ABC: Gallipoli 2015: Museum keen to give precious Bible to family of WWI soldier

A Victorian museum is trying to return a wartime Bible to descendants of an Adelaide man who served in World War I and was among the first soldiers to land at Gallipoli a century ago.

Ellen Reid and her daughter run a Bible museum at Saint Arnaud in country Victoria, and Mrs Reid picked up what appears to be Frank Cathro's Biblewhen she was the only online bidder for it.

She told 891 ABC Adelaide she would love to see the Bible go to the soldier's family rather than stay at the museum.

"On the inside front cover it says 'From Egypt', and it looks as though he's posted it back to Edith Cathro, who's from Grey Street, Kilkenny (an Adelaide suburb)," she said.

The museum curator said there was another name in the holy book which might also give someone a useful clue.

"In the back of the little New Testament it's got the name Colin Cathro, 5 Chapman Court in Mile End. From what I can see [in online records],Colin Cathro served in the Second World War," she said.

Mrs Reid said millions of Bibles were given to those who served their country.

"The Bible Society produced about 40 million little New Testaments and parts of Bibles during the First World War," she said.

"I've been collecting Bibles since 1981 and I have a military section in the museum.

Mrs Reid's investigations found Frank Cathro survived the Gallipoli campaign and had daughters, which is why the family name had been harder to trace beyond the war years.

She said Frank returned to Australia after his war service.

"He was wounded twice, he had a gunshot wound and he was hit by a bomb, and repatriated medically unfit in 1916," she said.

"There are other Cathro brothers who were with him, I think Harry and Richard, they left [for the war] one in 1915 and one in 1916 and both returned."

Mrs Reid said anyone able to shed light on her hunt for the former soldier's descendants could contact her via the museum website.

Last modified on Wednesday, 22 April 2015 07:47
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