."

The 120-year-old pudding will be on display at the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth over the Christmas season.

Cover image: 'World's oldest' Christmas pudding celebrates 120th birthday (Picture: The National Museum of the Royal Navy).