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Lucky crucifix found in the rubble of war-torn France

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: July 19, 2014

By Gavin Jones

  • Sergeant Hindmarsh, seated, with colleague.

  • The front and back of Sergeant Hindmarsh's lucky crucifix, taken from the only remaining wall of a bombed out building in France

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IN RESPONSE to our ongoing appeal for Great War stories, reader and regular contributor Calvin Tonks has brought to our attention a tiny but quite pertinent memento from his grandfather's part in the conflict.

Calvin's grandfather Andrew Hindmarsh was a sergeant (the family don't have a record of what regiment he served with) and served in France.

"When he went over the top and into a village somewhere in France, he came across a bombed out building," Calvin told us. "There was only one wall still standing, but fixed to that wall was this little cross. It must have struck him as being lucky, so he took it down and took it with him.

"He kept it on him for the rest of the war, and he was lucky enough to come out in one piece." The crucifix is only a couple of inches long, and the little hoop at the top suggests it may originally have been a necklace.

It looks to be made out of solid brass, but curiously is almost half wood, as you can see when you turn it over and look at the back. It is such a snug fit the brass may well have been cast around the wood.

Do you have any unique mementoes from the First World War? And can any of the military experts among our readers identify Sergeant Hindmarsh's regiment from his photograph? Write in, call us, or email gjones@blackcountry bugle.co.uk.

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