Chelsea pensioners have marked the start of the festive period with the Ceremony of Christmas Cheeses.

The celebrations, which date back to 1692, saw British cheese makers provide a range of cheeses from around the country in honour of war veterans. As part of the ceremony, a giant Montgomery Cheddar was cut by pensioner and former prisoner of war Patrick Brady, aged 92.

Dairy Council director Judith Bryans said cheese makers had a long tradition of paying tribute to the “courage and contribution” made by the country’s war veterans. “Every year, the Chelsea Pensioners are delighted to tuck into the best of British cheeses, which have been eaten by soldiers for hundreds of years.”

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Focus On Cheese (04 December 2010)