To war and back: Bible traverses many miles

Kimberly Rubio

Assistant editor

On May 13, 1915, during World War I, French Officer Gaston de Launay knelt down in a trench in Belgium and found a Bible belonging to a Canadian soldier. The family keepsake was passed down to his niece Rosemarie Carr, of Uvalde, where it sat on a shelf in her home until it won the interest of her son, Andy Carr.

Andy, who Rosemarie said has an interest in genealogy, was intrigued and determined to find the Bible’s previous owner. Rosemarie’s great-uncle found the Bible days after he endured a chemical attack by the Germans. The attack occurred during the Second Battle of Ypres.

The family says that due to his exposure to chlorine gas, de Launay died from health complications when he was just 54 years old.

When he began his search, Andy’s only clue was a handwritten dedication to Herbert V. Naylor. The inscription was dated Aug. 18, 1914.

It reads, “May God keep, protect and guide you throughout this one great struggle.” It was signed by a woman named Hellena.


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