The bullet points in the Bible show how the owner saved his life from the German machine gun during the First World War

The bullet points in the Bible show how the owner saved his life from the German machine gun during the First World War

A miracle Bible marked with bullet holes from a German machine gun helped save the life of a British World War I soldier, his daughter claimed.

The Bible is said to have prevented two bullets from beating Leslie Friston on his own when he was lying in a hospital bed recovering from a gas attack.

Pte Friston, who served with the Royal Army Medical Corps, was blinded and had difficulty breathing after a gas attack in France in 1917.

When he recovered in the hospital, a German plane flew over his head and shot the tin roof of the makeshift building with machine guns.

Two of the bullets struck the then-23-year-old holy book of the soldier lying beside him on a bedside table, preventing the bullets from hitting him.

More than 100 years later, the Soldier's Bible bears the war scars with two bullet holes, from which it has taken over the brunt of the German machine-gun attack.

The private Bible of Leslie Friston had two bullet holes behind him after a German plane shot into the makeshift hospital where he was recovering from a gas attack

The private Bible of Leslie Friston had two bullet holes behind him after a German plane shot into the makeshift hospital where he was recovering from a gas attack

The private Bible of Leslie Friston had two bullet holes behind him after a German plane shot in the makeshift hospital, recovering from a gas attack

Pte Friston, a nurse who came from Surbiton, Surrey, survived the war thanks to the book and brought the Bible home to his family.

He kept him until his death in 1958 at the age of 64, when his possessions were passed on to his daughter Ena Thompson, now 87.

"He said the Bible saved his life when it took the brunt of the attack," said Ms. Thompson of Bournemouth, Dorset.

"If the bullets had come a few inches farther on, he would not have survived – and I would not be here today.

"He was incredibly lucky and I think he knew that when he had the Bible with him for the rest of his life.

"I always asked him," would you tell me something about the war …? "And he would say," No, I do not want to talk about it. "

The Bible of Private Leslie Friston with two bullet holes clearly visible on the front of the Holy Book

The Bible of Private Leslie Friston with two bullet holes clearly visible on the front of the Holy Book

The Bible of Private Leslie Friston with two bullet holes clearly visible on the front of the Holy Book

Pte Friston entered the First World War at the age of 21 and served as the field ambulance department of the Home Counties in France and Belgium during the war years. His service number was 3621, later he switched to 88882.

Records show that in 1917, when he was 23 years old, he was injured by the gas envelope, which allowed him to use a wound strip.

"He was a nurse, so it must have been terrible and frustrating for him to be in a hospital bed," said Mrs. Thompson.

"He just wanted to help other people.

"It must have been absolutely scary. He was heavily gassed and it blinded him. He was bedridden, so he must have heard the plane approach – but he could not help it. "

Pte Friston's sight returned after returning to England, and then ran a grocery store in Hampton, Richmond, West London.

His younger brother Edward died during the war at the age of 19, while his older brother Tom survived.

Ms. Thompson donates to the Royal British Legion each year and buys a wooden cross to be planted in Westminster for the charity's annual Field of Remembrance event. This cross is dedicated to Edward.

Ms. Thompson described her father's Bible as "something special."

Private Leslie Friston, third from left, middle row, pictured during his time in a makeshift hospital after suffering a gas attack on the Western Front

Private Leslie Friston, third from left, middle row, pictured during his time in a makeshift hospital after suffering a gas attack on the Western Front

Private Leslie Friston, third from left, middle row, pictured during his time in a makeshift hospital after suffering a gas attack on the Western Front

She added, "It still has its name and service number written.

"When I hold the Bible, I just get a special feeling. It may sound a bit strange, but I feel well and happy. It's a nice feeling that it saved his life. I feel close to him.

"I'm very grateful to the WW1 generation for everything they've done for us – it's hard to imagine what the world would look like if things had changed differently all those years ago.

"We owe it to this generation to remember their victims."

Neville Thompson, wife of Thompson, who died in 1989, served as a signaler in the Royal Corps of Signals during the Second World War.

Her daughter Monica Spiers formerly served in the Women's Aid for Women.

Leslie Friston's private daughter, Ena Thompson, said, "He [her father] said the bible saved his life when it took the brunt of the attack & # 39;

Leslie Friston's private daughter, Ena Thompson, said, "He [her father] said the bible saved his life when it took the brunt of the attack & # 39;

Leslie Friston's private daughter, Ena Thompson, said, "He [her father] said the Bible saved his life as she required the brunt of the attack. "

Ms. Thompson paid tribute to the generation of the First World War as part of the 2018 Poppy Appeal of the Royal British Legion, which was launched last week.

In August, the cell phone van service of the Legion repaired the garage door of Mrs. Thompson and installed a careline.

"Everyone likes the Legion because it helps so much," said the retired grocer.

In the First World War, nearly 1.7 million British troops were wounded, over 700,000 were killed.

In total, 13 million soldiers were killed and another 21 million injured in the war.

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