Page last updated at 15:48 GMT, Monday, 11 August 2008 16:48 UK

Victorian cookbook up for auction

Sergeant Charles Smith (third from right)
Sergeant Smith went to army cooking school in 1890

A collection of rare Victorian memorabilia including an army cookbook from 1890 is being auctioned.

The items include army records which date from 1876, a photograph of the owner and a commemorative clock from 1897, auctioneer Clinton Slingsby said.

The family heirlooms are being sold by Debbie Robinson, of Ellesmere Avenue, Lincoln, and they belonged to her great-great-uncle Charles Smith.

Sergeant Smith was originally from Huntingdon, near Peterborough.

'Extremely rare'

Mr Slingsby said: "Army cookbooks are extremely rare and I have never seen one which dates from Victorian times before.

"It is incredible that Smith's army records have survived, after all they are 132 years old, and the cookbook was written 118 years ago."

Some of the items to be auctioned
The items to be auctioned include a cookbook and a photograph

Ms Robinson, 46, said: "I am happy to sell them because I don't think my son would be interested and I don't want them to be thrown away if anything happens to me."

Sergeant Smith was 19 when he enlisted into the army as a corporal in January 1876.

A baker and confectioner by trade, he served in Gibraltar in 1881, India in 1882 and returned to England in 1884.

In January 1890, the sergeant in the 4th Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment was sent to cooking class at Camp Aldershot for three months.

His hand-written cookbook starts with the basics in food hygiene and preparation and features recipes like toad in the hole, potato pie, salt pork and biscuits, jam rolls and plain plum pudding.

The items will be featured in a special two-day sale by auctioneers Thomas Mawer & Son between 5 and 6 September.

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