Oldham Historical Research Group

'What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
- Only the monstrous anger of the guns.'
from 'Anthem for Doomed Youth' by Wilfred Owen

1914 - 1918

'Active Service' Testament - Given to all Servicemen

"The Bible and World War 1"

Above is an example of the .Active Serviceman's New Testament that was presented to all servicmen during the FirstWorld War, as part of their basic essential kit.

Printed on the inside cover is a message from Lord Roberts exhorting the serviceman to put his, "... trust in God."

Millions of bibles were printed and freely distributed ... According to Dr Michael Snape, Reader in Religion, War and Society at the University of Birmingham,

"It is hard to understand British society at the time of World War One if you subtract the Bible from it. The Bible was a defining influence on British culture across class divides. From the public school to the Sunday school, from art and music to political debate, the Bible was in the blood of British people.
When war broke out on 4 August 1914, every member of the British Armed Forces received a New Testament as a standard part of his kit: uniform, gun, boots

Read the full article HERE on the 'Bible Society' website.

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Information & photos contributed by : Ron Vickers

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