Hidden Treasures – Somebody Else’s Heirloom, 1940s

I have a small Sailor’s Bible, issued during World War Two.

But the reason I bought it was because of the hidden treasure I found inside – anything extra found inside an old book being a joy only slightly ahead of finding the previous owner’s name and date on the flyleaf.

But it feels like these should be with someone else, heirlooms from their granddad perhaps. Maybe he had no family, maybe they didn’t know this was here, or maybe they were just pretty unsentimental about this kind of thing. My Grandma was in the unsentimental camp – she threw out the love letters sent to her by Grandad, and would sympathise with this view, I expect.

There’s an Algerian 50 centime note hidden between the pages:

And further on, a heart-wrenching love poem from the Sailor’s wife, Annie, talking about the wasted years of separation:

I have such a sensation of a microcosm of time here – a bible with, possibly, emergency money hidden inside and a poem to remind him of home and raise morale. I wonder if the position of the money, on the page telling the story of the scapegoat, was significant at all.

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