Leicester

Carillon Museum in search for bible owners' relatives

Soldier's bibles found in museum
The bibles are printed with the name, number and rank of the soldiers

Volunteers trying to trace families of World War One soldiers whose bibles were found in a storeroom are looking for help to locate the last few.

About 30 bibles were found in a box at a former army base used by the Royal Leicestershire Regimental Association.

Members of Loughborough's Carillon Museum have spent two years researching databases and managed to reunite 12 of the bibles to descendants.

Chairman Mel Gould said a community effort may help find the remainder.

Mr Gould who works on the project in his spare time said the team had been "plodding along" so far.

Soldier's bibles found in museum
The soldier's bibles had been given to the personnel as they entered into their training

"Finding the first one was quite simple after I contacted an author who recognised a name," he said.

"Since then it has been a bit more difficult.

"It has been really nice to reunite the bibles with the families. Some of the reactions we have had have been wonderful.

"One gentleman came to the museum from Birmingham to thank us.

Soldier's bibles found in museum
Researchers said it had been difficult to track down family members of the soldiers

"When he handled the bible the tears welled up in his eyes. He was named after his grandfather who was killed in World War One so it was particularly poignant for him."

Each of the bibles has the soldier's number, rank and name written on it.

Mr Gould said they had been given to the personnel as they entered into their training and families had been traced all over the country.

Researcher Marigold Cleeve, said it had proved to be a difficult task.

"We are trying to deal with four generations down the line," she said.

"It makes me feel very determined to try and reunite the bibles with the family."

Soldiers yet to be traced
Name and rank Number Research notes
Cpl Herbert Cooke 8119 1st Battalion. Pre-war regular who died in 1973 in Leicester
G Draper Possibly Sgt George Draper
George Fairfax 9715 Later a sergeant in the 1st Battalion - his number may have been 9765
Pte J Hudson 9488 1st Battalion, promoted to sergeant major. Also served in Labour Corps and left the army in 1934
Pte Arthur Hooton 9657 1st Battalion, enlisted in Derby and killed in action
Pte H Houghton 9403 No trace of this man
Cyril J Jackson 9516 1st Battalion
Pte CW Simpson 8916 1st Battalion, enlisted in Leicester but son of Charles Simpson of New Cross, London
Ernest Smith 8030 Also served in Machine Gun Corps with the number 20867
Ernest Walters 9533 2nd Battalion. Also served as 47286 with the South Staffordshire Regiment and 42139 with the Norfolk Regiment
Pte F Waterfield 9638 2nd Battalion, wounded in Mesopotamia

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