Friday 22 March 2019

Penny that took bullet and saved soldier's life goes up for auction

 

Private John Trickett and a dented penny, which deflected an enemy bullet during the First World War. Photo: Hansons Auctioneers/PA
Private John Trickett and a dented penny, which deflected an enemy bullet during the First World War. Photo: Hansons Auctioneers/PA

Matthew Cooper

A lucky penny which deflected an enemy bullet during World War I - saving a soldier's life - is set to be sold at auction.

Private John Trickett would have been shot in the heart if the bullet - which still left him deaf - had not struck the coin in the breast pocket of his uniform.

Instead, the round ricocheted through his ear, leading to his honourable discharge from the Northamptonshire Regiment in 1918.

Minted in 1889, the dented penny is due to be sold next week by UK auction house Hansons.

The firm's militaria expert, Adrian Stevenson, said: "It looks to me like a pistol bullet hit the penny at close range.

"Soldiers used to keep objects in their breast pockets in an attempt to protect themselves from enemy fire and explosions.

"It's likely John Trickett kept the penny there on purpose.

"When the bullet hit the coin, it ricocheted up through his nose and went out through the back of his ear," Mr Stevenson explained. "It left him deaf and disabled but still alive."

Irish Independent

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