This topic was initially sparked when readers wrote to me about a scene in my book The Autumn Bride, where Damaris cooks the first meal for the badly neglected and almost starving old lady, Lady Beatrice Davenham.
“And I’ll make you something tasty to eat,” Damaris said. “What about a soft-boiled egg with soldiers?”
“A soft-boiled egg with soldiers?” the old lady repeated in a whisper. “I haven’t had that since—” She broke off, her mouth wobbling. Her face crumpled and she scrubbed at her brimming eyes. “Blast the dratted dust in here. It’s got into my eyes again.”
The readers asked me, "what are soldiers?"
Soft boiled eggs for children are often served with "soldiers" — toast cut into narrow lengths, that we dip in the egg and eat. In the UK they're often called "dippy eggs" — because you dip the soldiers into the eggs — just like the little girl above, and in this cute video showing two toddlers solemnly eating their "dippy eggs."