A bullet and a Bible: Remembrance Day guest post

By my friend, Janie Wannamaker-Bilson. A true story, and a heartfelt tribute to family.


Photo by and courtesy of Janie Wannamaker-Bilson

A Blessed Family Treasure
© 2015 Janie Wannamaker-Bilson

Years ago when I was a young child, I remember a precious treasure.
Not a fancy shiny gem, but something far beyond measure.

One day my Mother told us of a soldier tall and brave,
Who, during the World War, had nearly met his grave.

He was on the battlefield with many-a-men, some who’d never return.
The enemy lines were closing in…oh how those bullets burned.

But the soldier, he continued to fight, though weaker he did feel.
‘Til the lack of strength overtook his might and the soldier was forced to kneel.

For a bullet struck him in the chest, his heart went numb with pain.
He sunk into the muddy trench in horror as his life drained.

He thought of his little boy back home, Harry was only nine.
He couldn’t bear the thought of leaving his child behind.

He prayed to God to let him live to see his son once more.
And as that soldier drifted off, he could hear the battle roar.

He awoke to find himself in a military hospital bed.
The doctor calmly looked at him and this is what he said…

“Well soldier, welcome back. You certainly had a close call.”
And in his hand the soldier could see something tattered and small.

“We removed the shrapnel from your chest. You’re a very lucky man…
In your chest pocket we found this…”, as he held out his hand.

And in it lay the miracle that saved that soldier’s life.
The treasure that allowed that warrior to return to his son and wife.

Today a shrapnel tattered bible, has been passed down through our family.
My father Harry inherited it from a soldier he called ‘Daddy’.

“In loving memory of my father, Harry Eric Wannamaker 1931-2008,
and Grandfather Clayton Walter Wannamaker 1895 – 1962.”


About Arlene Somerton Smith

Writer, laughing thinker, miner of inspirational insights, sports fan, and community volunteer

Posted on November 10, 2015, in Arlene Smith, Arlene Somerton Smith, Inspiration and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. lynneottawa@gmail.com

    Oh wow – I have many goosebumps. What an incredible story! I think it is more incredible because there is a close and real connection. Thanks for sharing her story with us.

  2. I know. I got goosebumps too, when I read it. I am so pleased she gave me permission to share.

  3. Arlene — I loved reading this phenomenal tribute. Amazing. Absolutely amazing!

  4. Beautiful story. Thank you, Janie. And thank you Clayton Walter Wannamaker.

  5. Thank you for the follow today, Arlene. Your blog is attractive to me because I notice you have a spiritual dimension to your writing, an attribute I definitely applaud. Again, thanks!

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