Bible and Wallet, Rifleman John Shankland; Testament League; Oxford University P...


Bible and Wallet, Rifleman John Shankland

About this object

This bible and wallet belonged to Rifleman John (Jack) Shankland of Tokanui (service number 19056).

While there are many legends of soldiers being saved by their bible being keenly positioned in their top pocket over their heart, Jack was not so fortunate. The sniper bullet which killed Jack during World War One, tore straight through his wallet and bible. Jack's bible and wallet, with the bullet holes, were returned to his parents John Senior and Jane in a white personal effects bag. Jack’s personal effects are now cared for by the Waikawa Museum and are a reminder of the toll that the Great War had on the rural community.

Jack’s Death:

Though wounded at Passchendaele, Jack wasn’t killed until the Michael Offensive of 1918. On March 26, 1918, Jack’s unit was put on the front line to close a gap in the allied lines near Colincamps Village. They spent the following two days in heavy battle but by the 29th the fighting had lulled. It is during this lull, while standing in a trench with other soldiers, that Jack was shot by a sniper.

Jack’s father died a mere two months after his son, leaving behind his grieving wife and other three adult children. Jack is buried at the Euston Road Cemetery in Colincamps, France, but, is remembered on his parent’s tombstone at the Quarry Hill Cemetery.


Oxford University Press

Maker Role



Testament League

Maker Role


Date Made




Place Made

Europe, United Kingdom, England, London

Place Made

Europe, United Kingdom, England, London

Medium and Materials

organic, animal, skin, mammal skin, processed material, leather
organic, vegetal, processed material, paper

Inscription and Marks

Inside bible hand written in black ink: 'To John Shankland Alex Mainland Quarry Hills NZ 3/4/16'.

Inside wallet hand written in black ink: 'WW.02.2176bc'


See parts for individual measurements.

Subject and Association Keywords

Military - World War One

Subject and Association Keywords


Subject and Association Keywords

Religion and Belief

Object Type


Object number


Copyright Licence  

All rights reserved

This object is from

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