A CORNISH pasty carved from stone by a homesick World War II soldier in Bethlehem has been shortlisted for a museum award.
The pocket-sized keepsake was painstakingly sculpted by Desert Rat William ‘Bill’ Jewell in 1943 during a deployment to the Middle East.
The former butcher carried it 5,500 miles from Bethlehem to Italy, through the Normandy Landings and then Germany, before bringing it home in 1944.
His family in Helston donated it and Bill’s medals to the Museum of Cornish Life, where it’s in the running for Cornish object of the year. A spokesman for the museum said: ‘We love the little pasty, which is plain and understated.
‘It is an expression of what was important to a Cornish soldier far from home who went from being a butcher to tank battles in the desert.
‘This pasty is no “tacky gift” — it is both a remembrance of home and of people now gone.’
Bill, who was in his 90s when he died, served with the Royal Scots Greys in Egypt until the end of the North Africa Campaign in May 1943. The cavalryman must then have visited Bethlehem at some point as his pasty bears its name and the year he carved it.
He ended his service in Germany on April 21, 1946, with a note of ‘exemplary military conduct’.
The museum added: ‘It is funny to think of Bill sitting in the heat carving a pasty from a bit of stone.’