This image shows a First World War pocket New Testament Bible. Many bibles were carried by soldiers on active service
Bibles were often given to soldiers by private individuals, national figures, religious organisations and groups, to comfort them on active service.
This one belonged to Private Frederick Peil (service number 3529/241283) from Ireby, Cumbria.
The bible still has a German machine gun bullet embedded into it. Private Peil enlisted in early 1916 and joined the 5th battalion of the Border Regiment. He served on the Western Front in 1917 and 1918. Frederick was carrying the bible in his uniform pocket when he was hit by a machine gun bullet, which can be seen in the bible, just marking the back cover and very likely saving Fred’s life or preventing serious injury.
Researching Fred's service records show us that he was a butcher who was 29 years old when he enlisted. He had mixed fortunes in the war and, although very lucky being saved by his bible on one occasion, he still spent nearly two years out of three in various hospitals due to different wounds. When he was discharged in 1918 it was because of a foot wound. He was awarded the Silver War Badge that was given to soldiers who had been honourably discharged due to such wounds.
The bible is now on display at Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life at Carlisle Castle.
You can find out about this, including teachers notes on the mylearning website: