A bullet-riddled copy of the Bible saved the life of a British World War I soldier after stopping the live fire of a German machine gun — that is, according to the veteran’s daughter, who said that her hero father carried the scar-torn good book with him for the rest of his life.
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Private Leslie Friston was recovering in a makeshift hospital bed following a gas attack in 1917 when a German aircraft flew overhead and opened fire, piercing the facility’s tin roof. That’s when two bullets came hurtling towards Friston in his hospital bed, before they were abruptly stopped by his soldier’s Bible, which lay on his bedside table.
“He said the Bible saved his life as it took the brunt of the attack,” said his 87-year-old daughter Ena Thompson, according to Sky News. “If the bullets had landed just a few inches further towards him, he would not have survived — and I wouldn’t be here today.”
After surviving the war, Private Friston brought the Bible home with him, and it never left his side until his death in 1958.
“He was incredibly lucky and I think he knew this as he kept the Bible with him for the rest of his life,” added Thompson, who is now in possession of the precious item.
Bullet-ridden Bible 'saved First World War soldier's life' pic.twitter.com/IX2G73xXV8
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“It still has his name and his service number in it which he wrote,” she said. “When I hold the Bible I just get a special feeling. It might sound a bit strange but it makes me feel comfortable and happy.”
“It’s a nice feeling that it saved his life. It makes me feel close to him,” she added,
Thompson recalled her story recently as part of the Royal British Legion’s 2018 Poppy Appeal ahead of Armistice Day on Nov. 11.
“It’s hard to imagine what the world would be like if things had gone differently all those years ago,” she said. “We owe it to that generation to remember their sacrifices.”
(H/T: Sky News)