WW1 shell-blasted crucifix from France

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WW1 shell-blasted crucifix from France

This crucifix was given to my grandmother by a wounded soldier she looked after as a wartime nurse in Buxton. With it is his handwritten letter which speaks for itself. He writes: "This crucifix came from a house in Rosieres, Somme, France in the British retirement of March 1918....We were fighting on the retreat right through, in action all the time ... On the night of the evacuation of Chaulnes, the remainder of the civilians were leaving Rosieres. As we passed through the Germans were bombarding the town heavily. A shell went through a house, and wrecked the back portion of the building. I and a friend went into the house to see if anybody was there, Upstairs, where the shell entered, everything was in ruins, and on one side a portion of the wall was still standing; on this part of the wall hung the crucifix, just chipped, as you see it now.
I have seen this sort of thing so many times, buildings and churches wrecked, but crucifixes and figures of Christ untouched (we regard it as an omen) that I brought it along with me as a souvenir. Its value lies in all that it stands for, and not in its actual worth. Sergt. WHC Strickland, late attached 74th Field AMB"

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