Friday 19 January 2018

Afghan tour soldier to return Bible

Corporal David Coles is to return his grandfather's Second World War Bible to him after carrying it in his body armour during a tour of Afghanistan (MoD/PA)
Corporal David Coles is to return his grandfather's Second World War Bible to him after carrying it in his body armour during a tour of Afghanistan (MoD/PA)
Mary and Henry Collins on their wedding day in 1945 as their grandson, Corporal David Coles, is to return his grandfather's Second World War Bible after a six-month tour of Afghanistan (MoD/PA)

A soldier is to return his grandfather's Second World War Bible to him after carrying it in his body armour during a six-month tour of Afghanistan.

Corporal David Coles, of the Royal Military Police, arrived safely home in Cambridge with his "treasured possession", which he will hand back to 95-year-old Alfred Henry Collins, who was given it in 1941 after joining the RAF Police.

Cpl Coles, 31, who normally works for 156 Provost Company, Military Police, in Colchester, Essex, said: "My grandfather has a strong faith and wanted me to take his service Bible with him.

"I have kept excellent care of it, because it's a treasured possession of his.

"It's been in my body armour, in a special pouch in my day sack. I've tried not to carry it too much to avoid damaging or losing it."

The Bible was blessed at one of the chapels in Camp Bastion during his tour of Helmand Province.

Cpl Coles added: "It will mean a tremendous amount for my grandfather to know that his Bible was with me for the length of my time away and to know that it was blessed by an RAF padre here.

"He and my grandmother were married for 68 years and have been a huge part of my life."

Press Association

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