A Knapsack Bible with a bullet hole
The "Knapsack Bible" was a popular gift for soldiers for use in South Africa 1899-1900. It was bound in Khaki and sold for 2/6d and was sent to the specific trooper by book post for 3d.
During the Great War, 2450 Private James Benjamin COWAN received a Knapsack Bible from his mother. This Bible was originally sent to South Africa with 56 Trooper Peter Bruce RANKINE, who served with the 2nd South Australian Mounted Rifles.
The inside cover, left hand side reads:
This book went through the Boer War with Peter Rankin a faithful Servant of ours.
Afterwards my dear son Jim took it through the great European war here he served as a pte in Egypt for just on 4 years. Thanks to the great mercy of God, both returned safe & sound.
Those mentioned were:
56 Trooper Peter Bruce RANKINE, born 1876 and single, a horse-tamer and driver from Two Wells SA, enlisted in the 2nd South Australian Mounted Rifles.
2450 Private James Benjamin COWAN, a 21 year old Farmer from Two Wells, South Australia. He enlisted on 20 January 1916 and was allotted to the 9th Australian Light Horse Regiment, AIF, 17th Reinforcement, embarked from Melbourne, Victoria on board HMAT A58 Kabinga on 8 May 1916. At the conclusion of the war Returned to Australia, 8 October 1919.