The Unexpected - Saved by a crucifix and act of humanity

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Metal crucifix

Metal crucifix Service medals, German medals and crucifix Items related to James Burke's experience as a prisoner of war Reverse of items relating to James Burke's experiences as a POW

The Unexpected - Saved by a crucifix and act of humanity

James Burke always maintained that he owed his life to two things - the metal crucifix he carried in his lapel pocket and a German officer who rescued him from being killed.

The 22-year-old private in the Royal Irish Fusiliers was fighting in St Quentin, Northern France, during the last big enemy offensive on March 21, 1918, when he was shot in the chest by a German sniper.

The bullet ricocheted off the arm of a three-inch cross he always carried in his tunic, causing a penetrating wound just above his heart. But as the Dublin soldier lay injured, he risked being shot again.

“Luckily, a young German officer intervened and carried James to a field hospital where his life was saved,” said Don Mullan, who brought the dented crucifix into the Dublin roadshow.

“James always said he owed his life to his cross and that German officer who showed him a moment of humanity,” added Don, who was left Private Burke’s WW1 items by his son Gary, the Godfather of Don’s wife Margaret.

←
Introduction
 
'My father’s Bible saved his life’
 
Saved after two painful days
 
Saved by a crucifix and act of humanity
 
Enemies become friends after fire rescue
 
Inches from non-existence
 
Teenager turns medic
 
→

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